Suspicious Signs — Recognizing Pre-Attack Indicators

In the past we have discussed the importance of pre-incident indicators with regard to detecting surveillance and other activities.  It’s also important to recognize when an incident such as an assault, robbery or other violent crime may be about to unfold.   Even crimes with a short or compressed operational cycle give off some pre-incident signs….

Situational Awareness and Being Present

We have frequently emphasized the importance of situational awareness as the key component of personal security whether at home or overseas.  We have discussed various levels of awareness and discussed when to raise our level of awareness such as during arrivals and departures, when entering known danger areas and so forth.  It’s also important to…

The Criminal Interview

While we are discussing unsolicited approaches it’s a good time to mention the criminal “interview” that is often the precursor to a robbery or assault.  The interview occurs when the criminal engages the potential victim in conversation prior to initiating a crime.  This usually serves two purposes: (1) it gives the criminal or criminals and…

Loose Lips: Recognizing and Avoiding Elicitation

In discussing social engineering and threats to your personal security we mentioned elicitation.  Elicitation is a technique that is used by an adversary to get a person to unintentionally divulge more information about a particular subject than they normally would.  Its used to gather confidential or proprietary information and in the realm of personal security…

Social Engineering: Personal Security Implications

Social engineering – the calculated manipulation and exploitation of people has historically been associated with cyber security issues.  Computer hackers found they could best get access to secure networks by targeting the weakest link – the human factor. The same techniques used to get an employee to give up their password or provide other information…

Common Carjacking & Other Vehicle Assault Methods

Carjacking remains a serious threat in many developing countries.  For our purposes in this post we will broaden the definition of carjacking and consider not only forcible theft of the vehicle but also armed robbery of the vehicle’s occupants and/or kidnapping.  This may bother some purists as technically carjacking is meant to infer the theft…

Devil’s Breath & The Ativan Gang

An alarming trend that has been occurring in different places around the world is the use of drugs in facilitating crimes like robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping.  These incidents have occurred in locations as varied as Colombia, the Philippines and India. While most Americans may be aware of the use of drugs such as Rohypnol…

Express Kidnapping

Express kidnapping – also sometimes called lightening kidnapping – is a prevalent crime in much of the developing world.  While is particularly common in Latin America it occurs globally – I am personally aware of incidents in locations as diverse as Kazakhstan and China. Tourists and business travelers are much more likely to be victims…