Due Diligence Services
“They said they needed the money for their child’s operation.” This sounds like something out of the 1950s, but the ruse is still used by fraudsters today, as one of our clients realized. Due diligence services, specific to this case would have revealed high risk factors. Maybe our client thought it rude to consider the questioning of the borrower.
The use of promissory notes in personal and business transactions willfully signed by a debtor has provided a false sense of security with certain lenders. Perhaps in inquiry there is a revelation of past concerns, but the convincing fraudster weaves a tale of a temporary problem in their life. Signed promissory notes and false information are nothing to worry about for both the criminal, and those who fly just under that threshold. They don’t care about their reputation, credit score or the ultimate harm they cause. Often, they never intended to act in good faith. Consider the forgiving employer who overlooks employee misconduct, then later experiences a catastrophic loss or the closure of their business, due to embezzlement. These are the dregs that can drain the life of a business or individual.
Due Diligence Services – The Human Response
Never before has society been made more aware of schemes and risks, but the more things change the more they stay the same. Human response still wants to see the best in people, provide a second (even third) chance, show love, compassion and empathy. How about the response of greed, arrogance on a guaranteed rate of return on an investment? An investment no one this side of Pluto would normally consider, but the otherwise educated professional thought they were too smart and only they could understand its complexity. The human response can often lead to the gateway to harm. The ill-intended count on the human response.
Professional Due Diligence Services – Why Not?
“I wish I knew you before…” is a phrase Astinel Security & Forensics often hears. However, the reality is that a number of barriers exist for an individual or business to request due diligence services. First, doing so may be an admission that the client or the client’s organization is incapable or lacks sound judgment. Second, common thoughts are, “Why should we pay for what we can do ourselves or by looking on the internet?” Additionally, while some may request due diligence services when a red flag appears, they are less apt to do so if it involves a person who has lived in their community for years, or was recommended by a friend, or for an entity heard on a radio advertisement.
Professional Due Diligence Services – A Must!
Perhaps you requested what you thought was a thorough due diligence service but your provider, while well intentioned, didn’t have all the tools available to fully evaluate your situation. Recently while reviewing court documents, Astinel Security & Forensics detected an all too familiar linguistic pattern that was consistent with deception. This was something an online search would have never detected and to the untrained eye, easily dismissed.
Other risk factors we’ve discovered –
• Questionable & deceptive documents
• Business owners with criminal convictions
• Fraudulent websites
• Liens, judgments & bankruptcy
• Alias names used
• Problem investment firms
• Debt filings
• Business sales where the principals were involved in litigation
• Fraudulent business entities
Place professional due diligence services at the very beginning of your process. Avoid waiting until the Friday before the transaction is scheduled to close the following Monday, to make a request. Give your service provider all the information you have along with ample time to perform a thorough examination. Use an independent professional who will provide you with an unbiased view. Here’s an example: When a close friend was hiring a contractor, I asked if he would like me to look into the contractor’s background. He declined after believing he had done so himself. As you might surmise, the rest of the story is sad. My friend said, “I wish I had hired you.” Think of all the transactions you make in a lifetime and decisions you make both as a business owner and consumer. Then reduce how often you say, “I wish I had…”
For up to date information on nationwide frauds, view the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website at: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
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Professional Due Diligence Services | Risk & Investigative Services