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Litigation Support – White Collar Fraud Investigation – Corporate Fraud Investigation

This week, we received a pretty routine request from a client: track down the address and phone number of a former employee of a company. The client wanted to interview this person in relation to an ongoing lawsuit. Another employee had provided the person’s name, believing that he had some insightful information that would help our client’s case.

The name seemed rather uncommon, and although the person worked for a large multinational conglomerate, it was believed that he worked in a relatively small town in the Midwest.

Seemed pretty straightforward.

We did a couple of initial searches through a few of our investigative databases, which found that there was exactly one person in the country with that spelling of his name.

But on first glance, it looked like this person had been in New Hampshire for the past 20 years.

Stumped, we went back to the client to get more information, just to make sure we didn’t end up on a wild goose chase. The client didn’t have anything else, unfortunately, but acknowledged that the spelling of the last name might not be accurate.

The client also said in no uncertain terms that it was essential that we find this person.

Challenge. Accepted.

So we went back to the drawing board, and after some digging around, we found the right guy.

Here’s how we did it.

Eliminate the Wrong Name

The first thing we needed to do was to confirm that the original name we were provided—let’s use Joshua Simmens (not his real name)—was not accurate.  We searched multiple databases and confirmed that there was only one person with the name Josh or Joshua Simmens in the country, with the exact spelling that we had been provided. We confirmed—as our initial research had suggested—that the person had been born and raised in New England and did not appear to have ever worked for the target company.

Search engines revealed no results either.

Certain that this was a dead end, we moved on to other avenues.

Radius Searches

We then conducted some research with the name Joshua Simmons within 60 miles of the Midwest town. It seemed to us when we had first received it that the name Simmens was an obvious misspelling of Simmons, which is certainly a more common form.

So we set out to see how many people lived within commuting distance of this Midwest town. We were lucky in the sense that this was a pretty small town; if the person was in New York, we probably would have come up with dozens of results. Luckily for us, our search gave us two possible leads: a person who had died in 1988 and a 31-year-old who lived in the town in question.

Although the 31-year-old seemed like a decent candidate, he was probably too young to be an executive. Further research found that the 31-year-old did not have much of an online presence—another yellow flag that he might not be the person we were looking for.

So we pressed on.

Work

Sure, having a list of employees at the target company at that particular location would be helpful. But despite what binge-watching CSI might have taught you, there really is no way to get a list of employees that worked at a company. The human resources department probably has that list handy, and the IRS may know, but neither of those things are readily accessible.

Nevertheless, we spent some time mining LinkedIn, resume databases, social media, news media, and investigative databases to see if anyone with a similar name had ever worked for the target company. That got us nowhere either.

A nice and handy little trick is to search for everyone who has ever been affiliated with a particular address. Investigative databases derive their information from credit header information, so if a person had applied for credit using their business address, there may be something linking the person to that address. So we searched for anyone who has ever reported the address of the target company.

Unfortunately, there was nobody at that address with even the right first name.

It was a long shot, but we’ve found people that way before.

Alternative Spellings

Convinced that we had the wrong spelling, we took it a step further. We could have gone through every name variation that we could think of, but that would be costly and time-consuming.

So we did the next best thing.

Many investigative databases, such as TLO, IDI, and IRB, have a “sounds like” feature, where you can input a person’s name and it will find names that are similar in sound. So we put in “Joshua Simmens” and got a bunch of wildly different results. Clearly, each of these databases had a different algorithms for its “sounds like” feature.

None of the options were jumping out, though. Ages didn’t match up; location didn’t seem right.

So, using the “sounds like” feature, we changed the search name to “Joshua Simens” and came up with a bunch more results. This time, one name jumped out: Joshua Simenz, who lived in the right town during the right time and was about the right age (early 60s).

A quick Google search confirmed that we had the right guy.

Booyah.

Some good reminders…

  • “Garbage in, garbage out” is a saying often used in computer science. In other words, bad input will result in bad output. Computers operate using strict logic, so inputting bad data will generally get you a bad result.
  • Never underestimate the power of human error.
  • Computers are not a substitute for thinking.

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In 2019, one would think it would be pretty easy to locate people with the plethora of information available on the Internet. And generally it is, as we found in our recent review of some commercially available databases. While it’s not “free” (what most people on the interwebs are looking for), it’s easier today to locate people than it has ever been.

But that has a number of caveats.

