The most expensive private investigator advice you can get is free advice.
Sure, there are a ton of things you can learn for free online, but you need to be very careful about the sources you trust.
1. how long have they been doing what they are teaching?
2. How long have they been teaching?
3. Do they seem reasonable?
4. What’s their motivation for teaching for “free” online?
WARNING: It may not be an absolute “deal breaker”, but watch-out anytime someone online says, “It’s perfectly legal to _____________.” How do they know that?!? Are they an attorney? Are they really giving legal advice?
Bonus Tip: Here’s a guy I personally find trustworthy. He’s a P.I. named Andrew and you can find him here.
And this leads me to the next question I have for you…
What will you be in the news for?
If you are in the news because you followed “free” online advice, well… Ouch!
Try to be in the news for “the basics”. Showing integrity, honesty, good customer service and doing the right thing even when it’s the hard thing.
Do you know of a piece of “free” private investigator or process server advice people are “teaching” online that you know is wrong? Drop it in the comments!
I would argue public records are the back bone of skip tracing, background checks and many other investigations for any real-world private detective, but if you are denied access, then you need to know what options you have to shake loose these valuable government records!
The paid databases have their place in our industry, but if you don’t have access, you need to be a public records ninja!
Also, the paid, online databases only have a fraction (a fraction!) of what’s available when you get the source document themselves!
Know these three things…
1. Know your state law.
Find your state law, read it and learn it. I have gotten access to MANY public records after receiving a “no” from a government employee simply by knowing the law! The employee may simply tell everyone who seems to be an “outsider”, “No.” I’ve seen it happen! But, when you know the law, things tend to go your way!
Pro Tip: Read the law directly and don’t rely solely on a summary prepared by a well-meaning organization or person – even a reliable organization. Understand the law itself and not just a summary of the law.
2. Know what is “exempt” under your state law.
You can make a big fuss and spend a lot of time trying to get access to something that is spelled out in law as exempt from disclosure.
“Exempt” means it does not have to be released by the government. These are typically records like juvenile arrest records or medical records.
3. Know the process set-up in state law to challenge a denied public records request.
This usually includes the “enforcement mechanism”. For example, it might spell out that challenges to a denial of public records can be submitted to your states Attorney General or similar office.
If you like this helpful tip, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…
Many public records are online, but you will still find a ton in paper form at your local county courthouse!
I am sick and tired of rip-off, so-called “public records websites” trying to sell old, bad or bogus information to private investigators and the public in general so today I’m going to teach you how to find the authentic, real (and frequently free!) public records websites for property records, criminal histories and address information whether you’re working a skip trace, background check, fraud or any kind of case!
There are legitimate sites that compile and sell public records and I don’t have a problem with them or how much they charge. However… most of the decent sites require you to have a private investigator’s license form the state to gain access and that’s a deal breaker for a lot of aspiring P.I.’s.
Also, let’s face it, we are trying to solve cases and turn a profit in the process. That means keeping overhead low. So why subscribe, pay monthly fees and “per search” fees to a bunch of database companies and info brokers if you can easily do it yourself for free.
Really the reason to pay is to save time.
Let me give you this example… You could build a bookshelf for yourself with no power tools (if you have the skills!). But, isn’t it so much faster and nicer if you have power tools?!? Of course it is.
Same with information. You CAN get most or all of what you need without fancy, expensive data providers, but it’s nicer and quicker with them. And let’s face it, solving a case, pre-employment screening or skip trace fast may be important to your client.
Pro Tip: If you do know how to work without the database services, you will have monster size success when you add a good database service! Just like if you can build the shelves without power tools, you’ll be even better with power tools!
Warning: But… If you don’t know what you’re doing, access to a data provider will cost you more and provide you with a TON of false leads to get lost on! Just like working with power tools can cost you a finger if you don’t know what you’re doing!
Tip #1: Know the real name of the office that holds the public records you want.
For example, if you’re looking for property records, your local (county) office is probably NOT called the Property Records Office. It’s much more likely it something like the Assessor’s office or Auditor’s Office.
Searching by the REAL name of the office is likely to lead you to their website rather than a scam “lookalike” site.
Tip #2: Many (but not all!) of the legitimate, primary sites (like your local courthouse) will end in “.gov” and not “.com”. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but be careful before you send money off to one of the “.com” sites.
Bonus Tip: Bookmark the authentic site when you find it because you’ll be coming back to it over and over again in course of your investigative career.
If you like these helpful tips, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…