Librarian superpowers

Magic wand and laptop

I recently participated in a panel discussion for an AIIP webinar, Running a Successful Private Investigations Business, along with Michael Donaldson, Tim Hardiman, and moderator Eddie Ajaeb. One of the questions for me was about how my background as a librarian prepared me for PI work. I love this question, because it gives me the […]

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Online news searching: Why?

Stack of newspapers next to laptop

Whether you’re conducting due diligence, finding hidden assets, or just digging deep into a company’s or person’s background, news searching is an important step in your intelligence-gathering process. I talk about it here a lot but realized that I’ve never really focused on the why. Why is news searching so important? Not a day goes […]

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Why I’m a mentor

board with mentoring words

January is National Mentoring Month here in the U.S., and January 17th is International Mentoring Day.  As someone who has experienced both sides of mentoring, I know that it’s worth the celebration, and we should encourage it throughout the year.  During my professional life, I’ve been lucky enough to be both informally and formally mentored by […]

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Resource Roundup: Adding intellectual property to your asset research

intellectual property in asset research

When researching assets, don’t forget to check intellectual property.  Unlike, for example, a car, home, or commercial property, intellectual property–including patents, copyrights, and trademarks–is considered an intangible asset, something that’s “created with the mind.”  Most people don’t have a list of inventions or trademarks that add up to much value, but, occasionally, you can uncover […]

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What I’ve learned about entrepreneurship & fighting fraud

entrepreneurship

It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week and International Fraud Awareness Week, and today’s Wall Street Journal tells us about the emerging entrepreneurs during the “Covid Economy.” In addition, I’ll soon begin my 22nd year in business. All of this has led to lots of thoughts about the crazy career path I’ve taken and my journey from librarian to […]

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Search vs. Discovery

Discovery Walk sign

When we’re at the library, there are generally two methods for finding books or other items in the collection. We can search the catalog for specific titles, authors, or subjects that interest us. Or, we can browse the shelves or scan suggested reading lists to see what looks interesting.  It’s the same with online research. Most […]

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Top post: Due Diligence Hall of Shame – The other guy checked them out

Shamed businessman with sack over his head

This article was originally published in June 2016 and was first in my due diligence hall of shame series. I’m still intrigued by the lack of due diligence and recently heard this case discussed during a webinar on Fraud and Pop Culture with Kelly Paxton and Jo Erven. I’ve been collecting articles that illustrate some […]

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Online public records – What’s missing?

missing pieces in a puzzle

As a professional investigator, online public records are some of my go-to sources for information about people and businesses. But searching the public record through online databases has its challenges, especially when it comes to missing information. Online public records don’t contain everything, so, depending on your level of investigation – and your level of […]

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Need something different? – Try some Google alternatives

Variety is the spice of life

For any searches more complicated than a simple look-up, it’s important for researchers and investigators to go beyond Google and try some alternatives. In spite of its size, Google has its limits, for several reasons:  Google can be too big – For deep research, sometimes we need something more specialized than what you get with […]

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