Down Under Investigations
professional, discreet, trusted and passionate about obtaining the results you require.
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How PI's Assist the Car Rental Industry

Over the last few years we’ve seen the expansion of rideshare apps on a whole new level. Companies such as Uber, Ola & DiDi (to name a few) as well as food delivery apps such as Deliveroo & UberEats have changed the way in which our society works. However, they have not only changed the way in which our everyday lives play out, but they have caused the Car Rental Industry to boom

The reasoning for that is because most rideshare apps require a certain standard or quality of vehicle of which the driver must use. Now, as you can probably assume, most drivers don’t initially have these types of cars in the initial stages of becoming a driver, nor can they afford to purchase a new vehicle just for the soul purpose of being an uber driver. Therefore, the driver rents a vehicle that meets the rideshare app’s standard, and thus begins their work.
However, it’s often not that simple nor that peaceful. Many rideshare drivers often don’t make their rental car par payments due to a lack of income. Or, in some cases that we’ve seen, people use rideshare businesses as the cause to hire a vehicle, and then will begin to drive away with the car vehicle, with no intention of continuing payments. 

Many people begin their career as an Uber driver with honest intentions, but often don’t make payments due to lack of income, but this means that the car rental industry loses out. 

This is where we can help. 

In the last year, Down Under Investigations has repossessed over 250 vehicles, many of which were used for the purpose of rideshare apps.
However, car repossessions are more than just phoning a person to return the vehicle, because often further matters need to be taken. There are a multitude of reasons as to why hiring a Private Investigation can benefit your car rental business, should it need to repossess cars. 

Locative Services
Most rental cars are now equipped with GPS tracking devices should this ever become problematic. However, there are some that aren’t, which is where we can assist. If your vehicle is missing, we can assist in locating it. 

Servicing Australia Wide
We have a team that expands Australia wide, which means that it doesn’t matter where your vehicle is, we can repossess it and ensure that it is brought back to its original location. 

Experience & Industry Knowledge
Repossessing cars is no easy task, and we know this through our years of experience. Car repossessions can be dangerous if not done correctly, so as we always say, leave it to the professionals.

If you and your business need an individual - or multiple - vehicles to be repossessed, we are your go to team. We want to help your business be all it can be. So visit our website & contact us if you would like to enquire about our services.

Ryan Lim
Why Your Business needs a P.I

Over the years, we’ve assisted a multitude of both small & large scale business owners and organisations. However, many businesses don’t realise the benefit or necessity of having a go-to P.I. Whether you’re a large or small scale business owner, the necessity of having a go-to private investigator remains the same. In this blog, we’re going to highlight just a few of the reasons as to why you and your business will need a go-to P.I. 

Background Checks

Within the employment process, albeit for a small or large scale organisation, background checks are incredibly vital. Private investigators can perform background checks on potential employees for your business to ensure that these people are who they say they are. This will ensure that you create a safe work environment for you and your employees. You want to be able to trust all your employees, which is why you need a go-to private investigator to conduct background checks. It will not only assist you legally and keep you out of harm's way, but will assist you in maintaining your business’ reputation. The repercussions of a poor hiring choice due to a lack of background checks can destroy your business’ reputation faster than you think. So, if you’re a business owner, we highly recommend having a go to P.I like us. 

Debt Collection & Recovery

If your business has debt that needs recovering, or has clients that are unwilling to pay for the services you have provided, we can work with you to recover this debt. People often feel as though they can take advantage of business’, or not fulfil their half of the bargain. However, if you’re contractually bound, then you deserve to be debt free. No matter how large or small your debt is, we’ve worked with a multitude of business owners who have regained finances through our services. If your business, or if a business owner you know has debt in which they want to get back, we can assist you. 

Surveillance & Investigation

As you may have guessed, we work predominantly in investigative and surveillance work. However, you may be asking yourself as to why you would need surveillance in the workplace or as a business owner. Has money gone missing? Have employees been slacking off, but you don’t know how to prove it? Are your employees conducting illegal activity within your business? The reason we bring this three situations up is because we’ve seen them occur. We’ve seen a varying range of incidents in which employers and business owners have had to investigate employees whilst in the workplace, so it’s always worth a conversation to see if we can help. We can also assist in the instalment and advisory of security cameras. If you’re concerned for the safety, well being and overall productivity of your workplace, surveillance and investigative services are for you. 

