During the summer of 1967, New York TV station WNEW coined the phrase following urban unrest and rioting in Newark, NY. If you remember the phrase you can appreciate why it was important to know where your valuables were at all times.
This is equally true today in the trucking industry, where it is important for trucking companies to know where the cargo they are transporting is at all times. Sadly, despite efforts to combat cargo crime, thieves are becoming ever more creative in coming up with ways to steal cargo. One of the most recent approaches is for thieves to set up fake trucking companies, present themselves as legitimate third party carriers on Load Boards, pick up the cargo at a midpoint in the journey and never deliver it to its intended destination.
In a recent article I read in Fleet Owner Newsline, the author suggested that more due diligence needs to be done by shippers, brokers and even carriers. Background checks, social media searches and investigations should be conducted on third party carriers and their principals. According to Scott Cornell, Director of Specialty Investigations for Travelers Group, “If you are dealing with a brand new company with no track record or referenceable pool of information to draw from, or a carrier whose authority has lain dormant for several years and is now suddenly active, they need to be checked out.”
You could do that due diligence yourself, but who has the time to dedicate resources to investigate third party entities amongst all the other day-to-day tasks you need to complete to move cargo from point A to B to make money? Or, you could enlist the services of a professional organization that has expertise in all types of investigation – social media and physical.
It is my opinion that the investment of dollars to get the job done right and in a timely manner is far less than the cost of a lost shipment and the damage done to your company’s brand and reputation. It is important for companies to look for security partners who can assist in areas that are not core to their business.
If you would like to learn more about how my company can help you ensure you know where your cargo is and with whom #justASKMEE.
Three years ago, I was informed that a good friend’s family member had committed suicide. A beautiful 22 year old, with everything going for her – decided to end her life. Her family was devastated; her mother couldn’t forgive herself for not seeing any signs.
You could imagine the mourning and sadness her family went through in dealing with this tragedy. Not even a year later, her mom was diagnosed with cancer. The mother said, “maybe my daughter is missing me, with my daughter in heaven and my son here – I am torn”.
A month ago, I was at her funeral. People say – she didn’t die of cancer but rather of a broken heart.
Statistics show that people who have committed suicide have tried to reach out in some way. The world will always ponder how suicide can be prevented. Social media can definitely be one channel for monitoring suicide and using social media as a preventative measuring tool. Social media surveillance can be utilized in schools to check for not only bullying but also for vulnerabilities and the mental health of their students. In addition, parents can check on the status of their children especially during trying years.
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The son of wanted drug lord ‘El Chapo’, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, received a lot of attention when he tweeted a photo of himself and his father eating dinner on August 31st. Although the tweet gave away his possible location, law enforcement has still not found one of the most wanted criminals in the world. The chase continues with Mexican authorities along with the FBI and DEA.
I continue to be amazed at how much can be found on social media. When data is harvested, normalized, interpreted and analyzed it can prove to be very valuable. As gathering information can be labour intensive and cumbersome, tools now exist that automate most of the process. Instead of spending valuable time in the collection phase, you can now focus on analyzing the information, draw conclusions and potentially determine your next steps in the process. AFIMAC’s Social media investigations are gaining traction, as it is a good way to find information about a person of interest. This service even can detect keywords and notify you through email and/or text.
It is being used as a part of recruitment processes where a snapshot or a ‘footprint‘ is often beneficial in weeding out undesirable candidates or to gain intelligence on suspected employees involved in embezzlement, substance abuse or harassment.
In a recent example, a client was concerned about drug use in the workplace. Although it was just a rumour, nobody was able or willing to point out who the users were. The client had some suspects. They decided to monitor these employees on open source social media to see if any interesting facts would come up. Keywords they used included “high”, “dope”, “joint”, etc. After 14 days, an alert came up on the word “high”. One of the suspects was bragging on his Facebook page about the fact that he worked better being “high”. He was a forklift driver in a large warehouse. An investigation commenced and an investigator at the facility interviewed the suspect. The investigator not only was able to have the suspect confess, but he also gave names of some of the other employees getting high on regular basis. The employee was terminated. The staff was warned and had to re-sign the HR policies that specifically prohibited drug or alcohol use during work hours.