1) The person has a common name

Common names are the bane of one’s existence when you are trying to locate someone. Unless you have the full name, date of birth, and social security number, as well as a hair sample, DNA, and a handwriting exemplar, you are never going to find James Smith from New York.

OK, that might be a bit excessive, but unless you have LOTS of information on someone with a common name, they are going to be really tough to find. And when I say LOTS, I don’t just mean a description of physical characteristics or a recollection of a tattoo.

2) Technology is not what you see on TV

Your favorite crime drama probably showed a blurry photo from a distant surveillance camera that the detectives were miraculously able to blow up so they could see people’s faces as clear as day. Then, with the magic of television, they were able to run facial recognition through a database of every person in the world, and out of thin air, pull up a full dossier of everything that person has ever done and accomplished.

Technology just isn’t there yet, although it may be soon enough…

3) Information is not publicly available

We recently received a request to find a Jose Fernandez who had previously worked for a large corporation in Dallas. Seems easy enough to distinguish the 4,000 Jose Fernandezes in Dallas. The company is not going to give anyone his details, unless you use some sketchy method to provide a pretext for the company to get them to do so, or employ some other unscrupulous method. The IRS might know, but they won’t divulge his information either. Unless he has self-disclosed that information on a resume, social media, or elsewhere, Mr. Fernandez is not going to be easy to find.

4) The search is cost prohibitive

Now, finding Jose Fernandez might be possible, but unless he was the key to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit or someone with deep pockets was willing to spend the money, it might be too cost prohibitive. You could call former employees of the company and ask them if they knew him or know where he works now. Or you could make a list of every Jose Fernandez who lived in the Dallas area and call them one by one, something I have actually done in a different context.

Note: If you need some assistance in those areas, let me know, and I can send you our bank details so you can wire the retainer.

5) You might not have the right information

Sometimes, you may have information that is completely inaccurate. Like the wrong spelling of a name. Wrong birthday. Or even the wrong name.

Years ago, we worked on a case for a Connecticut man. His mother, on her deathbed, mentioned in passing that his father was not who he thought it was; it was a man that she had had an affair with for years in the 1950s. She provided scant details, like his name and the New York department store where he had worked. We spent years trying to track him down, but without success. Several years after working with the client, I heard back from him, and he said that he found his father (who had passed away) after speaking with friends and family members.

His mother had given him the wrong name and the wrong department store. We were doomed to failure.

But at least it had a happy ending.

6) Not everyone can be found

A few years ago, we were asked to identify a man who was owed about $100,000 after his mother had passed away. The man hadn’t been seen or heard from in many years, and the last that anyone had heard of him, he was homeless. The client was about 100 percent sure we would never find him, but we found his last reported address, and what do you know, he was there. He was living on the streets but had stopped at the apartment where he had once lived to sleep for the night.

It was complete luck. If we hadn’t had that miraculous stroke of luck that day, we may have never found him, unless we had spent dozens of hours combing the streets, which was out of the budget range of the client (see #4 above).

7) The person lives off the grid

There was an interesting story a while back about a privacy nut who spent $30,000 to have himself removed from every known database so that no human could track him down. He went so far as to even buy himself a decoy house and hire a private investigator to check his work. It’s a fascinating read, if you haven’t seen it.

And there are also stories of people living off the grid, paying cash barters and not using any electronic databases. That’s a bit extreme, but there are people who do it.

8) Some people don’t want to be heard from

Whitey Bulger, one of the most wanted men in history, lived in California unnoticed for more than 15 years by paying cash, keeping to himself, living an unassuming lifestyle, and rarely venturing out in public. This is a completely extreme case, but there are people who just don’t want to be found. Especially people who are in trouble with the law or are running from someone or something.

9) Are you working with old information?

Last week, we received a call from a Pennsylvania man who, because of closed adoption rules, was only recently able to finally get the name of his birth mother. But he had only a name and an age from when he was born in the 1950s. The name, of course, was common enough that finding her would not be easy. But the bigger problem was that she was most likely married long ago and carrying a different name, which would not be in any electronic database records that are readily available.

Most electronic information that is easily searchable and accessible will date back to the 1980s, but anything from the 1950s will not only be difficult to find but will require some serious digging.

10) People can remove themselves from databases

There is a cottage industry of privacy nuts who will do everything not to leave a trace of their existence. If you are interested in learning more, Michael Bazzell has a great book and podcast. Some may have good reasons, such as concerns for their safety. But others just want to be hidden from the Internet. What most people don’t know is that you can remove your personal information from public databases and people-search websites. Given the hundreds of sites, it’s pretty much like having a full-time job, but it can be done. Here is a good place to start.

