investigative research

Online database searching: More than just finding

As a researcher and investigator – and a former librarian – I’ve done a lot of online database searching. I’ve searched news, market research, public records, engineering documents, you name it. I’ve searched for information on any topic you can imagine, from silicon photonics to Jeff Zucker‘s career. I also teach other researchers and investigators […]

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stack of newspapers

Background investigations – Don’t skip the media report

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 background investigation that covers news and […]

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5 things you need to know for online due diligence

Online due diligence investigations – 5 things you need to know

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the OACFE fraud conference about online due diligence background investigations. It’s always great to meet other fraud professionals and share my strategies and sources. In this presentation, I emphasize that one of the best ways to prevent fraud is to avoid going into business with fraudsters. If […]

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strategy for investigations

Research and investigation rules to live by

I recently attended the OSMOSIS conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, an event geared toward open source intelligence professionals (OSINT). In addition to great networking and a beautiful venue, the speakers were some of the best I’ve seen at a professional conference. Even though many of the sessions didn’t exactly coincide with my specialty, there […]

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asset investigations

Open source asset investigations: What not to do

I’m heading to the OSMOSIS conference for open source intelligence (OSINT) professionals where I’ll present a short “Bits and Bytes” roundtable session on asset investigations. When preparing for a lawsuit, conducting due diligence, or enforcing a judgment, you may need to evaluate a person’s or firm’s open, tangible, and hidden assets. But, without their permission […]

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red flags-due diligence background checks

Warning signs: How to spot a scoundrel

Running a due diligence background checks is a great way find out if if someone is not as honest as they appear – before you agree to do business. To do this, investigators look at past and current behavior to help predict the likelihood of future fraudulent activity. It’s the “once a crook, always a […]

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Pros and cons of negative news searches

Negative news searches – Pros and cons

Many providers of due diligence background investigations limit their media research to just negative news. Rather than gather everything they can about their subject from news and social media, they construct searches with keywords such as lawsuit, fraud, sanctions, and investigation to pull out just the bad news. If they don’t find any past instances […]

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