Down Under Investigations
professional, discreet, trusted and passionate about obtaining the results you require.
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How we can help Locate Those who are Missing

Here at Down Under Investigations, have a big passion for locating missing people. 

In fact it’s more than big.
You may have noticed that every week we highlight a missing person to our followers in the hope that through our social media we can assist people in locating others. But why do we do this? For the likes? For the followers? 

Absolutely not. 

We do it because these people need to be found.
We do it because there are families without loved ones.
Social Media is a great tool in getting awareness, and for us to highlight people that are missing is another platform for people to be recognised, and then hopefully be found. 
The Australian Federal Police have over the past done an exceptional job at locating and searching for missing persons, however, there is more that we can do. 

Which is why, here at Down Under Investigations we want to tell your stories.
There’s only so much that can fit into a missing persons description, which is why we’re opening it up to you. 

Do you, or anyone you know, have a loved one that is a missing person? 

Or do you or anyone you know know of someone who was a missing person but has since been found? 

We want to tell your stories. We want to use our blogs, our podcast and our social media and further assist you in locating your loved ones. Maybe it’ll be more information about the missing person, or how you came to be found. Either way we want to help.
So if you, or anyone you know is interested in this, head to our website and get in contact with us, because we want to help. 

Ryan Lim
How Social Media changed Surveillance 

Social Media changed a lot of things. In fact over the last 10 years, social media changed the way most of us do life.
I mean let’s be real, the only reason you know about this blog is because of social media. It can be an amazing tool, or a devastating stumbling block, depending on how you use it.
For this reason and for many years, there were many sceptics about Facebook and Instagram, thinking that it would reveal too much. That it would be an invasion of Privacy. Whereas others steered into the skid. In fact, Statista estimates that there will be 2.77 billion people on Facebook by the time the new year rolls on. And considering that there’s currently 2.64, that’s a big jump.
However, putting the statistics aside. Let’s talk about how it changed surveillance. 

Since the birth of Facebook and Instagram (not so much other forms of social media like Twitter and LinkedIn due to the prominence of photos and location services), people have blasted the online world with images, videos and status’ from their life. So as Private Investigators, we chose to use this (social media) to our advantage. 

You’d be surprised how many people who are not wanting to be found check in to locations, take photos of where they are and/or update their status on their current location. 

Or maybe you wouldn’t. Let’s think about this.

When was the last time you put up a photo on Instagram in which a viewer could easily identify your location?
When was the last time you checked in to a location? 
When was the last time you updated your status, revealing where you are?

We do it because it’s the new norm. It’s now a common thing to do, even for people who are wanting to fly under the radar. It’s interesting how much can be found online with a simple Facebook or Instagram search. Social Media changed the way Private Investigators, and even the way that police survey others. Because often we don’t have to look far for evidence or for locations.
Surveillance has changed since social media, because a lot of information is given to us on a silver platter after merely clicking a few buttons. 

So, be careful what you post about, because it could be detrimental. 
Like we said, it can be a tool for some, and a stumbling block for others. The choice is up to you. 

Ryan Lim
Process Serving and why it requires Experience

Here at Down Under Investigations, process serving is a large portion of what we do. However, before we get into why you need someone who’s experienced in the field to do it, let’s go back to basics and tell you what process serving, or Service of Process, actually is. 

You’ve probably watched some movies or TV shows in which a lawyer or private investigator will say to someone, ‘you’ve just been served’ and then proceeds to hand them some paper or documents. 

You’ve seen it? Good. Let’s dissect it a little.

What’s happening is that a party to a lawsuit (the lawyer or private investigator) gives the legal notice to a person or defendant (the person receiving the documents) of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction. This informs the person or defendant that they are required in court for a certain reason or potential offence and then gives the defendant the appropriate time to prepare as they now know they’re required in court. 

This can occur if you’re suing someone, filing for divorce, need a restraining order or for any other type of lawsuit. And from just looking at these examples, you need to assume that very few people receive papers in good situations, which is why when you get someone to process serve, they need to be experienced.