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Telephone numbers and address information are the lifeblood of private investigators. Getting in touch with people either by phone or in person is absolutely essential to any private investigator, regardless of his or her area of specialization.

(Note: These databases are available primarily to private investigators, so this article is a bit nerdy for the layman. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

One type of work that we particularly focus on is identifying potential fact witnesses for interviews.

For example, we may be asked to identify former employees who can speak about issues at a company during the relevant time. If there is a major class action fraud case, a law firm might want to identify former employees of a particular company to be fact witnesses to verify, corroborate or testify to the inner workings of a company.

Or take a major traffic accident involving a tractor trailer. A law firm may want to speak to the trucking company’s former employees who can discuss safety issues, overworked drivers, policies and procedures or a history of rules violations.

Once these former employees have been identified, we need to get in touch with them. For firms that have an endless budget or an extremely sensitive topic (i.e., sexual harassment), door-stepping, or visiting the person face-to-face, might be the best route. But in most cases, conducting interviews by phone is more cost-effective and efficient.

So in our case, where we bill by the hour, finding telephone numbers in the most efficient way possible is essential to our work.

We subscribe to a lot of databases that provide phone number information. The three that we have gravitated to the most are TLO, for its ease of use, reasonable fees and comprehensive information; IRB Search, the old reliable veteran that has been around the longest and has a deep bench of information; and IDI, which is the new kid on the block, recommended by fellow investigators for being reliable when it comes to phone numbers.

In a perfect world, we would search dozens of databases, but our time and resources (aka money) are finite resources. So which one is the best?

That’s a question we asked ourselves. To be honest, even after using all three for phone number research for years, we couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer.

So we decided to run them through the wringer.

To be perfectly honest, the results really surprised me. For the past few years, we have been using TLO as our go-to resource for identifying phone number information. But that might change now.

History Lesson

I’ve spoken to dozens of people over the years who can never understand why it’s so difficult to find a someone’s phone number.

I get it. Why does it have to be so hard? It’s especially difficult to understand if you grew up in the days of phone books, when literally every phone number in existence was in a phone book. Or you could call the operator and ask for a phone number for a name or address.

That doesn’t help much anymore.

First, phone numbers are portable. Since 2003, people have been able to transfer phone numbers to different carriers. For many years, the area code and prefix (first six digits of the phone number) told exactly which carrier the person used and where the person was located. For example, our business phone area code (914) and prefix (500) suggest that we are in New Rochelle, New York, but we are not and never have been. A few years ago, I lived in Spain, and with a VOIP carrier, and in Madrid, I was able to answer my New York-based home phone. My grandmother’s mind was blown every time I picked up the phone.

Also, the internet has spawned all kinds of ways to set up a phone number. I can install the Burner app on my cell phone and have a working number within minutes. I can text and make phone calls from literally any area code in the country and discard the number when I am done. Not only that, but there also is Caller ID spoofing, where you can indicate to the receiver of a call that the originator of the call is from somewhere other than the actual location.

Pretty nuts.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that telephone numbers are a bit of a mess.

Ground Rules

When we work with our clients, we want to make sure we have confirmed phone numbers. And by confirmed, I mean that the person I am trying to reach is going to answer the phone. Just because a database says that a phone number is associated with a person doesn’t make it so. Most databases will give you a plethora of phone numbers that have been associated with a person.

But not all of them work. They might be disconnected, old or transferred to a new person. Or it just might be an old number associated with another family member.

Either way, the only way to confirm the phone number is to call it and ask for the person or confirm he or she is on the outgoing voicemail system.

So we took 52 phone numbers we had confirmed, ran them through all three databases, and figured out which one came out on top.

For each of the databases, we tested four areas:

  • Quantity – How many possible telephone numbers were provided
  • Reliability – How often the correct number was listed toward the top
  • Accuracy – How often the database had the correct phone number
  • Cost – How much the database cost

From my perspective, even before getting into the details, accuracy is the single most important factor here. I want the best information. Period.

Cost is a factor, as it should be, but a distant second, with reliability coming in a bit behind.

Quantity is the least important, for reasons I will explain later.

