Lesson Seven Using Online Investigative Tools

I know that there are many online search tools out there to be used. In this course we will cover two basic search tools. What will be covered is the effectiveness of many search tools on the internet. I will go into the details of this later.

First, let’s look at the people search. This is where you can search for a person by name and possible city. Before you start a search that involves a pay service, get what you can for free first. At the end of this course you will receive an exhaustive list of free sites to search. I still like the pay searches, because they look everywhere for you, and you don’t have to guess as to where to search. That is the beauty of those services.

The easiest way to get an accurate report on someone is to know as many details as possible beforehand. Their address, phone number, and date of birth can verify a lot. Do not think that matching a report with one of thses bits of data confirms the data is for that person, but that will be covered in depth later. Right now, this lesson is about collecting the raw data.

The more you know the less wrong leads you will have to chase down. Even the great search tools aren’t magic. They cannot eliminate all non related information for you automatically.

Names:

Don’t forget that people’s names are not always how you know them. Not just the Charles Charlie thing, but often people use a middle name as a first, or even a name that isn’t their own as a first name. People also change names, for various reasons. Of course women often change their names when they marry. Many of the search tools are smart enough to translate Mike into Michael and so forth. Try to get the spelling if you can.

Address:

Searching by address is more specific, if you have the right time frame. The way most people in the US move, an address is only good for a few years. So you should know some kind of name to go with the address. This is a course about how to be your own detective, so do a little detective work. If it is a neighbor, introduce yourself and ask them their name. Property records are usually up to date, but remember that they cover the owner of the property, who may or may not be the occupier.

Phone Number:

This is easiest of all. All you need to check first is whitepages.com or 411.com. Those sites cover the listed phone numbers well. My recommendation for any unlisted or cell phone number is Reverse Mobile. Reverse Phone Detective works fine, but Reverse Mobile also has a lookup for those numbers by name. It also has a little better records database. The price is the same for both, so it isn’t a matter of cost.

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