How To Protect Yourself From Criminals Using Apple AirTags

Source: CNBC

An Overview

In the past, we have reported on the potential security threat that Bluetooth trackers like Apple AirTags can pose to the everyday citizen. Recently, the Toronto Police Service has publicly warned the community about how criminals are using these pieces of tech, to track, follow and steal your assets. As new technologies emerge, there are always criminal elements who seek to exploit and use new tech to enhance their criminal enterprise.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Because many of these devices are quite small, it makes it difficult to detect them with the naked eye or sometimes even with a device. However, there are steps that one can take to enhance personal safety. Below are some steps that you can take to detect a Bluetooth tracking device.

  1. Familiarize yourself with your device. Android devices may soon integrate a way to detect popular Bluetooth trackers. And iOS devices offer a solution to detect non-Apple trackers.
  2. Contact your device manufacturer and ask if they can direct you to new solutions to detect Bluetooth trackers.
  3. Download recommended Apps and vetted software designed to detect when a Bluetooth tracker is near.
  4. Inspect potential hiding spots on your vehicle, such as the gas cap housing, wheel wells, bumpers etc. Remember, some of these trackers are magnetic and can be also attached to the chassis.
  5. Contact the local police service if you have evidence that you are being tracked. Do not touch the tracker; as there may be fingerprints on it.
  6. Install a front and rear dash-cam that is motion activated or one that records continuously. It may be possible that an image of the criminal could be caught on the car surveillance system.
  7. If you suspect that you are being tracked, head to the nearest police station parking lot and make contact with the police.
  8. Use a Club or a similar anti-theft deterrent on you vehicle to slowdown and/or deter a theft.
  9. Ensure that your vehicle is monitored under a quality surveillance camera when parked at your residence.
  10. Check your bags for any unknown trackers which may have been placed into them at some point in a public setting.
Source: Youtube, Toronto Police Service

The Final Verdict

It is recommended that your local police service be contacted should you have strong evidence that you are being tracked or if you believe that you are being stalked and/or followed. That said, sometimes these situations may be harder to prove and less likely to be followed upon by the police. This is where a Private Investigator could assist. An investigator would be able to spend more time to investigate suspected tracking and conduct counter-surveillance, which could assist the police in a criminal investigation. Should you presently have concerns that you are being tracked but require additional assistance and recommendations, do not hesitate to reach out to an Investigative Specialist at Present Truth Investigations. We take each alleged tracking concern seriously and will do our utmost to detect and deter found threats.

Source: Present Truth Investigations Inc.

What To Do If Your Cellphone Gets Hacked

Has your phone been hacked? Or do you suspect that your current device is compromised? Well, you are not alone. The number of cellphone-related inquiries pertaining to suspected hacking issues has sharply increased within the last few years. As a result, Private Investigators and cyber security professionals have experienced a substantial rise in client-related privacy concerns. Some clients suspect that their personal device is compromised, while others are quite confident that their device has been breached. But, how can you identify if your cellphone has been hacked? Below are some of the common indicators that you may be hacked. Not one, but a combination of the below signs may indicate that your device has been compromised.

Signs That Your Phone May Be Hacked

  1. The phone loses it’s charge quickly. – While this could be a sign that you may be experiencing battery issues, it could be a sign that your phone is remotely being accessed.
  2. The phone overheats consistently. – This issue could be related to the battery or the age of the phone. However, if your device suddenly and consistently overheats, this could indicate that malicious software is running on it.
  3. The overall performance diminishes. – When your device slows, it could indicate that there are too many apps using resources on the device. However, it could also indicate that malicious software is competing for resources as it reports back to the hacker.
  4. You notice strange activity. – If you notice emails, texts and calls that you did not make, this would be an obvious sign that someone has used your phone physically or remotely.
  5. There are suddenly more popups. – A sudden increase in popup ads could be a symptom of malware and/or malicious software hidden on your device
  6. Your data usage suddenly spikes. – If your monthly personal usage has not changed, however you notice a marked increase in your data usage, it could indicate that your phone may be compromised.
  7. There are unfamiliar apps on your phone. – If an App which you did not download appears on your device, it is a sure sign that your personal privacy may be at risk.

How To Stop A Hacker

Your data is valuable. And many do not realize the massive scale of the tech industry in the buying and selling of personal data. This data is bought and sold to industries that use algorithms to market and sell both tangible and intangible goods, services and ideas. And this very same data, when obtained through malicious intrusion, can be used against you by a cyber-criminal. Banking and other financial information can be captured and used to access personal finances and currencies. While, information concerning social security numbers, medical and other private data, can be used to counterfeit your identity. However, the good news is that there are steps that one can take, to thwart existing and potential hackers.

