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How Russian-speaking people cheat in New York and how to protect themselves: tips from a private detective

Russian-speaking immigrants, having only moved to the USA and not yet settled in a new country, often become victims of fraudsters, often their own compatriots. What to do if you were not paid a salary, you were not paid for the service provided or — even worse, you were dragged into a fraudulent scheme? Newly arrived immigrants are usually afraid to go to the police, and fraudsters can get away with it. However, it is possible to bring scammers to responsibility, convinces a private detective from the New York company Valor Security & Investigations Dmitry Zhurba, and this is exactly what they do every day.

Valor Security & Investigations staff discussing business issues

Victims of scam

When Mikhail, a resident of Brooklyn who had recently moved to the United States, discovered an advertisement on simple work and good earnings on the Internet, he decided that this was his chance. The Russian-speaking employer needed a person who could receive parcels from online stores to his home address, and then send them to the addresses specified by the dispatcher. The proposal completely satisfied Michael. Moreover, he volunteered to deliver orders personally to customers, including outside of New York.

For the first month and a half everything went fine, but the employer was in no hurry to pay Mikhail for his services. Attempts to achieve the promised reward did not succeed, and in the end the immigrant gave up ungrateful work. But a few days after that, police and the FBI broke into the stunned Michael, accusing the hapless courier of participating in a major fraudulent scheme.

«This well-known scheme: parcels are purchased on stolen credit card numbers, and then sent to customers through a long chain of intermediaries to confuse traces. As a rule, intermediaries do not even know to whom they send the goods."- explains a private detective in New York Dmitry Zhurba.

The detective agency was able to collect evidence that Mikhail did not know anything about fraud.

«We collected and studied all SMS, messages from the answering machine, tracked his route, interviewed the people with whom he worked. At the moment, the case is not over yet, but our client, at least, is awaiting trial at large. We have our own staff of lawyers, notaries and other specialists, therefore, in addition to the investigation, we can also provide legal assistance to the client. Mikhail, for example, does not yet have a green card, and if he were found guilty, he would face deportation, in addition to prison. However, now he has every chance to act in this case as a victim"- explains a private detective.

Among the clients of Valor Security from among the Russian-speaking immigrants, unfortunately, there are quite a few victims of fraudsters. At the same time, they often suffer from their own countrymen.

«In such cases, we collect evidence of fraud that is sufficient to go to court. If the trial has already taken place and the judge made a decision on the basis of a police report that does not take into account any details, we can provide our report, which will allow the judge to reconsider the decision in favor of the plaintiff. The most frequent cases of fraud in the Russian-speaking community are non-payment of services or non-payment of wages. The already described cases of credit card fraud and offers of "quick money" are not uncommon on the shipment of parcels"- lists Dmitry Zhurba.

Creative photographer: Jane Favsty

Problems with the employer

One of the problems listed above was encountered by a Russian Victor who had recently arrived in New York (his name was changed. - ForumDaily). He was in the country legally, applying for political asylum, but has not yet received permission to work in the United States. However, faced with serious financial difficulties, the immigrant decided to earn some money at the construction site. However, after two months of hard work, Viktor was made clear that he was not going to pay a reward. However, he did not enter into any contract with the employer, and it seemed impossible to prove the fact of work. Victor was afraid of contacting the police, not without reason fearing that the fact of working without a permit could lead to the refusal to grant asylum and subsequent deportation.

«In such cases, can help only private detectives. Of course, we will not report such people to the immigration police. We ourselves collect evidence that the person actually worked for this employer. In the course go and the evidence of their communication (SMS and calls), and the testimony of witnesses, and the testimony of other employees. If a person, for example, worked in a store, it can be confirmed by its customers. Then the victim can go to the police, using our evidence, or can hire a lawyer in our agency, and he will already represent his interests in court against the employer.“- says Dmitry Zhurba.

Detectives explain that the mere fact of having a lawyer and competent legal protection significantly reduces the risk of problems due to the fact that a person could work without permission. Of course, much here depends on the discretion of the judge, but in practice judges prefer not to touch issues that are beyond the scope of the claims.

«Of course, if a person committed violations, we can not guarantee that this will never entail consequences. But in our practice there was a case when the judge, even having established that the person not only worked, but even was in the country illegally, took the side of the worker and said that he needed to feed the family", - cites an example of a private detective.

From cheating to missing people

Valor Security & Investigations founders - Alexander Shaporov and Dmitry Zhurba

Private detectives have to investigate a variety of cases - from real crimes to the subtleties of interpersonal relationships. According to Dmitry, one of the most frequent orders concerns the verification of marital fidelity.

For example, Elena faced this situation, who had long suspected that her husband was cheating on her. Unable to suffer more from suspicion, she turned to a private detective in New York.