Over the years, we’ve successfully assisted business owners in debt recovery, background checks and surveillance, and can for you and your business. If you, or anyone you know requires the services that we provide, feel free to contact us to see how we can help.

Ryan Lim
The Dangers of the FaceApp

Over the years, we’ve seen a multitude of trends hit our phone screens. Whether it’s a ‘cinnamon challenge’ or a ‘ten year challenge’, there’s always something new out there that we all want to be apart of.
Most of these ‘challenges’ are harmless, and some of them, like the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ assist in raising awareness or finances.
However, not all are as harmless as they seem at first.

A recent trend that’s been circulating the current social media circles is not necessarily as harmless as it may seem. That particular trend, is the age altering technology from FaceApp. For those who haven’t necessarily seen it in their newsfeed yet, essentially the user is required to upload a photo and FaceApp edits the image to make the user’s face look like their in their 70’s. You might have guessed it, but it went viral.
Users not only wanted to see what they’d look like in the next 30+ years, but wanted to show their friends. Now, everytime you log onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, someone you know is posting an image of their potential future self.

However, it was all fun and games until people started to take notice of the terms and conditions...
FaceApp’s terms and conditions state that they can utilise the image you upload, and essentially will have the right to do with it what they please. There have also been comments made about the app being able to access contacts, your location through GPS and a whole other stack of things.

Now, we’re not conspiracy investigators, we’re private investigators which is we’re evaluating it with as much factual information as we can. However, there are a lot of accusations being thrown around by some credited and uncredited people.

Over the last few years, multiple facial recognition apps have been targeted for their terms and conditions, as have multiple apps in general. But before downloading FaceApp, or any other facial recognition app, we recommend the following.

Do you Research.

Before you download anything, see what people are saying. Albeit through reviews, news articles or just a quick google search, make sure you look into the app you’re about to download, or purchase. Because many of them require card or bank details, and many have and potentially can take advantage of yours.

Read the terms and conditions.

‘But they’re so many pages!’ You know what’s worse than having to read the terms and conditions? Identity theft. You might find something in there that allows the app to use your

details, images, location or card details. So, if you’ve agreed to the T&C’s, and get scammed, you may never be able to get them back, because technically you agreed to it.

If you’re uncertain, don’t use it.

If there’s a slight part of you that feels like something dodgy is happening, it’s often best not to use that app. Don’t get caught up in it all, even if everyone else is doing it.

Before downloading the FaceApp, or any other facial recognition app, make sure you put your cautious cap on. When dealing with these new apps, you can never be too careful. So think about what you’re doing before you download it, and maybe use the best aging indicator (the mirror) instead.

Ryan Lim
What to do if you’re arrested.

It’s a fact of life in Australia that Police are the law enforcement organisation to provide a safe, secure and orderly society. As Private Investigators, we on occasion work closely with police. Many files where we obtain instructions from a private citizen may end up in the hands of Police, depending on what information we are able to obtain. 

For example, a client was arrested and charged with an offence they are adamant they did not commit. This client was unable to recall exactly where they were at the time of the alleged offence. Our team was able to assist by tracing our clients whereabouts over the time period in question, proving not just that they were not involved in the alleged offence, but they were in fact over 1,500 kilometres away at the time. Our evidence was presented to Police who then dropped charges as they knew there was no way they could secure a conviction against such compelling evidence. 

On another file, an individual asked us to follow her ex-partner for the weekend whilst he had custody of their son. Video evidence was obtained of the ex-partner driving whilst drinking alcohol and driving in an erratic manner with the child unsecured in the vehicle. Due to fear for stage safety of the child passenger, and the general public, we immediately contacted Police who attended and spoke with the ex-partner. He denied our allegations, however after handing the clear video footage to the Police, he was charged and later pled “guilty” in court. 

Whether your dealings with Police have been positive or negative, we believe Police play a vital role in our society. We always treat Police with respect and encourage you to do the same.  

Being arrested

A Police Officer can arrest you when they:

Reasonably believe you have broken a law.

Have a warrant for your arrest.

Know you are a risk to a family member.

