Sweeping for Surveillance
Companies should regularly have their boardrooms and communication devices swept for bugging devices, and even consider using the controversial cellphone jammer for meetings to protect their corporate intelligence. It is perfectly normal, good security procedure.
They are increasingly used in the private and corporate sector to crack down on fraud, theft and corruption, and to protect a company's competitive intelligence. At D&K we have a very special set of skills, and focus on preventing corporate espionage, investigating murders that have stumped overworked policemen, finding bugs in hotel conference rooms and solving mystery stock losses.
News 24 described our services as; “Their main service is not to photograph the cheating spouse in a compromising position, although they will do it if asked. Instead, they are the people who, for example, will don workers' overalls and go undercover as a forklift driver in a warehouse to find out why stock is going missing. The undercover investigator will befriend fellow workers and get a feel for who might have a grudge against the company, or who is living large on a small salary. Clues might come up in routine background checks at the factory.”
Sometimes we set up video surveillance to add the final pieces of a puzzle, and when we have enough, we hand the information over to the company. Police are brought in and given the information the investigator uncovered. The investigator will also testify in court on behalf of the client.
Now the company knows where its weak spots and loopholes are, and can take action to fix them. Internal threats have often been with the company for years, have worked their way up, and in smaller businesses have access to the company cheque book. Clients would never second guess them if they slipped in new banking details.
Nothing Surprises Me
Nothing surprises me anymore. You think you’re safe?
Take the sales rep who is putting in huge mileage claims, but his boss suspects he is working from home. We will plant a tracking device the size of a biscuit under his car. He will never know it's there, but we can monitor his movements by laptop.
Are you being spied on? Surveillance is not like in the movies, where the investigator lays low in his seat for hours, eating junk food, or always finds a parking space near his quarry. It's an incredibly difficult job to not be seen. Especially in South Africa where people are afraid of being hijacked. Instead, the private investigator will park in the street in a car marked "armed response", lingering outside the car with a cigarette.
Gadgetry 'Grey Area'
The evidence we hand over to companies must be obtained legally and survive scrutiny - by the Labour Court for example if it is a dismissal. The "grey area" is in the use of some gadgetry such as tapping phones and monitoring e-mails, which require a court order.
Many spy gadget shops operate in South Africa, selling items like nanny cams and cameras hidden in photoframes available to purchase online. One of our most popular gadgets is a device that prevents phone tapping. Our bug sweeping services (from around R1 500) to companies who want to protect their competitive intelligence is, I believe, essential. I trust no-one after years in the trade - people will turn into spies, and do just about anything, for enough money.
Check Computers, Phones for Bugs
Journalists working on stories which could have a destabilising effect for someone should regularly have their computers and phones checked for bugs.
Before hiring a private investigation company, make sure they are registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PRISA) because there are a lot of "fly by nights" out there.
Need us to sweep your office?
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org / 011 824 0334