How To Remove & Prevent A Hacker From Accessing Your Phone

  1. Use antivirus software and a malware removal tool. – This is recommended for cellphones in general, but specifically for Android devices.
  2. Notify your financial institutions. – If you believe that you have been hacked, it may be beneficial to alert your financial institutions in order to avoid potential financial disruption.
  3. Delete unknown Apps & note all used Apps. – If you notice a strange App on your phone that you did not download, remove it immediately. Then catalogue all of the legitimate Apps on your phone prior to performing a factory reset.
  4. Manually copy your contact list. – If your phone has been compromised and you have consistently backed up to the cloud, you may want to avoid using the cloud after resetting your phone. Hidden Apps and malicious software can be stored within past cloud backups.
  5. Factory-reset your phone. – Bring your device back to it’s original state at purchase. This will erase all malicious software from your device.
  6. Do not backup your device from a cloud. – Start from scratch. Delete all past cloud backups.
  7. Manually install preferred Apps. – As stated above, manually add each App one by one in order to ensure that the same malicious software isn’t copied onto your restored device.
  8. Only install Apps from the Apple Store or Google Play. – This is especially important for Android users. The golden rule is to only download Apps that have been vetted through Apple or Google. This ensures that there is no malicious software downloaded.
  9. Do not jailbreak your phone. – While there are many benefits to a jail-broken phone, for Apple products, you lose the built in security features provided from Apple. This is why Apple devices generally do not need Antivirus software.
  10. Change all of your passwords. – Assume the hacker has all of your passwords. Create new ones so that your accounts cannot be accessed.
  11. Enable 2-Step authentication. – Ensure to enhance your security settings so that you or any other person are notified and challenged when attempting to access areas and Apps within your device.
  12. Install and use a VPN. – This is extremely important. A VPN will hide your personal phone details after it has connected to a network. This is especially vital when connecting to public WiFi networks.
  13. Ensure your connections are encrypted. – Many VPNs will include encryption protocols in order to enhance your security. A good VPN like Surf Shark and Express VPN will provide high levels of encryption built in.
  14. Disable voice assistants on lock screen. – Some scammers will call you in order to obtain a voice copy of your voice. Your voice then can be used to access areas within your phone or accounts who use this security feature. It is recommended to disable this feature.
  15. Turn off the password auto fill feature. – Ensure that your passwords are not auto-filled in any browser or App. It may be a pain to manually enter your password in each time, but auto-filled passwords can provide access to hackers, even if they do not have your password. Generally, it is recommended to answer “No” when asked if you would like a website or App to remember your credit information or password.
  16. Limit App permissions. – Limit Apps to only access your location and other data only while you use them. This will help to prevent a hacker from obtaining your location and personal information.

In Conclusion

With limited technical ability, one can take appropriate steps to protect their personal data and their privacy. Following the above steps, you can feel confident that you have prevented your everyday hacker from illegally spying on you. However, if you suspect that your phone has been hacked or are sure that your device has been compromised, feel free to contact an investigator at Present Truth Investigations. One of our Cyber Security Professionals will be able to provide you with the tools to remedy your issue. However, if you unable to resolve the issue yourself, our specialists will be able to examine your device for you.

How Private Investigators Help Lawyers With Criminal Legal Matters

What Private Investigators Do

When considering what Private Investigators do, most people immediately think of cheating spouses and infidelity. However, there are a host of various and unique functions that a seasoned investigator can perform. These include GPS tracking, workplace investigations, executing injunctions, search and seizures and even assisting in serious matters such as homicide.

Law firms often leverage the unique skill-set of Private Investigative Agencies for matters related to civil, family, corporate, immigration, real estate and even criminal. Criminal matters range from Summary Offences to Hybrid Offences and Indictable Offences. The definition of each is as follows:

Summary Offence

A summary conviction offence is the least serious kind of criminal offence under Canada’s Criminal Code. It is also known as a “petty crime”, for example, disturbing the peace.

Hybrid Offence

A hybrid offence is an offence where the prosecutor can choose, based on factors such as the seriousness of the accused’s actions and the harm caused, to proceed with the offence as either a summary conviction offence or as an indictable offence. Examples of hybrid offences include: Assault. Assault with a weapon. Sexual assault. Possession of a controlled substance.

Indictable Offence

In Canada, an indictable offence is a crime that is more serious than a summary offence. Examples of indictable offences include theft over $5,000, breaking and entering, aggravated sexual assault, and murder. Maximum penalties for indictable offences are different depending on the crime and can include life in prison.

Private Investigators support law firms and criminal lawyers in various ways. Not only do they obtain video evidence via surveillance, but they also locate witnesses and persons of interest. Additionally, an investigator can be requested to gather evidence and document the chain of custody. Investigative Agencies are often also requested to conduct background checks, fraud examinations, verify addresses, monitor individuals out on bail and serve legal documents.

At Present Truth Investigations Agency, our specialized team provides real-time support to independent lawyers and leading law firms who’s practice areas focus on criminal law. Contact us today or click HERE to learn more about how we assist legal advocates.

To Catch A Cheater – Why Hire A Private Investigator?

5 REASONS TO HIRE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO CATCH CHEATING SPOUSE

Being in a romantic relationship requires a lot of trust. Sadly, that trust can disappear over time.