You are not free to leave. The Police Officer must tell you that you are under arrest. They do not have to do this if it is not possible for them to tell you, for example, you are running away from them.

You must go with the Police Officer if you are arrested.

The Police can charge you with ‘resisting arrest’ if you try to stop them from arresting you.

The Police Officer can also use reasonable force to arrest you if you refuse to accept your arrest. Reasonable force means using enough physical force to arrest you, and no more. The Police Officer can only do this if they had the right to arrest you in the first place.

You may make a complaint if the Police Officer uses excessive force to arrest you or tries to arrest you no reason.

If you're not sure ask the Police Officer ‘Am I under arrest?’ and ‘Why am I under arrest?’. These questions are very reasonable at such time. You do not have to go with the Police Officer if you are not under arrest.

If the Police want you to take a breath or drug test at the Police Station, you are not actually under arrest. Refusing to co-operate however can result in a large range of other charges. 

In custody

After arrest, the police will take you into custody. This means the Police Officer may take you to a police station, custody centre or the police cells at court. You may have to travel in a police vehicle to get there. The Police Officer may choose to handcuff you.

While you are in custody, the Police may:

Ask you for your name and address.

Ask you to give a statement.

Interview you.

Fingerprint you.

Search you.

Ask to photograph you.

Charge you.

Charge you and give you bail.

You have the right to make two phone calls, one to a lawyer AND one to a friend or relative.

The police must give you a private space to use the phone, where they cannot hear you.

The Police Officer may not let you call anyone if:

They brought you into custody for a drink driving or drug driving matter.

The police officer reasonably believes the phone call may:

Help another person involved in the offence get away.

Put other people in danger.

Time held in custody

The Police can only keep you in custody for a reasonable time before they charge you. The law does not specify what a reasonable time is. This depends on the seriousness of the offence and how long it takes the Police to interview you.

When you think the Police have kept you in custody for too long:

Ask when they are going to charge you or release you.

Ask to phone a lawyer.

Make a complaint later.

Your personal property 

The Police will take your personal property if they are holding you in a Police cell. They must list all of your property on a ‘property sheet’. They will then ask you to sign the sheet to agree with them about what property has been taken.

The Police must give your property back to you when they release you from custody. They do not have to do this if they have kept your property as evidence or destroyed it.

Your attitude. 

Together with your knowledge of your rights, you attitude is of vital importance when dealing with Police. Your own co-operation with be noted by Police. Showing humility and respect will likely keep you from being dealt with harshly. Always remember, Police are human, like you and I. They may make mistakes, they have emotions and most that we have worked with will treat you as you treat them. If you’re aggressive, evasive and abusive, your behaviour will be counted against you. 

Always remember, they are doing their job and without them we would have a lawless and hopeless society.

Ryan Lim
What to do if in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Did you know that approximately $27 billion worth of damage is done to vehicles involved in accidents across Australia each year?
We work a lot of cases where a driver has been involved in an accident and failed to obtain the  required information. It’s quite easy to get stressed and confused at the scene of an accident, which is why we want to talk about what you should do if you’re ever in one. 

Stop & Breath. 

It may seem obvious, but it’s more important than you think, especially in the initial stages of the incident. It’s amazing how often people try to avoid their responsibilities when in an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident WILL catch up with your and Police can and WILL charge you. It is your legal obligation to stay at the scene and exchange details with the other driver, so stop, breathe and have the conversation.  

Ensure the safety of yourself and others. 

Check for injuries to yourself, the passengers in your car and anyone else nearby. 
This is your duty of care as a road user. Your initial focus needs to be on the physical well-being of all involved, even if you don’t know them.

Call 000 where required. 

There are two reasons to call 000 in this instance. The first is for the ambulance in case of any injuries. 
The second is for the police so that they can take a report and assist with clearing the traffic to prevent further incidents. Leave it to the professionals, don’t try to do these tasks yourself. 

Do what you can to prevent further damage or injuries from occurring. 

This may include SAFELY moving debris off the road, moving yourself and others off the road onto the footpath or other stopping zone. However, do not perform any tasks whilst injured and ensure that you don’t perform tasks that will endanger those around you.  

 Exchange details with the other driver. 

