Saturday, 28 March 2015

Tips on Hiring a Private Investigator

People love detective stories and there have been many dramatic portrayals of Private Investigators in popular media. So when you find yourself needing to talk with someone about investigation services, you might think it's all cloak and dagger, but in reality it's a very professional, regulated, and customizable service.

Private investigators provide a broad range of services to personal and corporate clients.

Private Investigators are highly trained professionals with unique skill sets that assist you in gathering information for specific reasons. They are licensed and insured. They work closely with law enforcement and the legal community.

They know how to gather and protect evidence so that it is admissible in court. They are an independent third party professional not emotionally attached to your case.

There is a reason to hire lawyers, accountants and doctors. Private Investigators are professionals in the same right and in the proper circumstance they can be a valuable asset to your legal team.

 How do you hire a Private Investigator?

 So how do you go about choosing a private investigation agency that is right for your project? The following is a hiring guide published by the Council of Private Investigators - Ontario and you can download the full report here

 1. Go to the Council of Private Investigators - Ontario website, the yellow pages or search online for Agencies or Investigators who specialize in the type of investigation you require.
 2. Call your lawyer and ask for recommendations.
 3. Consult with a friend or acquaintance that may have been in similar circumstances.
 4. Identify three agencies local to you that provide the type of investigation services you require.
 5. Prepare a written list of questions you are going to ask each company.
 6. Confirm that the Private Investigation Companies or Private Investigators are licensed and insured.
 7. Check the company name and individual license number on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
a. Licensed Agencies
 b. Licensed Individuals
 8. Visit the agency office. It is required by law that all Private Investigation Agencies have a physical office address with a public entrance.
 9. The business licence to provide private investigation services should be clearly displayed in their office.  Request to see a copy of their certificate of insurance.
 10. Request to see a sample report format.
 11. Make an inquiry to the Better Business Bureau.
 12. Inquire about experience, education, training and length of time in the industry. What is their level of expertise in the areas of investigation you require?
 13. Ask for client references or letters of recommendation.
 14. If you retain a Private Investigation Agency insist on having a written receipt for any retainer/deposit you have provided and ask for the companies HST number.
 15. In most cases a Private Investigation Agency will require you to sign a contract or agreement. The agreement should clearly state what the investigation will entail, provide an estimated budget, identify a breakdown of the costs associated with the investigation and include a proposed timeline for completion. If progress payments are required clearly define the deliverables prior to signing the contract.
 16. Establish specific times when you will be updated about the investigation. Define if the updates are to be written or verbal.
17. Define the deliverables you will receive after the investigation is completed. Reputable Private Investigation.  Agencies will provide a full written report with details of the investigation, the time spent on investigation tasks (such as surveillance), and a detailed invoice itemizing costs associated with all phases of the investigation.

The Renwick Group is a private investigation firm founded in 1997 and is based in Barrie, Ontario. We excel in delivering our core Private Investigation Services in the most efficient, secure, and professional manner.​


The Renwick Group has the knowledge and experience to help you or your business solve problems such as fraud, skip tracing, locating people, litigation support, labour dispute management, and more..  Please call us at 1 (888) 722-9807 to discuss your situation.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Background Checks – Employee Screening or Online Dating?

Background Checks are no longer limited to employment screening. In fact, there is a growing trend of background checks conducted for online daters. With one-in-five adults ages 25-34 years using online dating to find that special someone (Pew Research), it’s becoming more and more common for online daters to conduct a background search on their potential new partner.

While online dating sites have implemented rules to help prevent emotional, physical or financial hardships, conducting your own background check can add an extra measure of protection against any scammers and ensure your personal safety.

The Better Business Bureau received more than 4,000 complaints regarding dating sites in 2014, some of which were related to scams. And with the growing trend in online dating, the potential for scammers and dishonestly online will continue to grow.

Background checks can identify dishonest online daters by revealing:

  • True identity 
  • Marital status 
  • Criminal records and convictions
  • Financial history
  • Undisclosed debt
  • Hidden addictions
  • False profile information 

You can expect a certain level of dishonestly in most online dating profiles – after all, the dating profile is more like a personal advertisement than a true reflection of personality. That being said, hiding criminal convictions and marital status are key pieces of information that could influence your dating decisions.

While the most common motivation for a background check is fear of getting hurt in a new relationship, it can also help weed out any potential partners that don’t fit in with your long-term plans. Once you make a connection, take the time to get to know each other before meeting. And when you do meet, protect yourself by meeting in a public place rather than somewhere secluded. Following a few dates, you can make the decision on whether or not to conduct a background check.

The Renwick Group offers flexible, comprehensive background check services to our clients.

Click here to learn more or contact us for more information.

The Renwick Group is Canada’s leading Private Investigation Company specializing in Skip Tracing – we locate hidden assets, people, missing autos & boats, witnesses, beneficiaries, property and missing persons.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

How To Run a Successful Workplace Investigation

Workplace investigations can cost thousands, and sometime millions, of dollars in lawsuits, especially if you make mistakes during your investigation. 4 Great Ways to Ruin a Workplace Investigation by i-Sight highlights the 4 most common mistakes that are made during a workplace investigation.

