Archive for the 'Private Investigation News' Category

9 Nov
2009
How to Conduct a People Search by Social Security if the Person is Dead or Alive

Many people get excited when they discover a social security number during a records search. Unless you know how to conduct a people search by social security number, it really doesn’t do much good.

While a social security number is limited to just one person, most public records do not list the number. Consider your records for example. How many of your records have your social security number plastered on it? Unless you want to hire a professional, you need to start using this information creatively.

If the person is dead, request a Social Security Administration records search
If you know the name, state of birth, and date of birth of the individual you can request the Social Security Administration do a social security records search. You will need to provide the Social Security Administration proof of death since this information is not available on anyone that is living.

Freedom of Information Officer
4-H-8 Annex Building
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

It is libel to turn up something worthwhile, although, I would not hold my breath waiting for the information. The SSA is notorious for taking their time in records research.

If the person is dead, you can do an Online Social Security search
An online social security number search will get you results much faster. I must say the Internet made genealogy research fun again and practically put private detectives out of business.

Not to say that private eyes can’t do better work because they can. They can dig up stuff that you probably can’t find. But if you have a social security number and a last name, enter it.

There are tons of online reverse social security number databases to choose access. Personally, I like using ones that have PayPal but as long as you have a credit card, you are good. You need the social security number and a last name. You should be able to access stuff like:

  • Personal Papers
  • Death Certificates
  • Funeral Home Records
  • Bank Records
  • Voter Registration
  • Former Employers

If the person is still alive, you can search Online
Actually, if the person is alive, you can only search online or hire a private detective. A person’s social security number is private and there is not a whole lot of information to be found for a living person.

Do not expect to find a lot of information on a living person. Although, even with the privacy surrounding a living person’s social security number, you can do a reverse look up and you can find a person’s current address.

Therefore, if you are currently looking for an old flame and happen to have their social security number lying around the house, give it a shot. A people search by social security just might worth a shot.

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11 Sep
2009
How to Check Residential History of Your Prospective Renter

Whatever the reason for renting, it is vital to know the residential history of the prospective tenant.  One of the ways people are working to make ends meet in the current economy is through renting.  They may rent rooms in their own homes or on-site apartments.  If they cannot sell an existing home, they might rent it out while waiting for the market to recover.

Criminal History of Potential Tenants

While a criminal record should not automatically preclude renting to someone, there are various levels of crime to consider.  Of course, if you’re going to be sharing a kitchen with someone, the level of caution needs to be even higher.

A criminal background can also include a propensity for fleecing people or otherwise running out on bills.  Also not a good prospect.

Court Records Tell It All

There are many ways to find information and to protect your person and property.  It is wise to apply as many as possible.

If the renter has been taken to court, either criminal or civil, there should be a record of it.  You will need to know as much of her history as possible in order to cover geographical and historical residences.

There are other types of online searches, such as checking social networking sites to learn about them, and looking for outstanding debts.

This can involve a sizeable time commitment and may still miss some residential issues.  It could be well worth your while, for both your financial and personal safety to use an information retrieval system in your residential history search.

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15 Aug
2009
Why You Must Check Transfer of Property Filings

Any time a legal transfer property takes place, documents are filed with the local county clerk.  This means that the information is available to be viewed by those who need it.  And even those who don’t–why do you think that every time you buy a house or refinance, there are offers to buy your mortgage in the mail by the time you get home?

Buy From the Legal Owner

This means that if you have any questions regarding whether the person selling you the house, car, motorcycle, boat, or slightly used submarine is the legal owner, you have the means to check.  The legal owner should have all the appropriate ownership and transfer property paperwork.  If they don’t or can’t offer you the same documents, which you will need to file to be legal about all of this, it’s time to at least check with check with the court.

Stay Out Of Legal Trouble when You Transfer Property

It varies by jurisdiction and the value of the property, but there are levels of trouble possible for those who buy stolen property.  If it’s something big, like a house or a boat, you really need to verify tales of bankruptcy, divorce, etc., through court records.  And possibly by checking the criminal history of the seller.

It’s not impossible that you’re dealing with a legal, but ignorant, owner and a transfer property search will show you that as well.  Better to miss a sale than wind up in jail.  Investigate with a transfer property search before you sign anything.

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14 Aug
2009
How to Find Out if a Bad Tenant Has Ruined Your Property Value

If you’re shopping for a home, now is the time to buy, with real estate prices and interest rates still fairly low.  At the same time, there are things you need to be aware of, such as what a bad tenant can do to the livability of a property.  So, if you’re buying a place that may have rented in the past, do your homework.

Foreclosed Property Needs a Property Search Before You Buy

It’s not always easy to determine whether someone was or had a bad tenant without physically inspecting the property.  If you can’t immediately view the property, there are things you can look into.

Do a property record search for that area and find out if you’re buying a foreclosed property.  Finding out a landlord wasn’t paying his bills and you’re being kicked out can cause otherwise reasonable people to do serious damage to a place before they leave.  The same thing can happen if the property is being sold due to divorce, so looking into divorce records might provide some clues.

