In today’s internet world it has become increasingly easier for scam artist and criminals to take advantage of individuals who are trying to break into the executive protection field. This post will provide you with some insight, ideas and common sense tactics to use when you are looking for training or employment using internet resources.
The first thing to keep in mind when searching the web is to remember the age-old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
There are fraudulent businesses operating online, trying to make a fast buck off of your lack of knowledge (and your eager pursuit to find a “fast and easy way”) and if you’re not careful they will guide you down the slippery slope of deception.
If you find a job online that is offering a salary of $100,000 USD and upwards a year, your “spidey sense” should be tingling. If you contact the organization that is offering this position and they tell you that you have to pay an upfront placement fee, thank them for their time and move on. Professional, LEGITIMATE services will not ask the prospective job applicant to pay a fee (up front) of any kind. The same goes for inquiries regarding training.
If the job is for a high threat protection detail in the likes of Iraq or Afghanistan and you are asked to pay a job placement fee, again move on and thank them for their time. If you are hired to work a high threat detail overseas, the companies that hold these contracts will never ask you to pay for anything. Legitimate companies such as DynCorp, XE and Triple Canopy will pay for every aspect of your employment; travel to the jobsite, food and training. They will not ask you for fees.
So how can you protect yourself from getting ripped off? The easiest way to ensure this is to learn as much as you can about that specific company. Conduct due diligence. This means doing your research before you send anybody your money!! Look into the company, its background and the owners to the best of your ability.
1. Check with the local BBB (Better business Bureau) and find out if the organization in question has had any complaints against them.
2. Find out who is the owner of a website, this can be found at this web link; http://whois.domaintools.com , once you have the owners name you can do a Google search on him/her and see if any negative articles or information is associated with that individual.
3. Once you have the owner’s name you can also check with the Attorney General’s office representing the state where the organization is located. The Attorney General’s office houses records of businesses that are licensed in that particular state and can provide information on the company’s reputation.
4. Keep in mind that some of these bogus companies will simply shut down and then register a new company and continue on with their scam. Follow the information trail. If the owners of the company are continually going out of business and then resurfacing, something is wrong.
5. Always make phone contact with the company and ask questions, a legitimate company will be more than happy to give you answers.
6. Ask the company what type of contracts they are offering. If a firm tells you that they are working with a government contractor in Iraq for example, ask them for the project/contract tasking number and then which agency (DOD, State Department, etc.) is managing the project. By asking these questions you can contact the agency of the specific project and get verification on the tasking/contract order.
7. Check the various online Executive Protection forums and read the links. If you have a specific question about an on-line company offering employment, register with the forum and post a question to the group, you will most likely receive several responses; pay attention to the overall consensus of the answers.
8. If you come across a company that is using a g-mail or yahoo e-mail account to do business with it is most likely a scam, steer clear young Padawan.
9. If you contact a company or firm and ask them to send out some written documentation and they refuse or you never receive it, they may not be legitimate.
10. If you find a job posting for work in Nigeria working EP or high threat protection, be cautious. Most of these jobs are currently being staffed by former members of the British SAS Para’s, Royal Marine’s and members of the SBS. In the past few years Nigeria has become a hotbed of various internet scams and computer-based fraud schemes.
As with any job it is up to you to make sure that you have conducted your own due diligence and that you find out as much as you can with respect to the company offering the job or training. Be inquisitive and trust your “gut” feelings. They are rarely wrong!
As an executive protection specialist for one of Australias elite bodyguard companies 538 Pty Ltd, I agree that if at any stage a company requires you to outlay any amount of your hard earned cash for a position within their organisation. DONT.
There is a growth worldwide for our services. Ask as many questions as possible then ask more. Make sure you have a contact name and number, business registration information, and security business licence information. It is cheaper to call an International number for verification than to send credit card payments that offer you nothing other than a certificate by way of a bank statement with charges.
I would also (unless you are wanting to move internationally for life style choices) suggest searching for job opportunities in your state or local area. If a company is recruiting for International EP specialists, the question has to be asked. Why not use home grown? If they are after some skill they cannot find home grown, then they should be actively seeking you, not you seeking them.
Executive Protection Specialist
538 Pty Ltd
Greetings my fellow Bodyguards.Executive Protection Agents. And those seeking to get into the business.
It’s sad to say that there are so many scams out there and more are being through of.
And as we all know and can see that times are changing and so is our economy. The business of security on all level is on the rise ! Protection work to uniform security is now and will be in greater demand and the time move on.
I say this to remind everyone in this field and seeking to get in to this feild to be on the look out for such scams !
As blue gate and more just like it. But don’t give up seeking to us your hard earn skills or seeking to get into the business. But thanks to sites like this one and Mr. Hucky as to the people who take the time to log on and giving heads up!
Good looking out to all of you ! For work seek out http://www.freelancesecurity.com and for breaking into the business seekout http://www.iapea.com
Encouragement to all!
had the same experience with blue gate, everything very profesionally done, also got suspicious on the Visa matter, and to all the “new comers” to the industry, read and learn from this article, and all the other articles on this site.
Good Post….as usual 🙂 Keep up the great work, Hucky.
I looked up my own website at http://www.whois.domaintools.com because I wanted to be sure my web guy had my site registered to me, in case someone “looked me up.” He did! I’d never heard about this site to research companies–thanx for the hot tip! I have it bookmarked.
Very informative, and should be in the future, the names of the web sites of this kind of companies. so that no one falls prey to it.
Good article, it is informative and provide good information. I have been scammed a time or two trying to break into the EP industry.
I recently came upon such a scam. The company calls itself Blue Gate Security and claims to have offices in the UK and Ghana (West Africa).They advertise job postings on sites like http://www.#####.com and http://www.#####.com. I send my cv not suspecting anything in the beginning, within a week I received an e-mail confirming that I got the job. They even included a contract. My suspicions started when I was then informed I had to pay for my own work permit and visa, and I had to do it via Western Union transfer.
This is obviously a scam.
As mentioned in the article, if it sounds to good to be true it usually is. They offered nearly $10K per month, a five bedroom duplex appartment, a toyota corolla, free education for your children etc.
I read on a website about fraud, that you should watch out if it is a West African country, you have to pay anything and especially via Western Union, it has anything to do with a ‘Barrister’ that should be contacted (in this case the attorney dealing with the visa and work permit).
Luckily I didn’t fall for this one. But I don’t know how many guys might have – more than 800 people had viewed the job posting at the time. Remember these guys are clever – they even had a 2 websites. The e-mail addresses though was msn accounts.
Like Rick said trust your gut feeling. And if in doubt do some research about the company and see if anything about a scam comes up in a google search. There are also a lot of fraud websites that you can get some tips from.
Remember to trust your GUT feeling!
The most informative article I’ve seen on the subject in a long time.