“Just Find Me the Dirt!”

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My name is Mark Fenton and I specialize in investigating online crimes. I am a Senior Investigator at Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc. I oversee and manage the OSINT Intelligence Division focusing on anything related to the Internet; background checks, locating individuals, corporate due diligence and personal online safety.

As a 28 year veteran of the Vancouver Police Department with 12 years spent in the Technological Crimes Unit, I have recovered approximately $600 million in compromised financial data. I have provided crucial intelligence in relation to a number of high profile data breaches across North America, which resulted in the successful arrests of a number of global suspects.

As well as assisting municipal law enforcement agencies across Canada and the United States, I have also worked closely with the RCMP, the FBI, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspectors and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria. I have also assisted the top 7 financial institutions in Canada, a number of large U.S banks and the 4 main North American credit card companies in recovering millions of dollars’ worth of compromised data.

“Find me the dirt!”

As an investigator I get asked this all the time, “Just find me the dirt.” Well, what does that actually mean and is it the right question to ask? If you are entering into a business partnership with someone and want to know what type of person they are, “finding the dirt on them” might not be the right question to ask. If you are concerned about uncovering anything nefarious then perhaps they aren’t the right business fit for you.

However, if you ask us, “What kind of person are they?” we can provide a more realistic overview based upon their online presence. Away from work people tend to let their guard down, which often provides a more realistic interpretation of who they are as a person. How they interact with friends and family, their hobbies and interests, and where they vacation are all good indications of how they may run their business.

There was a time when people would post defamatory stories about a person in order to discredit them – whether the stories were true or not. Over the past decade, the courts have made it very clear that online character assassination of an individual will not be tolerated, and heavy fines have been awarded to the defamed party.

Online investigators are often able to find postings from disgruntled employees and former intimate partners. While they can be insightful, they come from a place of anger and can’t be deemed as accurate. It is the unspoken actions that tend to reveal the most about a person.

Asking the right questions at the beginning of an investigation will ensure that we meet your business needs and outcomes.

Do you need an in-depth background check performed on an individual or business? Contact us today for a free consultation.

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