Couples grow apart for different reasons. It’s never an easy situation to be in. However, when infidelity is involved, it doesn’t take much for the situation to go from bad to toxic.

If you are worried that your spouse or long-term partner may be cheating on you, it pays to find out for sure. The sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.

With help from the right investigator, you’ll be in a much better position to make a very big, potentially life-changing decision.

Here are 5 reasons why hiring a private investigator is a smart investment.

Investigators remain neutral. When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s understandable that you’ll be emotional. Stress can interfere with your thinking. A licensed investigator brings an impartial perspective to the evidence-gathering process. You’ll have the support of an outside third party whose judgement is not emotionally charged.

Investigators are discreet. Experienced pros are masters of gathering evidence without drawing attention.Although you may think you’re being sneaky, unskilled sleuthing has the potential to go very wrong. Eavesdropping on your partner’s calls or questioning your mutual friends for clues has the potential to lead to unwanted confrontations. A good investigator knows how to collect information and keep your concerns private.

Investigators provide proper documentation. Without proof, your claims of infidelity could end up being questioned. With an investigator on your side, you’ll receive a detailed report along with supporting photos and videos. Not only will you have a persuasive file you can present in court, but you’ll also have a reliable witness (your investigator) that you can call upon should the need arise.

Investigators let you see the whole picture. If your partner is already cheating on you, isn’t it possible they could be lying to you about other things? An investigator has access to special databases that can bring new information to light. Does your partner have other skeletons in their closet they never told you about? Investigators can run background checks to make sure no stone is left unturned. In marriage situations, an investigator can also determine if your spouse is trying to hide any shared assets.

Investigators help you commit to change. There’s a lot on the line when you decide to end a relationship (kids, finances, etc.). Hiring a professional investigator gives you the confidence to take the next step forward. With an investigator on your side, you know you’re leaving nothing to chance. You deserve to know the truth. You may not want to hear it, but you’ll be better off in the long run.

The decision to hire an investigator to spy on your spouse or romantic partner is a big turning point in any relationship. If you have any questions about what’s involved in working with a private investigator in the Toronto area, feel free to get in touch with the team at Present Truth Investigations.

Budapest court of appeal rules Oliver Karafa should be sent back to Canada to face charges

Accused’s arguments, which alleged ‘corruption’ within Hamilton police and jail, were rejected

Police says Oliver Karafa, Yun (Lucy) Lu Li, 25, were wanted for first-degree murder and attempted murder following a shooting in Stoney Creek, Ont. in February, 2021. (Hamilton Police Service)

A Hungarian court of appeal has ruled Oliver Karafa should be sent back to Canada to face charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Stoney Creek, Ont.

Warrants were issued for Karafa’s arrest, along with his co-accused, Yun (Lucy) Lu Li, following the shooting on Feb. 28 that left Tyler Pratt dead.

The 39-year-old was found shot on Arvin Avenue. A 26-year-old woman was also seriously injured.

Detectives said Li and Karafa, who are both from Toronto, left for eastern Europe within 24 hours of the shooting. 

The Metropolitan Court of Budapest previously alleged Karafa was the shooter.

The two travelled through several countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, before arriving in Budapest, Det.-Sgt. Jim Callender previously told reporters, describing their departure from Canada as “unusual.”

But while Li returned to Canada on July 12, Karafa had been fighting extradition.

The Budapest-Capital Regional Court of Appeal announced its decision in a media release shared Wednesday.

It upheld the decision of the lower court and ruled the conditions for Karafa to be sent back to Canada had been met.

Karafa raised concerns about trial

The Toronto man had argued his “life and physical integrity” and right to a fair trial could not be guaranteed if he was put in custody in Canada, according to the appeal court.

Karafa hired a private investigator, and his lawyers tried to use photos, media reports and other materials to allege Pratt “had extensive criminal connections and his associates want to avenge [his] death,” it stated in its release.

The court said he also made allegations of “corruption and crime” against Hamilton police and the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre.

Court rejected arguments

But the court rejected Karafa’s arguments following a reply from Canadian judicial authorities that outlined steps to ensure the accused is safe and the rights of an accused person.

“All this ‘evidence’ cannot be considered even in itself as objective, reliable, accurate and sufficiently up-to-date information on the conditions of detention” in Canada, it stated, referring to Karafa’s defence.

It ordered items confiscated from him be handed over to Canadian authorities.

The release also mentions an attempt to have Karafa extradited to Slovakia, the country where he was born, but said the court found it wasn’t possible to do so.

It went on to say that even if Pratt has criminal connections there is no basis for halting extradition out of safety concerns.

“Criminal relationships are not bound by national borders, which means that the accused would not be safe in practically any country in the world,” the release reads, before adding, “The court, therefore, established correctly and lawfully that the conditions for extradition have been met and ordered the arrest for surrender of the accused.”

Source: Dan Taekema · CBC News