Quantity of Phone Numbers

In terms of quantity of phone numbers, there was a clear winner. Of the three, TLO clearly came out on top, averaging nine phone numbers per person. IDI was second, with an average of five phone numbers. IRB Search averaged four.

The quantity of phone numbers is not really a great measure, though. Most people have only one or maybe two phone numbers. So while it’s nice to have choices, having more phone numbers means more numbers, and you have to decipher which is the correct one.

Reliability

TLO, IRB Search and IDI all display phone numbers in a list. TLO has a nice feature in which they indicate the “likelihood” that the number was current, assigning each phone number a percentage of likelihood. They must have some type of algorithm that figures that out.  They also indicate whether or not the phone is a mobile, land-line or VoIPor phone number. In either case, it’s not always that accurate, but it doesn’t hurt. In general, it’s relatively accurate, as numbers with a low percentage of likelihood are typically old numbers. But having conducted hundreds of phone interviews, I can tell you it’s not perfect.

Neither IRB Search nor IDI has that feature, but it’s presumed that the ones listed toward the top are the freshest, most recent ones.

In this category, IDI was the winner. On average, the correct phone number was the first phone number on the list 71 percent of the time, while TLO was first 42 percent of the time and IRB Search was first 34 percent of the time.

If we expanded this reliability test to the first or second number on the list, IDI had the correct number 85 percent of the time and TLO was right 67 percent of the time, while IRB was right on the list 54 percent of the time.

Accuracy

Now we get to the heart of the matter. After all, getting the most accurate information is obviously the most important. As I mentioned above, we had verified working numbers of all 52 people. So which one of them had the most accurate numbers?

TLO had 50 of 52 (96 percent), IDI had 46 of 52 (88 percent) and IRB Search had 37 of 52 numbers right (71 percent).

TLO was the winner here, with almost all the numbers correct, and IDI was not far behind. IRB Search was a distant third.

Cost

I would be remiss if I did not mention the cost. IRB Search cost $3 per search ($156 total for 52 searches) and TLO cost $1.80 per search ($90 total), while IDI cost $0.50 per search ($25.50 total).

IDI was the hands-down winner here. In my mind, cost should never be the determining factor; getting the best information is far more important. But considering IDI cost less than a third of TLO and six times less than IRB Search, it’s certainly a factor.

A Personal Test

So we had a total of 52 phone number to verify, 50 of which came from previous cases that we worked on. But I also tested this out on myself and my colleague to see whether they had our personal cell phone numbers. All three databases had my colleague’s personal cell phone number. TLO and IDI had my personal cell phone and home number listed prominently at the top; IRB Search had my home number but not my cell phone number.

The Winner?

If you are keeping score at home, both TLO and IDI won two of the categories and finished second in two of the categories, while IRB Search finished last in all four categories.

As I mentioned above, TLO has been our go-to source. Personally, I like the way the search functionality works and how easy it is to use. IDI is still pretty new to us, but given these results, it certainly deserves a closer look. IRB was the clear loser here, having the least reliable information and being the most expensive.

Keep in mind that this is a pretty small sample size. I am no mathematician, but 50 phone numbers out of billions of records doesn’t really provide a great sample size.

I’m not trading in my subscriptions for any of them. They all deserve a look, and I will continue to use all three when necessary. One of my many mottos in this business is to use multiple sources for research. Because you never know which one may help you. But this test may help us decide in the future which one to prioritize.

Also, keep in mind that these databases also provide dozens of other data points, including address history and (limited) criminal history as well as hoards of other information. So while they may be great at one thing, they may not be so great at another.

But that’s a blog post for another day.

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It’s pretty commonplace for investigators to get stuck going down a rabbit hole into a vortex, which sucks you into a dark place that renders you nearly powerless.

One thing leads you to another to another and another, which will inevitably get you to a YouTube video of cats.

And you have no idea how you got there.

I know because it happens to me quite a bit.

One of the ways to avoid heading into the rabbit hole is to follow four simple rules: gather, analyze, report and repeat.

Gather the information, review and analyze the data, and draft a succinct and coherent summary of the information.

Once you have done that, you can more easily find holes, leads, missing pieces, inconsistencies, patterns, discrepancies, cracks and flaws.

Then, you go back to the beginning and start all over again.

It can be all too easy to get overwhelmed with information in the gathering phase. But a few simple steps can keep you out of the rabbit hole.

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“Would anyone be able to find out ____________?” is a question that people pose to me quite often.

The truth is that any motivated party with enough time and resources can find out pretty much anything about anybody.

