When 419 Fraud Gets Dangerous

Advanced fee fraud – commonly known as 419 fraud has been going on for years.  Most commonly manifested in the emails – and in the past faxes and letters – that the potential victims receive offering them an opportunity to get a large sum of money to facilitate the transfer of funds or provide some…

Kidnapping Primer

One critical element when discussing personal security, especially in the developing world is to have an understanding of the various types of kidnapping that exist and the associated mitigation and prevention strategies that you can employ. First off, it’s important to note that in the US in particular and most of Western Europe kidnapping for…

To Resist or Not Resist: That is the Question

One question that often comes up is whether or when to resist a criminal.  There is no clear-cut answer as it depends a lot on the situation and the individual involved.  Generally though, most people agree that pure property or economically motivated crimes should not be resisted.  If the criminal just wants your money or…

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…

Personal Risk Assessment

Considering that personal and travel security rely heavily on context its important to consider how the threat relates to you whether at home or abroad.  Understanding this contextual relationship let’s you realistically determine how much effort, energy and possibly money you should invest in your security. The best way to do this is to conduct…