Here are some highlights from the article on what not to do, but make sure to check it out in full!

1. Don’t Go in Cold. Hire an expert interviewer to conduct your investigation. A skilled interviewer will use a variety of techniques and build rapport from the start of the interview.

2. Not Doing Your Homework. Research the case, the people and the circumstances surrounding the allegations prior to beginning your investigation. Being prepared will ensure you don’t botch the interview from the start. In addition, don't confront a suspect before you have gathered all of the evidence because if the suspect is aware the investigation is ongoing, they may have opportunity to destroy or delete evidence.

3. Handling Evidence Badly. Ensure you recognize and secure all evidence related to the case, and establish a chain of evidence for admittance to court. Part of recognizing evidence includes crosschecking the suspect’s story and verifying evidence with the suspect to make sure interpretations are correct.

4. Jumping to Conclusions. Don’t make up your mind before you have all the facts! If you already have a theory, you may filter out contrary evidence without even realizing it!

These four points truly summarize some of the main errors that could ruin a workplace investigation. If you plan to run your own workplace investigation to solve issues such as workplace disputes, allegations or accident investigations, there are some other points you should keep in mind.

Ensure you have policies in place that not only provide clear guidelines for employee behaviour, but also outline your investigation procedures. Employee privacy and corporate surveillance policies should be outlined in detail to ensure policies adhere to privacy legislation such as PIPEDA. Learn more about PIPEDA here.

Also plan out your interview process and create a list of people you plan to interview. If possible, bring in a professional interviewer and a lawyer in the early stages of the investigation. You may need to alter your investigation plan along the way as you continue to gather more facts.

If you are not sure where to begin with a workplace investigation, considering hiring a private investigation firm. The Renwick Group offers a full range of investigation services to help you make informed decisions. Undercover operations, fraud investigations and WSIB and LTD investigations are among the services we offer.

Click here to learn more or contact us for more information.

The Renwick Group is Canada’s leading Private Investigation Company specializing in Skip Tracing – we locate hidden assets, people, missing autos & boats, witnesses, beneficiaries, property and missing persons.

We will search and locate anyone.  Our success rate is over 90%.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

How to Reduce the Risk of Bad Debt and Avoid Collections

Now that the mad rush and excitement from holiday shopping and boxing week sales is coming to an end, you can start planning for the New Year, and unfortunately, accounts in arrears.

With consumer debt reaching new highs each holiday season, its no wonder that accounts go into arrears.  There are some steps you can take to avoid this situation, both before and after accounts become overdue.

Evaluate your credit process.  Though it may be tempting to offer credit to all customers in an attempt to boost sales, this may results in higher risk for losses for your business.  Consider implementing a credit check and reference check before approving the credit limit for each customer.

Keep account information up-to-date.  Especially with returning customers, it is important to keep the mailing address and contact phone number up-to-date.  In order to contact customers about their account, you need to have the right information! 

Be timely.  If an account does go into arrears, contact you customer without delay. 

Contact by phone.  The sooner you make contact, the sooner you will receive payment.  Contact your customer by phone as well as by mail – mail will often be ignored, so its best to contact through both mediums.

Implement flexible payment schedules.  If you have a customer who is constantly bouncing payments, contact them to find out why.  Is the payment scheduled to be withdrawn a day or two before payday?  Consider altering the preauthorized payment to work well with your customer’s pay schedule.

Work with your customers.  If your customer is having a hard time paying off their debt, consider building a strategy with them to assist in making payments.  Negotiate the terms of your contract or arrange for an alternative billing cycle.  Its better to work with your client to receive some of the payment rather than writing the entire payment in full. 

Encourage prompt or early payment.  Consider implementing payment terms that offer discounts to payments made prior to the due date or accrue interest on late payments.

Identify issues immediately.  If your customer has an issue with your product or service, it may affect payment.  Identify these problems as soon as possible and find a viable solution.  A positive customer service experience will create a loyal customer who pays on time!

Send out a reminder.  For large invoices, consider sending out a reminder of the payment due date.  This will keep the payment top of mind while also giving your customer extra time to prepare.

Bring in an expert.  If you are unable to locate a customer, skip tracing services will help you locate the customer and their contact information.

If you are unable to locate a customer, skip tracing services will help you locate the customer and their contact information. 

Our skip tracing service is a fast and cost effective debtor and missing person tracing solution. Our tracing service enables you to re-establish contact with your customers by identifying a forwarding address for your customer.  

The Renwick Group is Canada’s leading Private Investigation Company specializing in Skip Tracing – we locate hidden assets, people, missing autos & boats, witnesses, beneficiaries, property and missing persons.

We will search and locate anyone.  Our success rate is over 90%.

Contact us for more information.