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4 Tools Used By Professional Private Investigators

While a private investigator may seem like someone you only need to catch a cheating spouse, they are actually useful in many situations, ranging from finding a missing person to proving insurance fraud. If you would like to know how these professionals work, check out these four tools commonly used by professional private investigators.

1. Investigative Databases

Investigative databases are a must-have for private investigators. These databases compile information from many sources to give you a ton of information on someone in one easy-to-find place. These databases are so valuable that according to one study, most private investigators are subscribed to at least two databases.

Naturally, these databases aren’t free, so most investigators pay up to $200 a month. Plus, many different databases exist, and private investigators know which ones are more accurate and trustworthy. In general, investigative databases include public records, credit header information, and telephone information.

2. Public Records

Public records include census data, tax liens, criminal records, property information, bankruptcy rulings, and court records. Public records do not include tax returns, library records, school records, and juvenile court records. Anyone can research and request your public records. In fact, many people use these records to perform a quick background check on someone they want to hire, such as a parent looking for a babysitter.

Despite their name, public records aren’t always easy to find. An investigative database can be a good start, but private investigators may have to check multiple sites to request different records. 

3. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

The DMV is often overlooked by people, but your driving record has a lot of information on you that can’t always be found elsewhere. For example, if someone is trying to find you, DMV records may show that you have a car registered to a certain address. DMV information can also be used to determine other factors because it includes issuance history, exams, restrictions, sanctions, violations, crashes, driver’s school, and correspondence.

Investigators can use this information for various reasons. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires driving, the company may hire a private investigator to determine if you are a safe driver based on your driving record.

4. Social Media

Social media is a goldmine for private investigators because they can find plenty of unique information that can be used by just about anyone. First, if you are trying to locate someone, social media can help. Even if their social media accounts don’t say where they live, posts, pictures, and updates may reveal the truth. Naturally, social media is also a good way to get an overview of the person’s character.

Social media can also be used to verify anything you say. If you have been arrested for a crime and claim you were out of town during the crime, a private investigator may look at your social media to see if any posts or pictures corroborate or negate what you said.

Finally, social media can also be used to determine your associates. This can be beneficial in custody hearings to prove your partner is unsuited to raise the child because of the company they keep. On the other hand, in criminal cases, private investigators can use social media to see if you’ve been associating with people you’re required to avoid, such as an accused victim. 

Private investigators have many tools and skills that they rely on to find the information they need. Many companies hire private investigators to help save money on fraud or theft and to hire the right candidate for a job. If you would like to learn more, or if you’re ready to hire a private investigator, contact us at J.P. Investigative Group, Inc.

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