What is the Property Value?

Knowing if the tenant had a criminal history can also be helpful as the home might have been the sight of illegal activity that lingers.  Your real estate agent should have run some sort of background check, but if you need to go further, there are sites that can do deeper checking for you.

The last thing you want to do is buy a property and find out a bad tenant has ruined the value.  Find out if a bad tenant has ruined your property value here.

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13 Aug
2009
How to Do an Ownership Search When Buying Property

This is a great time to invest in a new home if you have the money, but the same market factors that make for bargains also make for risks.  Being able to do an ownership search of a property you are looking at can save you a lot of heartache.

Buying a foreclosed home?

A foreclosed home can be an excellent deal, as the bank is trying to cut its losses and wants to unload the property as quickly as possible.  But these homes can be risky to purchase.  It all depends on the reason the home was foreclosed on.

Was there criminal activity at the property you bought?

For example, there have been numerous cases lately of people buying homes that had been used for meth labs.  The buyers didn’t know this and wound up spending sometimes more than they paid for the house to make it livable.

Transfer of property records are public, but in some states and jurisdictions you can look the information up online, and in others you have to go to a physical location.  No one is going to reveal their home was used to make drugs, but if the home was foreclosed on due to the owner’s incarceration, this is the time to dig deeper and look at court records for the criminal history as well as real estate listings.

If you don’t know where to look on your own, your real estate should be able to help.  Or you can find a good online listing source.  A bargain home isn’t one if it makes you or your family sick.  Investigate your home with an ownership search before you buy.

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2 Aug
2009
Learn How to get Criminal Records At Home if You Want to Protect Your Kids

You find yourself in a quandary; you need to go back to work, but are not sure how safe your kids are at home with a nanny.  If you learn how to get criminal records from a reliable online source, you can put at least some of your concerns to rest easily.

When Your Children Can’t Tell You

Young children are particularly vulnerable.  Unable to report on the actions of the adults in charge, they can be subjected to everything from simple yelling to much worse.

We have all seen the terrible images and damage that children have endured due to poor care and abusive adults.  I don’t know a single parent who isn’t terrified that something like that could happen to their kids.

Parents Must Find Criminal Records Themselves

Unfortunately, the kinds of adults who like to prey upon young children are unlikely to announce their intentions up front.  It is up to us, their parents, to protect them.  Of course it is always best to hire someone with excellent credentials, referred by a good friend, but that isn’t always possible.

Sometimes you just need to hope for the best and place an advertisement in the paper.  In this case, you want to do your homework particularly well.

Do Your Homework for Online Databases

Doing your homework in this situation means investigating each applicant with an online search service.  Online search services maintain large databases compiled from data all over the country to track public records of all sorts.

For your current purpose, it is their criminal databases that are of greatest interest.  You can go online, and in a few minutes find out if there are any criminal charges or convictions pertaining to the nanny you are considering.

It is also possible to do reverse searches on phone numbers you have been given for reference checks to see if they match up with the people named.

The process only takes a few minutes, can be done at any hour of the day or night and is very reasonably priced.  No parent should even consider hiring a stranger to watch their children without taking every precaution possible.  Take a look online, you will be pleased with what you find.


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28 Jul
2009
3 Reasons for a Criminal Records Search

There are many ways to check up on a person.  Perhaps the most powerful of investigations is the criminal records search.  People used this search for many reasons.

When the Nanny Has a Dark Past

Primarily used by employers in the past, the criminal records search has now become accessible to all.  Whether you are checking up on a potential boyfriend or nanny, it is all about personal safety.

For parents, hiring someone to watch their children while they need to be at work, the prospect can be intimidating.  There are so many people who claim to love children or to have experience with them.

Check References and Criminal Records

Checking references is good, but you never can be sure that the reference is actually a previous employer or simply the nanny’s cousin, pretending.  One thing you can do to ensure your children’s safety is to check and see if your potential hire has a criminal record.

Employment Check

Just about every corporation now investigates potential employees before hiring them.  There is no reason you, as a private employer shouldn’t do the same.  After all, your resources are infinitely more precious than some multi-million dollar company’s are.

Your children are your responsibility and you would do anything to keep them safe.  A criminal records search should be part of any background investigation you conduct when picking someone to look after them for you, and that includes a day care center.

Online search services can make the process effortless and convenient.  In the comfort of your own home, after the kids are in bed, take a moment or two to go online, find a good, reliable service and pay the few dollars it takes to become a member.

Now you too can check up on everyone that may come in contact with your kids.  Just imagine how reassuring it will be to find nothing and to KNOW that their caregivers really are who they say they are.


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18 Jul
2009
Find Adoption Records: Everything You Never Knew How To Ask

There are always far too many children of all ages in the world without families. That there are people willing and able to give such children a home is wonderful.  Despite this, adoptees often have many questions that can be answered by searching adoption records.

