How to become a private investigator

dog dressed as private investigator

How do I become a private investigator? People often ask me this question, and I generally offer some standard advice, but I decided to tap into my network of fellow PIs to see what else I should be  telling others about breaking into this exciting and rewarding profession.  Many thanks to all who responded to […]

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Top post: Too much information – Now what?

Too much information

This post was originally published on September 16, 2019. TMI. Too much information. Can the results of an investigation or research project provide so much information that it’s overwhelming? To you and your client? A recent question from a colleague reminded me that it’s not always about finding too little or, worse, no information. Here’s […]

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What’s missing from your research?

Mind the gap - What's missing

As an investigator or researcher, what you don’t find is often as important as what you do find – if not more. To be thorough, you need to be mindful of what you can and can’t deliver to your client. A recent case reminded me of this important lesson, and I’d like to share what […]

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What sources do I use for searching news?

Newspapers and tablet with business news

I’m frequently asked about what I use for news searching, so I thought I’d share my sources and why they’re so important to my investigations. Note that these include free and fee-based sources, because – with online information – you definitely get what you pay for. You can’t do a thorough job with just free. […]

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What is due diligence?

Word cloud for due diligence

In looking over past blog posts, I’ve realized that I frequently write about due diligence, but I’ve never really explained what it is. Also, judging by the questions I get, there are lots of misconceptions about what it really is, what it’s used for, and why someone would bother taking this step. So, what follows […]

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Searching online public records – How to prepare

Text sign showing Are You Ready Question. Conceptual photo Be Prepared Motivated Warned Readiness Aware written on Notebook Book on the Green background Marker and Pen next to it.

Searching public records such as corporation filings, recorded documents, and court records can be the most challenging type of online research – even for the professionals. I’ve been searching online information for more than 20 years, and public records never cease to amaze me. No uniformity among jurisdictions, missing records, clunky search tools, and other […]

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After the background investigation: What’s next?

Go the extra mile for your clients

You’ve finally completed the due diligence background investigation. You’ve gathered your findings, analyzed the results, and written and sent your report. Time to cross this one off your to-do list and bask in that wonderful feeling of a job well-done. Or maybe not – because due diligence background investigations don’t end here. What else could […]

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Time for a change: Google alternatives

Choices - Google alternatives

Looking back at some blog statistics, it seems that readers can’t get enough of Google alternatives. Google is great, and – I must admit – it’s my usual starting point. But Google has its limitations, and sometimes we need more. Maybe it’s more privacy. Perhaps you need something more specialized. Or maybe you’re frustrated with […]

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Why it pays to pay for online information

Currency

If you read this blog, you know that I frequently advise others to conduct a background investigation on themselves. It pays to know what others find when they search for your name on Google or another search engine. But what if the news isn’t good? What if, among your results, you discover information that you […]

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