Easy Business Relationship Checks

Is it essential to conduct due diligence background checks?

Well, for starters, if we are to go by the analysis of the recent cases such as  Goldenscape Greenhouses and Ekeza sacco scandals; where investors are said to have lost millions in Kes of their life savings and loans borrowed to an investment that ended up at the gates DCI Kenya.

Clearly, there is a need to gain some knowledge and understanding by conducting due diligence before one is to venture in any investments. What’s more, you can be sure, with the creativity of Kenyans, more scams will be coming in the near future.

Secondly, from the experiences shared by the investors who lost their money, one key characteristic stood out, neither of the investors had taken their time to research the location of the company or to do a site visit of where the land and green houses were said to be, even just out of curiosity, and just to  be certain they existed in the first place.

Most of them had simply trusted the wave and the thirst to get their hands on the high returns within a short period had blinded them into assuming the obvious red flags.

Easy Business Relationship Checks

  • aggressive advertising on TV and social media
  • promise of ultimately getting high returns within a short span of time
  • Companies run more like a one man’s show are key indicators’ that something could be amiss.

Also, any long investor or business person in this modern economy knows too well , before they inject any capital into any investment , they have to investigate the market, ask around on how previous or similar investments have performed or are performing , if the investment will lead to the growth of the economy as this will ensure they get high returns and lower the risk of losing their initial capital. They are also well aware that high risk and where the investment return period is more than one year, they stand to gain more.

Simply put, to do due diligence is to do research be it for a potential investment, business, partnership, merger, supplier and or when loan lending, to ascertain the legitimacy, existence, accuracy and value of the investment. In other words, due diligence is the care taken by an individual or company before committing to an agreement or venture.

While, due diligence background checks, involves more of the processes, procedure or steps taken to further verify the credibility of the individual or company one is to transact with be it locally or internationally.

Due diligence background checks are also carried out as regulatory requirement, reputational purposes and where either of the parties transacting would have been adversely mentioned in media.

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In this regard, to effectively conduct due diligence background checks, CFE. Judy Ratanya advices one to apply the below simple techniques:
  1. Google search – You will be surprised by how much a simple google search and social media search which can be done at the comfort of your home, at work or in traffic, can help you gather information regarding an individual or company. From the company’s website, one can tell the location of the company, physical address, how long the company has been in existent, who they mainly trade with and even google reviews. While for an individual, social media channels such as Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn can give a snapshot of an individual.

This way, you will derive some comfort that the individual or company you be investing with are legit and to some extent the risk involved with the investment will be lower as well as the chances of financial loss.

  1. Hire an expert such as professional investigator (this could be an individual or company), which is a safer option – involving the expertise and specialized advise never goes wrong, yes you may have to part with a few coins for the consultancy services offered, but you can create a rapport with the expert and bargain your way out.

As a matter of fact, we all like listening to the professionals and we value their opinions. Sometimes we may not agree or be happy with what they have to say but we go ahead and action on what that Lawyer, Accountant, Financial Advisor, Banker or Realtor says. So then why not take that shot, go for that expert in the field of due diligence background checks who can customized your needs, be it before you hire an employee, you sign that merger agreement, you give out that loan or you cash in that new business. Trust me you will forever be grateful and smile your way to banking in your investments return.

  1. Use the respective registration body to check if a company is registered or regulated– where companies registered with regulatory bodies such as Capital Market Authority, Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority and Central Bank of Kenya, it becomes easier to transact with them , with these companies there is some form of protection and assurance that one will be able to get their money bank should something go wrong.

COVID-19 Protective Gear Vs Crime and Identification

There is need for Criminal Investigators to upgrade the game in light of Covid-19.

Crime incidents have increased during lock down and curfew hours in various countries.

What is emerging to be a challenge for crime fighters, like LY Detectives Agency, is the increasing use of gloves and face masks.

Fraud Examination And RedesignsAs a detective, I see a problem that needs to be addressed before we lose the war against crime.

