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But I called the police!

We hear this a lot!  “We called the police, but nothing happened…” We recently had a case where a client said that a neighbor was harassing them at home about once a week, by doing things to torment them. Such as leave a toy gun on the front steps, or tip over a potted plant. It has been going one for a few months and was well documented.

Each time it happened, my client would call the local police department. The police didn’t help much and said there was nothing they could do. Sure, they went and talked to the person, but they denied it.

We decided to help out. What we did was install a hidden camera (we are pretty good at that!) at her front entrance way, and set up a motion activated recorder inside. After a month, we got a hit on the video. When we looked at it, we saw exactly what the client said was happening in the past. Same time of day, same person, same activity. The video was copied to a CD and the police were called. The same officer as in the past came by, and watched the recording.

His comment after watching it was that seeing this happen exactly as in the past validated all the other occurrences. So he went and spoke to the person who was doing this one more time. He told them that they were “observed” doing this… and of course they denied it again. But this time he wrote them a warning and said if it happens again, they would be arrested.

The harassment stopped. We continued to monitor for several more weeks, just to make sure.

This is a classic example how we can assist our clients and get results. We produced evidence that law enforcement couldn’t ignore. If you have a problem like this give us a call.

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The big question… “How much do your services cost?”

This is the most common question that we get. And when it happens, I love to answer it. Let’s face it, most people don’t call a Private Investigator everyday, so they are not familiar about our business, what we do, the services we offer, or the cost. Just know that all of this is okay… Relax, and ask questions – we are always willing to talk to you.

I will go over a few of the common questions we get here, and hopefully, this will enlighten you a little before you call us. Remember, we are just normal people too.

Hands down, our most common question really is “How much to you charge?”

The short answer is… “Depends”. The Alpha Agency offers a wide range of services to our clients and each one has a different cost involved. As an example, if you want a “Background Check” on someone. You call up and ask how much does it cost. Well, background checks can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars up to three or four thousand dollars. Yikes! Well it all depends on how deep you want to go. You may want one on one interviews with neighbors or co-workers. You may want to dig deep into their personal life, or track down marriage records.  The subject may have lived in a lot of locations or lived out of the country. All of these will make a difference in the over all costs.

Here is the best way to get an answer to the “How much does it costs” question…  When you contact the Alpha Agency to inquire about services, we would like to know a little detail about what your situation is. What’s going on that made you pick up the phone and call us? Once we know a little about your case, we can suggest a service and give you a precise cost. We never charge you for a consultation. It is always confidential. In fact, anything we discuss with you is protected by law.

Wanting to know what our services cost is a common question, and don’t be afraid to ask us. We look forward to talking to you for several minutes so we can determine what we can do to help you best. Thats what this business is really all about – helping our clients.

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Background Checks – What are employers looking for?

In the real world, no one cares one bit about what websites you’ve visited, what you’ve purchased on Amazon, and what you write on your anonymous blog about your children, your post-nasal drip, and your annoying neighbor.

They do care about your judgment, your public image, and your felonies. What a recruiter is likely to do is run a google search on your name. If pictures of you smoking questionable substances (or heck, in some companies, smoking legal substances) show up, that’s a problem. If your blog about how awful your current/last boss was pops up, that’s a problem too.

What do companies look for in background checks? It will vary greatly from company to company and State to State. Be sure to check your states laws concerning this. Most companies will look for the following…

Education verification (so don’t lie about that degree, even if you’re only 3 credits short)

Credit history (in relevant jobs, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission doesn’t really like credit checks, so many companies don’t use this tool)

Employment verification (did you really work at the companies you said you worked for, do your titles match what your resume says, and how long did you work there)

Criminal history (yes, that DUI will show up),

Certification/licensing verification (again, don’t lie, and make sure they are up to date)

Driving record (if the job involves driving)

Most likely you’ll also have to do a drug test and some companies require a physical exam. (This isn’t an intensive exam, more of a “let’s see if you have any problems to begin with” exam, so you can’t sue us for problems you had before you started working here. For jobs that involve physical activity, these can be more important tools.)

The recruiter and hiring manager will most likely run your name through Google, so do that before you start applying for jobs and see what pops up. If you have a common name, they may or may not wade through the junk to figure out what is about you. If there is someone with your name who does bad things on theinternet, you may wish to explain that this is not you. What you don’t wanted do is include non work related blogsor Twitter accounts on your resume or cover letter. Yes, you may be proud of your writing, but if it’s not related to your career, it’s more likely to do damage than help.

Now, keep in mind that when companies do internet searches on candidates in addition to the official background check, what they are really looking for is evidence of good judgment, or rather lack of evidence of bad judgment.

At the Alpha Agency, we normally customize a background check for an employer based on exactly what they need to look into. Then we work with their human resource department and help implement this into their hiring policy. That way, they a good, cost effective program that fits their needs.

Remember, the internet is forever, but if you have something up that really could be damaging to your career, you may wish to take it down and ask yourself, “Why am I putting things on the internet that I don’t wish the world to know?” Remember, the internet is not private. It is very public. VERY.

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