12 Helpful Resources For Private Investigators
Every private investigator knows the importance of thorough research. With these 12 helpful resources, you can make your research work more productive.
Private investigators need to draw on many resources and tools to get their work done.
Having just one source of info can mean an investigation comes to a premature dead end. Using just a few can mean you get out of date or incorrect results.
Good private investigators know how to use a variety of sources as well as how to tailor them to a specific task. When choosing which one to utilize, you’ll want to make sure it’s reliable, user-friendly, and authoritative. Don’t fall into the trap of using sources that have a dubious background or incomplete information.
There are plenty of sites and places that claim to work well. However, with so many to choose from, you need help to pinpoint the best resources for you and your clients.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get started, here are 12 helpful resources for the modern private investigator.
- Internet Archive
Most private investigators have been in this situation. You’re trying to find out sensitive information on the web, and you find out that the content has been deleted.
Resources like the internet archive or Wayback Machine help you with finding websites that are no longer online. The site covers books and other content that is no longer in print as well.
- Geo IP Tool
When searching for a person, it can often be helpful to identify their exact location.
The Geo IP tool is a free IP address searcher. Once you have an IP address, it allows you to sometimes pinpoint the exact spot where your subject is.
- Pursuit Magazine
Pursuit Magazine is known as the gold standard in the private investigator profession for good reason. Classic examples include their incredibly popular cell phone pinging article. This is just one instance of how helpful the magazine can be.
You can read it online for free and access a number of resources, tips, and strategies on how to improve your private investigation skills.
- Title Search
The Title Search site is over 20 years old and over a million searches have been performed on it.
If you’re looking for information on a property, its history, and previous owners, this is the site to find it. Liens, mortgages, judgments, and property taxes are available here as well.
It’s also a great place to learn about how to investigate title claims if you’ve never done it before.
- PI Advice HQ
This resource does exactly what it says on the label: providing advice to private investigators.
You can find out a number of things here, from how to get a private investigator license to the latest gadget reviews that will help you in your work. The site also features podcasts from experts in the field.
- Social Media Sites
Social media is one of the most important resources for the modern private investigator.
People normally do not censor the content they put online. Even if they do, their privacy settings are often lax, so their information is accessible to anyone. You can use social media to catch a cheater as some post photos of themselves and their lover on social media.
Social media can be used to determine if a person was or was not at a particular location. Features like the new Snapchat Map even show up to the minute location info on users. Other sites include Facebook, Twitter (which has a location feature as well), and Instagram.
- PI Magazine
For the latest developments in private investigator laws and other news, you’ll want to check out PI Magazine.
It also offers a number of resources and current information on best practices in the profession.
You can subscribe to the magazine both in print and to the digital edition.
- Fraud Magazine
Though it’s the official magazine of fraud examiners, this magazine can be helpful to a private investigator.
Many of the topics they cover are likely to have overlap with your work. For example, using technology to detect fraud, shell companies, and even jewelry fraud. They offer free white papers on subjects in the field as well.
The magazine is also a good place to find information about becoming a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). This designation could offer a valuable addition to your income as well as expanding your skillset. Furthermore, adding it to your business sets you apart from other investigators that may not be as qualified.
Users like this database’s ability to find various kinds of information about a property. This can include assets, owners, property liens and more, all across the country. The large and comprehensive website has both free and paid features.
Pacer (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is a government site that gives online access to court records.
Using this cost-effective tool can help you locate judgments, court cases, and more. It includes bankruptcy courts as well as federal, appellate, and district courts.
- Skip Smasher
Do you need to locate a fugitive? Then Skip Smasher is for you.
It not only does skip tracing but also helps in fraud investigations. You can only access it, however, if you have a professional license.
- IRB Search
IRB Search is a data provider that exclusively caters to investigative professionals. Its major strength is in its reach, as the site has records form over 10,000 sources. The mobile functions make it a popular choice for PIs who are on the road.
You can use the site as a one-stop shop for various searches. Find out about court records that aren’t public, do reverse phone lookups, and find incarceration records. Other information available includes licensing records (driving and professional) as well as info on a target’s assets.
More Private Investigator Resources
Now you’ve got the tools to work with, you can be even more productive in your research in future. Whether you’re doing that research or are in the field, a number of unpredictable events can happen. You owe it to yourself to be prepared.
Get a quote from an agency that specializes in private investigator insurance today. That way you’ll be covered for any business eventuality.