One of the most important things to do after all safety precautions have been met is to exchange details. However, if you’re not sure what details and pieces of information you’ll need, here’s what we recommend:

Firstly, take a photograph of their license if they agree, both front and back.
Confirm their correct address and a contact phone number. 
Ask to then call that number to ensure that they details they’ve given you are correct. 
Ask for their insurance company details and also give them yours.
Take photographs of license plates and damage to both vehicles, plus surrounding area and any skid marks on the road. 
Note the date, time and location of the incident. 
Try and subtly record any conversations you are in at the time (either video or audio only). 

Do NOT admit fault. 

Admitting fault can void your insurance policy. Even if it’s obvious and you feel embarrassed or threatened, we advise that you have your insurance company take care of the matter. Let your insurance company do all the talking, that’s why you pay insurance. 

 Find witnesses and obtain their contact details. 

 This can be vital if you’re not at fault and the other driver then contests liability. Witnesses may be called to court to give evidence.

 Contact your insurance company and ask their advice as soon as possible. 

It’s amazing how often another driver can admit fault at the scene of an accident, but then change their mind and attitude the day after. You may think they are trustworthy and helpful, but we believe that if you follow our guidelines that you’ll protect yourself and be in a good position in regards to recovery of costs from an accident.

Accidents are incredibly common, so don’t think that it won’t happen to you. You might be the safest driver out there, but you have to remember that not everyone has your safety capabilities. If you, or someone you know needs assistance in debt recovery, or has been in an accident and has any questions, feel free to contact for any and everything you might need to know.  

Ryan Lim
When to use a PI for Background Checks

As Private Investigators, we conduct background checks for clients on a regular basis for a varying range of reasons. However, some people don’t often realise the importance of background checks (and the many circumstances in which they can be used) until it’s too late.
Because of this, we’re going to be highlighting a few different reasons as to why you might want to conduct a background check.

Employee Background Check

Perhaps the most obvious one, because before employing someone, we always recommend that employers conduct a background check. There are many things that can be hidden in a resume or interview, and you deserve to know certain things about your employee that might be vital, such as a criminal record.

Employer Background Check

However, something you may not have considered, is conducting a background check for your employer. Who are you being employed by? You deserve to know that the person you’re about to be paid by is a fair and just employer.

Although daunting, it’s important to conduct one particularly if you get bad vibes from your potential employer.

Developing Online Relationships

More and more people are meeting and developing relationships online. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, a background check can definitely shed light on many of these developing relationships.
If the other person in this relationship is unwilling to meet in person, or wants to keep their relationship online, it might be time for a background check.

Volunteer & Unpaid Work

Often we only conduct background checks for those who are going to be financially reimbursed for work. However, volunteers, interns and unpaid workers should be treated with the same amount of discretion that one would with a paid employee.
If someone is representing your business, albeit paid or unpaid, they need to be held to the standard that is already up-kept.

Child Care, Babysitters & Private Teachers

If someone is looking after your child, you want to make sure that they’re safe. Teachers, child care workers and Babysitters that you find online, all should be checked. Because if they’re spending that much time with your children alone, you should definitely look into their past and whether or not they’re the right person to care for your kids.

Background checks are pretty common, and we attend to them on a regular basis. If you’re interested in having some conducted, or are needing them on a regular basis, we’re you’re go to team! Feel free to contact us for more details!  


Ryan Lim
Interested in becoming a Private Investigator?

Our team agree it’s a very interesting and rewarding profession. Each day, each client, each file, each target is different.

To become a PI, however, is a little more complex than just picking up a camera and following someone. In fact, you do this and you may end up with a criminal stalking charge.  

The industry has strong regulations and requirements, which are governed by the State Police. These regulations and requirements are to safeguard from those who may enter the industry to take advantage of the general public, those with criminal links and history, and those who simply cannot be trusted with access to you and your personal life. 

Make sure you check out the licensing requirements in your local State before pursuing a career as a PI. 

Further to holding a license and having the right equipment, the following attributes will give you a head start in the industry. 

Flexibility. 

A great PI is able to adapt to the requirements of each file in order to get results. This may be in terms of your own appearance, the way you speak with someone to obtain cooperation and information, flexibility with your time and hours, and an adaptability to changes in circumstances surrounding the case you are investigating. 