Ever heard the saying ‘don’t shoot the messenger’? Well, thankfully we’ve never been shot, but we’ve had some interesting encounters. Although in the movies and TV shows you watch it can seem pretty civilised and tame, it can often be quite the opposite. Some have thrown them in our face or scrunched them up, and some have even made threats. You have to remember that this is the first time they’re finding out they’re required in court, and they’re first reaction, from experience, usually isn’t joy. It’s anger and frustration and a LOT of cursing.

Remember, we’re not just handing papers to someone, because to the individual, the papers represent so much more. It can mean losing their wife or husband, or it can mean financial deficit and we need to be able to deal with whatever reaction comes our way. This comes from lots of training and experience. 

If you don’t know how to react from experience and haven’t been trained how to deal with these situations, it could be game over. 
So before you get you get your papers served, speak with your P.I. and ensure they’re experienced in this particular field, because many private investigators are great at surveilling from afar, but not all have the experience and training to deal with these very real life situations. 
At Down Under Investigations, we’re prepared for everything, and pride ourselves on our level of experience in regards to process serving. So if you’re in need of this service, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, because we’re happy always happy to help.

Ryan Lim
The Top 7 Places to Hide your Mini DVC

Before you hide your Mini DVC, you should probably know what it is…
A Mini DVC is a miniature digital video camera, that can record video, take pictures and has a motion detection as well as a High quality image definition. It’s portable, easy to hold / hide  and comes in a range of colours (blue/red/black). 

They’re one of the best ways to discretely film suspected cheaters, nanny’s and can track potential burglars who enter your house.
But, where are the best places to hide them? Glad you asked!

1. Book shelves.
Book shelves are great hiding place for a hidden camera, as very few people are likely to steal them, nor pay great attention to your reading choices…
2. Open Pantries.
Wanting to see who’s pinching the cookies?? Maybe chuck a camera between some boxes of sultanas. If they’re going for the cookies, they definitely won’t be looking for the sultanas!

3. In Dirty or Clean Laundry.
If they’re cheating, they’re not going to be looking through your dirty jocks.

4. Amongst multiple photo frames. 
If you keep a fair few family photos lying around, place one discreetly amongst them. Most burglars don’t want to see your trip to Hawaii.

5. In the fruit bowl.
A red camera won’t be noticed immediately amongst 8 or so red apples.

6. Indoor Plants and Flowers.
Just don’t forget to take them out before you water them…

7.  Amongst a messy desk.
When surrounded by laptops, chargers, cables and lots of specifically placed paper. A camera, or more so a hidden camera, will look far less conspicuous.

These places are all case dependant, and are merely recommendations and need to be done carefully and MUST be well thought out.
You always need to think about it from the perspective of the person you’re wanting to catch. But, more often than not, we recommend you leave that to the experts. Us.
Either way, we can help. If you’d like to purchase a mini DVC, you can do so from our store. However, if you’d like to use our investigative services, feel free to contact us to see how we can help. 

Ryan Lim
Potential Mental Signs A Spouse May Be Cheating

There are many physical signs a partner is cheating, including random and new smells on clothes and flesh, rapid change in work hours and extra activities, hours unaccounted for, sudden desire to hide phone messages and social media accounts etc... and we will discuss these and many more in upcoming blogs and podcasts. 

This blog post will focus on the mental signs you may notice which are signs pointing to a potential cheating spouse. 

1. A lack of passion. Your spouse seems bored with you, bored with their job, bored with the kids, bored with once enthralling hobbies, and bored with their life in general. 

2. A sudden urge to seek danger and excitement. You may notice your spouse seems to want to experience danger or make risky decisions in their life.

3. You may sense a dramatic decline in intimacy and connection in your relationship.

4. You feel strong and sudden changes by your spouse in your sex life together. Either a dramatic increase, but more likely a dramatic decrease in sexual action and attraction.

