Trust, but verify

Due Diligence Hall of Shame: Trusting just one source

You’re looking for a financial planner, a trusted adviser and professional. Where do you go? Maybe you try, a directory operated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. But, can you trust that your searches there will lead you to the right individual? According to a July 30th Wall Street Journal article, the […]


Differences between compliance and due diligence investigations

Five differences between compliance and due diligence

Due diligence background investigations and compliance background checks. It’s easy to get them confused. Both processes verify that people and companies are who they say they are, and they’re both used for risk reduction. They help you decide – Do you want to, can you, do business with these people or entities? But due diligence […]

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Clock and Calendar Pages show concept of time

When to conduct a due diligence background investigation

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about M&A and other deal-making processes. I’m learning who’s involved, what steps need to be taken before signing on the dotted line, and the risks involved at each step. What I find most interesting, though, is that due diligence is usually listed as the step taken just before signing […]


African ostrich hiding its head in the sand

The Ostrich Effect and due diligence investigations

As an investigator and an information nerd, I was intrigued by a podcast from the NPR Hidden Brain Series about the Ostrich Effect. We’ve all heard about it – burying your head in the sand to avoid learning what we don’t want to know. It seems that this ‘no spoilers’ mentality, as NPR describes it, […]



Catching fraudsters – legally and ethically

If someone falsely claims a college degree, it tells you a lot about that person’s character. It’s also bad for business when the lie is exposed. That’s why, as part of our due diligence process, we regularly verify all credentials in supplied information and disclosure forms. It’s a simple way to catch a fraudster, and […]


cannabis investment due diligence

Beware of special deals: Is it too good to be true?

Like any emerging industry, legal cannabis attracts a lot of risk-takers with dreams of making it big. Unfortunately, it also attracts a lot of fraudsters, luring investors with promises of fast and easy profits. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) sets in, and people tend to rush into the next great deal without taking the time […]


market due diligence

Are prospects for success really as rosy as they seem?

During the investment process, you’re often presented with a business plan or some solid-looking financial projections. Everything looks good on paper, but you wonder – Are the prospects for success really as rosy as they seem? It’s wise to be skeptical in business transactions, and that’s where market due diligence comes in. Sometimes known as […]


5 things you need to know for online due diligence

Online due diligence investigations – 5 things you need to know

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the OACFE fraud conference about online due diligence background investigations. It’s always great to meet other fraud professionals and share my strategies and sources. In this presentation, I emphasize that one of the best ways to prevent fraud is to avoid going into business with fraudsters. If […]


proactive due diligence investigations

Conduct a background check on yourself – It’s worth it

Have you ever run a background check on yourself? I’m not talking about just googling your name. I’m talking about checking court and other public records, news, and even social media, and taking a deeper dive into your digital footprint to see what others might find out about you. At a recent social event, I […]


Levels of due diligence background investigations

Due diligence investigations come in all flavors

A previous post described the differences between a due diligence background investigation and a basic background check and why you shouldn’t settle for less than what you need. After that post, a colleague made a great comment in a Twitter conversation that should be addressed. Fellow Certified Fraud Examiner Robert Gardner, pointed out that “…there’s […]

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