When You Love Your Adoptive Family, but Have to Know

Being adopted can be a great and confusing process.  No matter how terrific the adoptive family is, the children always have questions.  The act of having been placed for adoption always leaves a sense of loss and fear that it was because they somehow weren’t “good enough.”

These fears and questions often lead to a searching of one’s soul, as well as trying to investigate personal history.  One of the ways to find the answers the adoptee is seeking is through adoption records.

Adoption Records Vary from State to State

Adoption records and the ability to access them vary from state to state and depending on the type of adoption.  Private adoptions will have rules agreed to by all the parties – except, of course, the most important one, who usually has very little to say at the time – and these rules will vary depending on what the parties need and want.

How to Find Sealed Adoption Records

State adoptions are generally sealed in some fashion or other, and again, the regulations will vary.  Sometimes an inquiring mind can access these records for herself, sometimes lawyers or other agencies will need to get involved.

The important point is that adoption records are out there.  Adoptees who have questions should utilize online search tools to investigate their adoption records and have those questions answered.

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3 Sep
2008
Types of Surveillance Services Offered by Private Investigator

surveillance camSurveillance is arguably the most common task performed by private investigators. If you are interested in hiring one for this very purpose, here are several ways they could be of service to you.

Covert Video Cameras
Private investigators need not be personally involved in every case. There may be times, for instance, when you wish to keep certain matters private and you’d like to do the surveillance work yourself. In this case, many private investigation firms will be more than happy to assist you in obtaining the equipment you need for the job. A video camera is probably all you need for simple surveillance tasks, and you can usually purchase or rent one from the firm. These firms will also help you with installation if necessary.

Covert Video Surveillance and Photography
When what you’re after is more complex, it might be better to have private investigators more involved. They have the necessary resources as well as more sophisticated equipment to accomplish your objectives. Having them do the surveillance themselves isn’t just more affordable than having to purchase the entire system, but it’s bound to be more effective as they have years of experience in performing this kind of work.

Mobile Surveillance
Also known as tailing, mobile surveillance is what you need if you wish to discover the whereabouts or activities of a certain party. Mobile surveillance requires expertise; it’s not simply a matter of following a person’s trail while keeping out of sight. Again, advanced technology would also be required, and these gadgets are something you must not just know how to operate but ones you should know how to expertly use in order to attain your objective.

Counter Surveillance and Stalking
If you believe you are under surveillance then you can turn the tables around by hiring a private investigator firm to find out who’s interested in your activities and subject them to the same treatment. Again, this type of work isn’t something a civilian is capable of. It can even be dangerous, and that’s why it’s best left to the professionals.

Choosing the Right Private Investigation Firm
If you are interested in hiring a private investigation firm to do surveillance work, make sure that you don’t just base your decision on how much their services cost. Pay attention as well to the firm’s reputation, their success rate, and their expertise. In sensitive matters requiring surveillance, you need more than a private investigator you can afford, but you need someone you can trust as well.

image credits to dreizehn28

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22 Jul
2008
Coolest Spy Gadgets that No PI Should Live Without

Not every private investigator has a life as exciting as that of a high-tech spy but that doesn’t mean he has to go analog most of the time. In this day and age, certain investigative jobs will often require the use of equipment that looks like it stepped out of a hit Hollywood movie. Starting a career as a PI? Here are some of the coolest spy gadgets that you, as a PI, can never live without:James Bond

Mini digital cameras
Any PI worth his salt will find this cool spy gadget very useful in his investigative work. Mini digital cameras can take still and/or video shots while others even offer night vision for low light situations.

An advantage to mini digital cameras is that they now come in different sizes and forms. Some may be disguised as clock radios or hidden behind the eyes of an innocent looking stuffed toy or even worn as buttons or brooches. Spy gadgets such as these also come wired or wireless for more versatility.

GPS tracking devices
Another cool spy gadget that PIs can never live without is the GPS. When installed or attached to a vehicle, this device can allow the PI to locate and monitor the movements and location of a car and its owner.

Bugs
Bugs are listening devices that are capable of capturing and recording audio evidence. These are essentially small microphones equipped with amplifiers that magnify sound within a specific range. They can either record at source or transmit the audio to be recorded at a remote location.

Night vision
Whether as a separate gadget or integrated into a binocular or camera, night vision equipment is very useful for detective work in low light or complete darkness.

Hidden camera locator
This is a cool spy gadget that protects PIs themselves from being caught by surveillance equipment. Using a laser to scan an area, this gadget can locate both wired and wireless hidden cameras within 30 to 50 feet.

The laser is beamed from the gadget and if there is a hidden camera in the area, it will be shown as a flashing light in the locator’s view port. This will help a PI avoid areas where hidden cameras are so they can perform a more effective and private investigation.

Cameras

Any PI can make like paparazzi and use a camera to capture still or video images for evidence. This is one every important spy gadget that no PI can live without. With the range of advanced features and applications that today’s digital cameras come with, they make for some of the coolest gadgets that any PI will be proud to carry around.

image credits to Dunechaser

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