5. You may notice your spouse bring in new things into the bedroom that were never there before. Whether that be bringing in toys/positions/other people/fantasies. 

6. You may see your spouse express feelings of self-doubt and exhibit low self-esteem.

7. You notice your spouse doesn't express any jealousy regarding who you spend your time with, and a general lack of care about how you spend your time.

8. Often, you may notice your spouse has a sense of confusion and delusion about themselves.

9. Your spouse may seem constantly or easily distracted and unable to focus. 

Of course these mental behaviours could simply be triggered by other factors like stress, grief, tiredness, hormones. But a combination of these mental behaviours could also point to a potential cheating partner. 
Remember, it’s not worth making any drastic decisions or accusations until you have ultimate truth of a betrayal by a spouse. We can definitely assist in obtaining evidence which cannot be denied or explained away, giving you total peace of mind. 

Contact us if you’d like to discuss further. 

Ryan Lim
Infidelity - why ignorance isn’t bliss.

A fair portion of our work at Down Under Investigations is looking into suspected cheaters and adulterers. Often it starts with your partners change in habits. Suddenly they’re going to the gym a lot more, or are going for more walks, or are getting home from work a little later than usual on a regular basis. Whether it’s fake business trips or golf trips, we’ve heard them all. 

Now, in some cases it’s purely paranoia. And your partner really is away on that business trip. But sometimes they’re not. In fact, a lot of the time they’re not. The following statistics were done by Trustify in 2017, and reveal some pretty interesting stuff:

  •  In over 1/3 of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating.

  •  22% of men say that they've cheated on their significant other.

  • 14% of women admit to cheating on their significant other.

  • 36% of men and women admit to having an affair with a coworker.

  • 17% of men and women admit to having an affair with a sister-in-law or brother-in-law.

  • People who have cheated before are 350% more likely to cheat again.

  • Affairs are most likely to occur two years into a marriage.

  • 35% of men and women admit to cheating while on a business trip.

  • 9% of men admit they might have an affair to get back at a spouse.

  • 14% of women admit they might have an affair to get back at a spouse.

  • 10% of affairs begin online.

  • 40% of the time online affairs turn into real life affairs. 

Do we tell you this to scare you? Of course not. But often it’s a reality that we don’t want to face. Often we don’t want to believe that our spouse, who is often the mother/father of your children, is being unfaithful. 

In the past we’ve seen situations where we’ve identified a cheater and the spouse is aware, but doesn’t want to do anything about it because it’s easier to pretend it never happened. And that’s ok. We’ve not been there for the other days where your spouse has been there and been faithful. 

But often that’s because we don’t want to accept what’s on the other side of our decision to bring it up with your partner.

It’s going to be hard. We don’t doubt that for a second. But on the other side is a life filled with the truth. And that’s a life that you deserve, and it’s a life that your kids deserve. 
If you’re suspicious about a partner or spouse, our services are discreet and accurate, and we’re here to help. But after the information is in your hands, it’s on you. 

Ryan Lim
Is hiring a Private Investigator Legal?

We’ve been asked this a few times by clients and friends, and the short answer is yes. 

The long answer is this:
In our recent blogs we’ve spoken about the vast amount of training and security checks that a private investigator needs to go through in order to be Licenced. This means that all Licenced private investigators are trained, of high quality, and that they must abide by the laws and legalities of this industry.

But some aren’t quite like that. One of the things a private investigator needs to do is to gain information, but the methods in which some gather said information, can be a little bit dodgy. 

For example some have been known to:

  1. Tamper with Mail.
    A private investigator can use many means to find information, but tampering and searching through someone’s mail is not one of them. This is illegal, and would never be done by one of our investigators.

  2. Pretend to be a Police Officer.
    You might think that we’re joking with that one. But some untrained and inexperienced investigators will use any and all means to gain information. Some may try this method, even though it’s illegal. If you begin a conversation with someone who is a bit suspicious, always ask to see a badge, because you do have the right to ask that.