«We followed her husband for a long time, but did not reveal anything suspicious. Our employees have already compiled a report and prepared it for shipment, when suddenly, on the last day, our agents noticed Elena's husband with another girl in a cafe. However, we were still not sure that their relationship was serious.“- recalls Dmitry.

However, detectives expected a rare success. In the course of the investigation, the loving spouse began to show attention to an employee of the agency operating undercover. He made it clear that he wanted intimacy, and invited the girl to a date. What was his surprise when, instead of the desired stranger to the meeting was ... his own wife.

«Evidence was evident, but in this particular case the spouse did not seem to want to file for divorce, fearing to injure the child. But even if a person wants to know about the fact of betrayal, as they say, for himself and does not plan to use it in court at the moment, we still prepare a report that includes a full report and the entire package of accompanying documents that a person can use in court afterwards, even after a while“- explains the detective.

Also, customers often order a check of their own children - for example, on the fact of drug use. Frequent requests to check whether a potential spouse is the one for whom he claims to be. Firms often order checks of competitors or potential partners.

Another type of treatment relates to the search for missing people.

«Over the past six months we have been contacted regarding the search for the three disappeared girls. We found two of them alive and healthy, but the third, unfortunately, was found already in the form of a dismembered corpse - in different bags in a warehouse. It happens, of course, that people simply don’t want to communicate with their relatives anymore or, say, go to a clinic for drug addicts as a result of an arrest — we have had such cases. It happens that people who turn to us already in the process of conversation at the first consultation suddenly realize that they should not look for their loved one, because he most likely had reason to leave home“- says Dmitry.

Creative photographer: Jane Favsty

Security (personal protection)

Valor Security & Investigations not limited to investigations. The agency performs a variety of types of work, from ensuring the personal safety and security of private houses, firms, religious institutions and large infrastructure facilities (including cyber security) to conducting various kinds of investigations. Many of the agency’s employees are Russian-speaking, which makes it easier for them to work with immigrants from the post-Soviet space. Often, the agency has to deal with the personal safety of people, including Russian-speaking celebrities coming to New York.

Dmitry Zhurba notes: if the client who addresses them does not suffer from mental disorders, as a rule, his fears are real, and those things from which he hopes to warn himself by addressing the agency sooner or later happen in reality. However, according to him, Valor Security experts are well aware of the risk and are always ready to repel the threat.

«For the protection of private houses, we can install an alarm system, a remote-controlled security camera, and so on. If you need the protection of a residential community, we can organize a patrol in the manner of a police officer. If we talk about large companies, we can instruct staff, help the system administrator to block access to individual sites, put additional systems of protection against hackers, and so on - depending on the desires of customers“- explains Dmitry Zhurba.

Undercover work

In the practice of Valor Security & Investigations, there are also more exotic cases. Not so long ago, a large corporation in New York suspected that one of its senior executives might be involved in industrial espionage. Realizing the delicate nature of the case and the lack of evidence of suspicions, the company's management decided to turn to private detectives from Valor Security. After some time, the detectives established: the suspect really maintains close relations with representatives of the competing company, which are completely outside of his job duties.

«We are preparing a professional report and provide a complete package of evidence to our customers. Then their decision follows: if there is enough evidence, they can go to court, or decide the matter peacefully. For example, in this case, they can simply dismiss an unscrupulous worker, or, if they want to bring the case to arrest, they will contact us again so that we can gather evidence of industrial espionage sufficient to go to the police"- explains a private detective.

Investigating illegal actions within companies is often a very complex process, and sometimes requires the actual work itself under the cover. In order to identify theft, espionage, sexual harassment in the workplace, substance abuse, fraud, kickback schemes, and so on, detectives sometimes have to try on a variety of roles: from service personnel like cleaners and plumbers to new employees.

«Among our employees there are former, and at times, current employees of various US federal agencies. In addition, some people who are not detectives, also often express a desire to participate in our work. We have a certain circle of contacts, connections with professional communities. Thus, if necessary, we can find accountants, engineers and other specialists who are able to understand the intricacies of a particular company.", - Dmitry shares secrets.

Another type of company service is specialized trainings, enabling emigrants to get a license of the fire safety director or security guard in New York State in a short time and at a relatively low cost. This includes the 8 hourly preparatory course, the 16 hourly education course, which every guard must complete within 90 days from the date of employment to the protected facility; and annual 8-hour training as a prerequisite for license renewal.

In addition, the agency organizes training on safety at the construction site, construction crane, etc., which are required to perform a variety of works.

Material prepared in partnership with

Valor Security & Investigations

Address: 626 Sheepshead Bay Rd suite #510, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Phone: + 1 718-484-8122 / + 1 646-966-8233 (for calls and SMS messages)
Run time: Around the clock 7 days a week

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