Granted, there are people who do what we do legally and aboveboard; while others might use more sketchy, underhanded or illegal methods of obtaining information.

So this is my advice to anyone who is willing to listen:

The best way to keep your secrets safe is to not have any secrets in the first place.

~ Brian Willingham
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Anytime an old colleague of mine was asked what he did for a living, he replied that he was a garbage man. It always flabbergasted me that he wouldn’t tell people what he really did. Private investigators have pretty cool jobs; at least, that is what I always thought.

So I asked him.

“I got tired of explaining to people what I did,” he told me.

I know what he means. The first three things that people typically ask when they find out what I do are (1) “Do you carry a gun?” (I don’t and have never even owned a gun); (2) “Do you do surveillance?” (Haven’t done that in more than 10 years); and (3) “How often do you catch cheating spouses?” (Haven’t done that in more than 10 years either).

Most people like to think that private investigators dig around trash cans, coerce confessions, spy around dark alleys or hack into computers, along with a plethora of other shady stuff.

While some investigators may carry guns, do surveillance and catch cheating spouses, I don’t.

What we really do is provide clients with information that will help them make informed decisions or avoid costly ones.

But that’s pretty boring.

So in an effort to be a little less boring, I’ve started telling people that I find shit they can’t.

Simple. Straightforward. Accurate. And to the point.

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Since May, I have done about 192 (give or take) telephone interviews for various investigation matters.

The interviews that I have done have ranged from being for massive product liability cases to in-depth vetting of a possible CEO. In every single one of these cases, the names of these individuals were developed through open sources. All of these people were contacted unannounced, out of the blue.

They were not sitting around waiting for my call, happy to give some of their time to someone who needed help. They were contacted at random times, taking time from their busy schedules to answer questions, some of which were tough.

Here are some lessons that I have learned.

Human Sources Are Powerful

Investigator Steve Mason from Mason Investigative Solutions summed it up perfectly: “Human beings give context to digital information.” I am one of the biggest proponents out there for using open-source information and public records to gather intelligence. It’s discreet, cost-effective, and pretty powerful. And it’s because humans not only give context to the digital information — they also provide information that is truly unique and, at times, priceless.

Be Transparent and Honest

Chances are, the person on the other “end of the line” is not entirely comfortable talking to a stranger on the phone who is asking probing questions. It’s a pretty frequent response for someone to say, “I am not all that comfortable talking to you. I have no idea who you are.”

I get it. If some strange person called you out of the blue asking you questions, wouldn’t you be pretty wary too?

My typical response is: “I get it. I might not be comfortable either.”

That’s the truth.

I find the best way to make people comfortable is to be transparent and honest. So when they ask, “How is this information going to be used?” or “How did you get my number?” or “Who is this work for?” I have an answer for them. Sometimes that answer may be, “I have no idea” or “I can’t tell you,” but it’s transparent and honest. People react to that.

Be Accommodating

More than likely, you will only have one chance to speak to someone. So if you get them on the phone, you don’t want them to get off. Of course, you need to be accommodating to their schedule and be open to calling them back whenever. You can lose a person instantaneously if you are too pushy. Or you can lose them forever if you give them a chance — but it’s a risk you need to take sometimes.

It’s a tightrope.

To Talk or Not to Talk

When I contact someone, I’ve got about 30 to 45 seconds to win them over. So what do you do in that 30 to 45 seconds?

First, you better get straight to the point. Building a rapport is something that interviewers like to talk about when they explain the process for doing in-person interviews, but on the telephone, there is really no time for idle chitchat or icebreakers. Get to the heart of the point immediately.

My name is Brian Willingham. I understand that you previously worked for Steve Jobs. I am doing some work for a firm that is interested in hiring Steve and thought you would be a good person to speak with about his business acumen. Do you have a minute?

Second, each time I do an interview case, I use a script. I don’t read directly from the script (I don’t want to sound like a robot), but I do want to make sure I get some major points across in those 30 to 45 seconds. I don’t want to forget those critical points. If I am working for a law firm, there may be some legalese that I need to go over as well. For example, making sure that someone is not providing confidential information or making sure that he or she is not represented by counsel is usually included.

Just in the past few weeks, I have had several people say to me that they had no interest in speaking to me within that first 30 seconds, only to have them talk to me for more than an hour. I can’t force anyone to speak to me. And they can hang up on me at any moment. So you have to strike a balance between being persistent, transparent, and honest and being pushy.