  3. Surveillance devices must be used in accordance with the law.
    In other words, the Surveillance Devices Act is the legislation which determines how and when electronic devices may or may not be used. This includes gathering of audio, optical, tracking, data collection through electronic devices. Certain circumstances may not be recorded, certain audio may not be collected and certain video footage may not be obtained. Should an agent (or any person) breach the Surveillance Devices Act, they can be subject to criminal proceedings which can result in a fine and possible imprisonment.

Needless to say, the private investigators at Down Under Investigations would never use these methods. They reek of inexperience and don’t sound like someone’s thought it through. 

So if you find yourself hiring a private investigator who uses these methods, potentially look for someone else who isn’t going to cause you legal struggles in the future, because you, and the P.I could be screwed. Sorry, we mean ‘sued’. 

Ryan Lim
Top seven questions to ask before hiring a Private Investigator

1- Are you licensed?

A license ensures the Private Investigator is aware of their requirements and legal conditions under the local laws. There are strict guidelines for Private Investigators which are designed to ensure safety to you, the agent and general public. 

If someone is unlicensed it means one or both of two things:-

A- never studied and passed the appropriate course requirements to become a PI.
B- failed the required Police Checks and may have a criminal record preventing them working in this area.
Asking about the license status of your Private Investigator will help weed out the wrong PI and help find you the right PI.

2- Are you insured?

Public Liability Insurance ($50mil) is a must for a Private Investigator. This insurance covers any and all operations you engage the agent to undertake and protects you and them from liability. Many unforeseen things can and do happen to a PI whilst on the job. What if they are injured while employed by you? Who is liable? Asking their insurance status protects you from potential damaging payouts.

3- Are you experienced?

Engaging a Private Investigator who is experienced gives you piece of mind. Agents are confronted with a huge range of situations and scenarios when in the course of their job, so knowing they have the tested ability to handle these situations is a must. 

At Down Under Investigations, we always have a newer Private Investigator work alongside an experienced PI. This gives a great on the job training environment. There is so much wisdom and knowledge a PI can acquire while on a job rather than was previously taught in they training courses. Experience is key. 

4- How much will your services cost?

There are way too many instances in our profession when clients are ripped off by a Private Investigator or there is confusion over pricing. We often have clients come to us who have been burnt by a precious provider.

You want to engage a Private Investigator who will commit to a price in writing, and not then slug you with extra costs and charges after a job is complete. Ensure you know what you are getting and you are getting what you pay for.

5- Have you handled a case specifically like mine before?

An agent with general experience is good, having specific case by case experience is better. Agents handle a diverse range of matters, so engaging an agent who has specific experience in matters such as your will give you great peace of mind. 

It’s the difference between a Doctor (GP) and a specialist. Choose the expert every time for the most detailed and correct result.

6- What is your preferred method of contact?

Most agents spend many hours away from the office and on the road. Often, contact is limited as they are focused on a task or file. Asking preferred method of contact will alleviate frustration as some agents require a text or email, others need phone calls. Whilst a surveillance operation is being undertaken, its often best to only contact the agent if there is immediate and urgent information you need to pass on.

7- When can I expect an update or report?

Some agents take a day to compile reports, others take a week. Some prefer to keep you updated with little pieces of information along the way, others prefer to give you one big batch of information. Asking this question will definitely give you a better picture of how this private investigator operates. 

Finally, there are some really great Private Investigation Firms. Don’t be dismayed by the above questions, but use them as a guide to choose the best provider for you.
If you would like to contact us for a free quote, call 1300849007, or email info@downunderinvestigations.com or simply use the form on the Contact Us page at www.downunderinvestigations.com - we would love to hear from you.

Ryan Lim
Things to do before installing a Dummy Camera

Dummy Camera’s, we’ve all seen one. Or have we? Can you tell the difference between a dummy and a real thing? For those who don’t know, a Dummy Security Camera is - as it sounds- a fake security camera that wards off potential vandals and thieves. 