Humility. 

As a PI, often you will need to perform tasks you see as below your pay grade. For example, surveillance can very often turn into a very long period of time watching a person or address, in an uncomfortable situation. It’s rarely about fast chases and a whole lot of action. A humble PI will understand that this is part of the industry. Take the good with the not so good. 

Teamwork. 

Your ability to work with others will take you a long way in the PI industry. If you’re the type who puts the team and results ahead of your own person ambition, you’ll do well. 

Self motivated. 

In addition to being able to work in a team, you must be able to work alone without being micro-managed by a manager or boss. An ability to think for yourself, work hard, analyse and make decisions will get you off to a great start as a PI. 

Intuitive. 

You want to be the type of person who can make good decisions, either under pressure or after taking time to analyse information where needed. Being able to read and understand people and information, then respond accordingly will take you a long way in this industry. 

Empathy. 

Having the ability to look beyond yourself and jump into someone else’s shoes and headspace will definitely help you get results. Having a care for people (your client and also the target) will help you understand what is needed in each file and push you towards the results. 

As we’ve said before, the rewards are there for those who pursue a career as a PI with the right approach and attributes. Have you got what it takes?

Ryan Lim
Why You Should Have Hidden Cameras in Your Home

In the past, we’ve spoken about hidden cameras, and about where some of the best places are to hide them in your house. However, today we want to take a deeper look into why you should have hidden cameras set up in your home.

All the reasons we’re going to provide for you today are to protect you, because sometimes you don’t know who’s going into your house. So the following are a few examples of situations and reasons as to why you should highly consider hidden cameras in your home:

When Strangers or Untrustworthy People Enter your Home. Maybe it’s a babysitter, or maybe it’s a friend of a friend who’s house sitting. The words ‘You can never be too careful’ come to mind. But more importantly, perhaps you rent a property to the world through AirBnB? In the world of AirBnB, which we’re totally grateful for, you can rent your house for someone to use for days, weeks and even months. However, many people utilise AirBnB’s for incredibly bad reasons, and utilise bad activity. But we’re talking about more than ‘giving them a bad rating’ type of bad activity, we’re talking about illegal actions. So, if you have a group of individuals who seem a bit suss, it may be worth implementing one for safety.

Burglary and Theft. According to Budget Direct, there were 225,900 burglaries that occurred in 2017 in Australia. That’s close to 2% of the country. Now that might not seem like a lot, but when it’s one in every 50 homes, it’s a big deal. But here’s the interesting thing, they also created a top ten list of the most commonly stolen items from home.
The list went like this:

  1. Cash.

  2. Laptops.

  3. Jewellery.

  4. Cameras.

  5. Phones.

Now, you may look at this and see it as an obvious list due to their original price, potential resell price or just overall value. But here’s the kicker. Where do people most commonly keep these items? In the Bedroom. Now you may not keep all these things in the bedroom, but let’s be honest in saying that most do. So, if it’s that likely, and these items are already in the bedroom, perhaps it’s time to invest in an alarm clock hidden camera. It’s subtle, won’t look out of the place and will get the job done, and provide proof and assistance to the police in an investigation.

When Renovations Occur. If you’re having renovations or construction done on your house, you’ll have array of strangers moving and shaking through your house. If something gets stolen, you’ll know it was one of them, but won’t be able to prove who. Unless, of course, you have a hidden camera in your house.

Infidelity and Cheating. The most common, and often the most heartbreaking. This reason pops up a lot, because unfortunately it happens a lot. If you’re suspicious of a partner, it’s often a good idea to implement a hidden camera. You may find nothing, and we hope you do, but it could be the difference between living with a cheater or being free from it.

Hidden cameras have a great value, and we use and install them for a varying range of clients. If you’re considering it, but have more things you’d like to question, feel free to get in contact with us with any queries you may have.

 


Ryan Lim
Surveillance in the Workplace

From the title, you may be thinking this is a blog about whether or not your boss is spying on you. However, even though you might be worried about your boss finding out that you’re secretly catching up on GoT or the NBA playoffs at work, we’re not here to talk about that. However, if you believe your boss is inappropriately watching you, or illegally watching you without your knowledge or consent, then this blog might be for you.