Recording

I don’t record any of my phone interviews. While telephone recording laws may allow for it based on the state that the person you call is in, it’s an awkward icebreaker and I don’t want to break the flow of the conversation. That’s just my personal policy.

I know others may think differently though…

Spray-and-Pray Interviewing

If your investigation is relying on telephone interviews, you have to be resigned to the fact that some people are just not going to pick up the phone or respond to your voicemails. It’s frustrating, I know, but it’s just a fact. So if you have three people who you absolutely must speak to, you are better off visiting them in person. But if you have enough leads or possible sources, knowing that about half of them are not going to be reachable, telephone interviewing will do just fine.

Efficiency

Many investigators will tell you that the best way to do an interview is face-to-face. All things being equal, it’s hard to argue. In-person investigative interviews help you develop a better rapport with a person. And reading body language and making the person you are talking to comfortable actually makes talking to you much easier.

But in-person interviews are resource-intensive. The best times to interview people are nights and weekends. And if you don’t have people who need to be interviewed concentrated in one particular area, you either have to travel all over the place or get other people up to speed to do the interviews on your behalf — both of which are an absolute budget killer and time-suck.

Alternatively, phone calls are relatively quick and easy, despite the fact that it’s much easier to avoid a few phone calls than to avoid someone knocking on your door.

Does Anyone Pick Up the Phone Anymore?

If you are like most people, you probably don’t answer the phone much when you see a call coming in from an unknown phone number. Perhaps it’s because 90 percent of the phone calls we get are spam. According to one survey, 75 percent of people said that they were “extremely unlikely” to answer a call from an out-of-state area code.

And if you are calling from a blocked number? The chances are even less likely someone will pick up.

While in years past, I might have called from a blocked number, I don’t do that much anymore. I have found that most people will just let these calls go to voicemail and, even if they pick up, they are cautious and guarded in what they say given the fact that they don’t know who’s on the other end.

And how do you get people to pick up the phone? You don’t. You need to be patient and persistent. And if that fails, you can always pay them a visit.

Thick Skin

I’ve been doing telephone interviews for the better part of 15 years. There are times when you just can’t get people to talk, but you’ve got to have some thick skin. Rejection is pretty commonplace. It can be draining at times, but as long as you keep a good attitude, good things will come.

It’s human nature that people want to help.

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In every investigator’s most pleasant dreams, we have access to loads of information that would, quite simply, make our lives so much easier.

But what would be the fun in that?

There are a number of things that make a private investigator’s job interesting. For one, every case and every day are different, so that keeps you on your toes. But what makes it the most interesting is that we have to come up with creative ways to help our clients. But I digress.

Much of the information below may be available with either the person’s consent or through a court order, but in my most pleasant dreams, none of that would be necessary.

1Financial Institution Records

I want them all. Credit card statements, bank statements, 401k records, 529 savings, locations of any safety deposit boxes, Swiss bank accounts, and even the code for your piggy bank.

2Travel Records

Not only do I want a copy of your entire passport, but I also want your travel records from the U.S. Department of State and your border crossing records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. While we’re at it, I want records from your cell phone’s GPS data that could show me where you have been going minute by minute.

3Cell Phone

The cell phone has become ubiquitous to practically everyone in the United States and most of the rest of the world. It literally holds the key to a person’s universe. I want a full, unencrypted copy of your cell phone data so that I can see every app, swipe, and photo.

4Text Messages

While encrypted messaging apps are becoming more and more popular, text messaging is still the preferred form of communication for most people. Even people who should know better not to send unencrypted text messages do so on pretty much a daily basis.

5Social Media Accounts

Social media is like a playground for investigators. But underneath what is publicly available, there is a treasure trove of information.

6Internet Search History

You ever hear of the bank robber who Googled “how to rob a bank” before committing a crime? Or the murder suspect who coincidentally looked up satellite imagery of the site where law enforcement found the body and body decomposition rates?

As a side note, if anyone ever looks up my search history, it was all in the name of work.

I swear.

7Phone Calls

I know. Most people just don’t make phone calls anymore. When I hear my phone ring, I cringe at the idea of picking it up. But there is still a group of people from a certain generation who use the phone constantly. And I know that these phone calls are not being recorded, but that would be really convenient too.

8Mind Reader

I’m probably asking for too much.

OK, I know I’m asking for too much.

But it would be nice.

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