Investigative research – What makes it unique?

investigations and magnifying glass

Research is research, right? As a private investigator and fraud examiner, I conduct a lot of research on people, companies, industries, and trends. Which is what I also did as a market researcher before becoming an investigator. Back then, I gathered information from online and human sources, looked for patterns, and transformed my findings into […]

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Spotlight on fraud: Catching up on the Elizabeth Holmes trial

file folders for fraud and investigations

For fraud fighters worldwide, the spotlight is currently on the Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial, which started last week in San Jose, California. The case, U.S. v. Elizabeth Holmes, et al., is the culmination of a broad investigation into Holmes’ and her then-boyfriend Sunny Balwani’s…”allegedly deceptive representations about their company and its medical testing technology” and […]

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Top post: How to become a private investigator

Door to private investigator's office

This updated post was originally published in May 2020. 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 […]

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The best parenting skills for working with clients

parenting 101 on a chalkboard

Some of the best client management tips come from the parenting experts. No, I’m not advocating that we treat our clients like children. In fact, my favorite advice is based on the Golden Rule and treating children–and our clients–like equals. Treat them just the way you would want to be treated if the roles were […]

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5 goals of due diligence background investigations

soccer ball with goal posts - focus on your goals

In investigations, clients often ask us to “find everything.” They haven’t decided exactly what they want to know, so they ask for it all. Even if we could find everything, it wouldn’t be worth the time and expense, so, through a series of client conversations, we narrow things down to some basic objectives for each […]

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Google alternatives – So many choices

words - make your own choices

We all do it – Start with Google, get some answers, and stop there. But, as you’ve read here, I’m a big fan of using Google alternatives, because other search engines offer us, well, alternatives. Maybe you need something more private or more streamlined, or you want to do some good while searching the web. […]

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3-step approach to online research

numbered list

No matter what type of work that you do, gathering information is an important first step. Planning an investigation? Preparing for big business decision? Conducting due diligence? All require some digging into the backgrounds and actions of individuals or businesses, looking at industry trends and best practices, or generally getting smarter before taking action. A […]

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Top post: Background investigations – Don’t skip the media report

stack of newspapers

This post was originally published in September 2018. Due diligence background investigations come in all flavors. They’re generally customized according to industry, level of risk, and time constraints. There’s one component, though, that should be included in all background checks on people and companies–the media report. What’s a media report? It’s the section of a […]

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3 myths about online court searching

gavel, legal books, scales of justice

At one time, if you needed access to court records, you went to the courthouse and manually searched through paper filings. Thankfully, things have changed through the years, with more and more court records posted online. It’s made our jobs a lot easier, but it doesn’t come without its own set of myths and challenges. […]

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