By Doug Belton
I have a great suggestion for your first executive protection assignment. I recommend that before you start saving the rest of the world, begin by making the man or woman in the mirror your first primary protectee. Right now you are in the cross hairs of some shady people that want to squeeze as much out of you as possible. Scam artist who know that you are looking for a quality school to train for executive protection are hard at it working every angle to lure you in, but don’t let them.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released its 2009 findings, and from January 2008 to December 31, 2008 they received 275,274 complaints which represents a 31% increase from the previous year. 5% or over 1,600 complaints were from Nigerian Letter Fraud, and advance fee fraud. These criminals from the West African Nations, prey upon unsuspecting people by sending out letters and emails soliciting advance fees for services to be rendered.
The typical scams involve phony money transfers and claims of lottery winners who need to claim their prize by sending an advance fee to pay for taxes or other costs. Some of these scams involve solicitations for professional bodyguard schools.
Avoiding scams when it comes to bodyguard schools is no different than avoiding scams in other matters.
You have to know what you want and make sure the company you pay to deliver is able and willing to do so. Many of these fraudulent companies will promise you the sky but they are only interested in getting you to send them your hard earned cash in advance, after which you will never hear from them again.
A simple principal to remember is that legitimate companies will not set your expectations too high only to get an advance fee from you. Legitimate companies will tell you the hard truth about the industry, your chances of employment depending on your circumstances, and what it takes to succeed in their school or organization. Anyone who promises you outlandish income with little or no investment or commitment on your part is not being honest with you.
Another critical point to remember is that any legitimate employer that offers you a position over seas with a large salary is not going to ask you to pay them money up front. A reputable organization like DynCorp, XE, and Triple Canopy will be more interested in your skills, experience, and training, than in impressing you with their resume. Once they get to know that you have something to offer which they are looking for, they will send you money for airfare, lodging, training, and whatever reasonable expenses may be involved.
If you find a company online that insists that you pay these fees in advance but they have either not probed into your qualifications, or overlooked a glaring lack of qualifications, they are probably trying to take advantage of you.
Regardless of how reputable a company may be, eventually you will have to pay for training to become a qualified bodyguard.
However, before you write out a check there are some important measures to take in order to ensure you are not being taken advantage of. When it comes to avoiding being scammed, there is simply no substitute for dong your homework and gathering as much information as is available about the company. A great place to start your research is with the Better Business Bureau.
The Better Business Bureau’s purpose for existence is to warn people about nefarious companies and organizations that prey on consumers. Another place to turn is the Internet Crime Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx). One often overlooked asset in doing your homework is your State Attorney General’s office. All of these organizations are set up as advocacy agencies to look out for your best business and the scam artists are counting on you not checking with them.
Once you have checked with one of the advocacy agencies, find out who owns the website you are looking into by going to, http://whois.domaintools.com. This website will help you trace the owner of the site and then you can Google the person to determine what negative articles have been written about their business practices. Remember to call the company and ask them probing questions about their business practices and the services they provide.
A reputable company will take pride in answering your questions. Check online Executive Protection Forums and read the posts on these companies, remember, you need not be out on an island.
Finally, you have an extremely powerful tool available to you through Bodyguard Careers. The eBook, Executive Protection Schools is a compilation of the top bodyguard schools and it has been put together by professionals with a discerning eye for detecting what is good and what is bad in the organizations that promise to train you for your career in executive protection. In essence, this book is the result of the most knowledgeable people in the industry doing your homework for you.
Executive Protection Schools is a publication which cuts through all the lies and deception leaving the reader with only those schools that are able and willing to deliver the goods. Only schools with a proven track record for excellence and integrity are represented in this compilation. For the discounted price of just $9.99, perspective students can confidently access bodyguard schools that will prepare them for an exciting career without fear of being scammed.
Whether you choose to purchase the eBook, Executive Protection Schools, or you decide to do the homework yourself, be certain that your first protection assignment makes you the vanguard of your own resources and that your top priority is avoiding scams against yourself.