What we’re we’re here to talk about is workplace surveillance.
Over the years, many of our clients have asked us to perform surveillance within a business, company or organisation for them. Often it’s to highlight their mistreatment, gain evidence or to highlight breaches of employment contracts.

If we can be quite frank, there are some business’ out there doing some pretty awful things to their employees. Often these things are hard to prove, and often the employee feels as though he/she can’t risk the financial strain if it goes pear shaped. But this is why we want to help.

So, is your employer performing illegal activities, or requiring you to do to perform them? Are they breaking your contract or financially manipulating you?
Are they making comments such as ‘if you don’t do *insert obscene task* you’re fired’?

Is your employer making sexual comments, or suggesting/performing inappropriate acts/gestures towards you?

But most importantly, are you finding it difficult to prove? If you are, we recommend you consider the following:

Surveillance Performed by Professionals

In the past, we’ve entered business’ and companies as potential customers and clients to obtain evidence and information, and we’ve successfully gained proof on from these visits. You’d be surprised how much certain employers will reveal when trying to impress clients, especially if this new ‘client’ has also just become their new best friend.
We’re discreet, and have a professional approach to the way we perform all our surveillance, and workplace surveillance is no different.

Utilising Spy Gear (Particularly Camera Pens)

Obtaining evidence isn’t as easy as hitting record on your voice memos, especially considering many workplace environments don’t allow phones on sight. But you know what’s ALWAYS allowed?

Pens.

One of the great pieces of Spyware that we stock on our online store is a Camera Pen. It can record quality video and audio, and could be the difference between you being treated fairly or not. If you find that certain comments, actions or unfair treatment occurs when you’re alone with this person, this could be the best way to obtain evidence as it’s highly discreet and unassuming. And it’s only $19.50.
Now we don’t endorse DIY surveillance, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. So, if you are to use this, please be careful and back away if things become fishy or you’re on the brink of being caught.

Confide in Co-Workers you can Trust

If it’s happening to you, it’s probably happening to others. When it comes to taking down unfair employers or workplaces, there is always strength in numbers and strength in proof. As hard as it may be in the initial stages, confiding with others could be the difference in a fair work environment.

Not everyone has a great boss, and not everyone has a fair work environment, which is why we want to help you so that it becomes a safe place to work.
If you would like to enquire about our services - inside your workplace or outside of it - feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

Ryan Lim
Finding a Great Lawyer 

There may come a time in your life when you need the services of a lawyer.

We are lucky enough to work for and with some of the best. There can be huge differences in your experience and outcome depending on the lawyer you choose.

Whether you are owed money, trying to settle a family law issue, been in a road accident, writing a contract or for many other reasons; a lawyer may be needed to assist you. There are well over 65,000 lawyers across Australia.
Some specialise in certain areas of law, other have a more broad knowledge and experience. So, how do you find the right lawyer for you? Information about lawyers can be found online via websites or social media about specific law firms. Or you could simply make contact and ask questions.
Why not use the following five factors as a guide when finding the right lawyer?

Experience.

Find a lawyer who deals in matters like the one you specifically need assistance in. Experience counts for a lot when choosing a lawyer. Find out if they have a good track record and understanding of matters similar to yours. 

Transparency.

Find a lawyer who is open about costs, action, advice and potential results. You will want a lawyer who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but one who will give honest feedback about your matter.

Contact-ability.

Your lawyer should be able to return your calls/emails/contact within a reasonable time frame. They should not go missing in action or be too busy to get back to you. Obviously you want minimal contact as you would prefer they were working on your matter, rather than providing constant updates. But, you do need a lawyer who listens and responds in a relatively timely manner.

Excellence.

While you cannot judge a book by its cover, you can gather a whole lot of information about a law firm by the way they represent themselves via their website and other social media. Their online presence can be a representation of how they will treat you and your matter. 

Price.

Make sure you get a few quotes and estimates from lawyers before choosing. You’ll find there is a vast difference in price from one law firm to the next. Whilst price doesn’t necessarily represent quality, you want a lawyer who gives clear costings so you know what you are up for. 

We wish you all the best in your search for a great lawyer, but if you need any help feel free to contact us for any questions you might have!

Ryan Lim