They don’t take any footage or audio, but act as a deterrent so that potential thieves and vandals will think twice before acting upon their decisions. 

They’re a nifty tool that can create a safer space for you,  your home and your business. They can work both in and outdoors, have motion sensor with a red activation light and are realistic and easy to install.
BUT. Before you install them, you need to consider a few things.

1. You are now creating a ‘SAFE SPACE’. 

Say someone gets into a fight in front of you business, or and employee has something stolen from their car.
They would then notice that you have a security camera, and ask for that footage.
Some business’ in the past have been sued by their employees, because they were under the impression that they were in a safe surveilled space.
So, before installing anything, ensure that all employees and family members are aware that it is fact a dummy. 

2. It is not a criminal Repellant, but a Deterrent.

Just because you have a security camera, albeit real or fake, does not mean that criminals will not come to your business or home. They do no guarantee that criminals will walk away.

If you’ve ever seen crime stoppers footage, you’ll notice that the security camera didn’t stop the thieve or vandal. They don’t walk up to the counter, ask for money and then realise there’s a camera, so give it all back. But that’s a crime that has been somewhat thought out.
If you have a security camera (real or dummy), it can and will decrease the likelihood of criminals targeting your space.

So, if you’re looking to create a safer space by using a dummy security cameras, make sure you keep these things in mind.
Dummy Security Cameras can assist your overall safety in a big way, so if you’d like to purchase one, head to our online store to get one for yourself.

Ryan Lim
3 Reasons Why You Should Never be a DIY P.I.

Maybe you’ve watched a lot of Sherlock Holmes, or have just binge watched Dirk Gently, or just really like spy movies and saw a little bit of yourself in Daniel Craig. 
But if you’ve found yourself saying ‘maybe I could do this myself!?’ in regards to a circumstance or situation you’re currently going through, we’re going to stop you right there. 

Private Investigation is an incredibly serious industry, which is we want to do all we can to protect you by making sure you don’t become a ‘Do It Yourself Private Investigator. Which is why we’re going to give you our top three reasons as to why you shouldn’t make that mistake. 

  1. You need to be qualified.

    Australian Law dictates that all Private Investigators must have a Certificate III in Investigative Services. This also needs to be through a registered Training Organisation, and can take up to 6 months to complete. All of our people have gone through rigorous training to ensure that they go above and beyond the industry standard. This means that they know their stuff, and know what to do in all situations, and they wouldn’t have without their training.
     
  2. You need to have a licence to legally practice.

    You can’t drive without a drivers licence, you can’t perform surgery without a medical licence, so what makes you think you can perform investigative task without a private investigation licence? As well as that, like both of those fields, you cannot obtain a licence until you have been trained and qualified, meaning that you can’t just go doing your own investigate work, because it is therefore illegal. Our staff are all fully qualified and fully licensed investigators. So not only do they get the job done well, but the get it done legally.
     
  3. Experience is key.

    There is no amount of TV show’s you can watch that will make you prepared for the actual Private Investigation industry. You can’t just go follow your partner if you suspect they’re cheating. You’re not qualified, you’re not licensed and you’re not experienced enough to do it safely, carefully and subtly.
    Our team is made up of highly experienced, workers, who have been in the field for years. They know what to do in all situations, and know how to react when things go pear shaped. They know the intricacies of the industry and how to deliver the greatest result possible, because of experience.

So, leave it to the professionals, like us. Because although you might think you’re the next Magnum P.I, get the clippers out, shave that moustache, and give us a call instead. 
Surveillance without a proper license is referred to as stalking, and is punishable by huge fines or a term of imprisonment. You could also be hit with an Intervention Order (or “apprehended violence order” in some states). The risks of being caught and charged by police are simply not worth it.

For more information on our services, and to see how we can help, head over to What We Do section of our website. Because we’d love to se how we can help. 

Ryan Lim