Before COVID-19, some criminal perpetrators did not understand the use of face masks and gloves in their operations. I bet some still don’t… This made identification and referencing a bit easy with the correct database.

I will not delve into the hows on gloves and masks on this article. Instead, I will offer some suggestions on how crime can still be fought and positive identifications made in the absence of CCTV and FINGERPRINTS

Did you know that there are other options available to make positive identification?

Take EAR MARKS for example.

Ear marks are unique to each individual. The subject on this is still open for debate but while the debate continues, crime fighters should start making databases for this.

When one wears their masks correctly to cover their nose and chin, there is a high likelihood that the ears remain uncovered (sometimes with a little distortion if not adorned properly).

The mask covers almost your entire face and soon there will be masks that cover entire heads. Regulation on masks and style is still a long way to come for most governments.

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When dusting surfaces for prints, it is important for the scene examiner to lift including other marks that may include EAR MARKS. This can be put in a database as investigations continue and a further analysis done on the same.

Other ways of identifying the perpetrators in such instances would include the movements captured by CCTV, body posture, Clothing, Eyes and even signs used during the perpetration among others

The little efforts we make as crime fighters will go a long way as the MO changes.

It is our duty to adapt as the world changes right in front of us.

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How to identify if you are prone to a scam?

News is often reported around the world about financial pyramid schemes that have collapsed, generating huge losses for its participants.

Organizations considered as pyramid schemes generate interest in the community by offering gigantic monetary benefits for the recruitment of new participants instead of selling a product or service. 

When the pyramid stops attracting new customers or the scammer considers it has raised enough money, it disappears leaving only losses to the people who contributed their savings.

How do these scams work?

They are called that because their structure resembles a pyramid, where the person who starts the scheme is at the top, recruiting a second level of people, and these at a third level and so on. 

There, each of the participants must invest an initial amount to belong to the pyramid, which goes to the benefit of the person who recruited it.

But … What makes them Pyramids?

The main characteristic of a pyramid is that it does not carry out any commercial activity, that is, it does not offer any service, nor does it buy and sell goods, it is only dedicated to the illegal collection of money, money that at some point is going to end, so that this scheme will always have the same end: collapse. 

Despite the efforts of the Government and financial institutions to mitigate this crime, the situation is still recurring, as the administrators of these pyramids continue to find in many people the perfect “cocktail” of qualities, which make them prone to fall into their networks.

Methods used

Some methods widely used by the pyramids is to place advertisements in different media under the title of “Business Opportunity”, “Earn Much Money”, drawing the attention of many people with the aim of becoming financially independent. 

These methods have been changing according to the proliferation of technology, being common to find pyramid systems managed exclusively by social networks, having as a method of recruitment of members who must make a consignment to a certain account promising that the next consignments will be made to them.

Safe victim

Evaluate if these are your behaviors and look for other alternatives that do not put your investment at risk:

  • If you have urgent money needs. Generally, when money is urgently needed, people tend to be more likely to fall for scams that promise large and rapid profits with which they will solve their financial problems.
  • If he is impatient. This is one of the most important factors for which anything will be done to avoid waiting for a benefit, so it is much more likely to be tempted by the supposed possibility of obtaining short-term profits.
  • Look for earnings too high. It is not conformity, but when it comes to investing, it is better to be cautious. Remember that because of greed many have suffered great losses.
  • If you have never had investment experiences. In this case, the most advisable thing is to advise and investigate the products that exist in the financial market, in order to make an investment in a safe and informed way.

Get help from experienced Fraud Investigators.

Remember …

When trying to make any investment, look for as much information as possible and detailed about the organization and the people who manage it, especially how they get the high returns they offer.

The Government has been taking increasingly stringent measures for these scams, if it is shown that there is fraud or abuse, the Superintendency will order the liquidation of the company and may impose sanctions on its administrators, ranging from fines to their removal and inability to trade.