Our complex society requires the services of private investigators, now more than ever before. Concerns about spousal infidelity, corporate intelligent-property theft and job applicant backgrounds are just a few of the many concerns that private investigators are hired to address.
The internet has proven to be a great ally to private investigators. Much of the heretofore time expenditures required to find pertinent information about cases has now been greatly minimized through the use of on-line databases. Telephone calls and personal interviews that yesterday would have garnered potentially inaccurate information, can now be gathered with a stronger sense of accuracy assurance.
Intense competition amongst commercial internet database resources, who vie to provide accurate information to the private investigation industry, has altered the fact-finding playing field. These sites, which claim to have information about 90% of all US residents in their databases, are continually upgrading their products to benefit private investigators. And although corporate America has been legally forced to protect entrusted individuals’ personal information, a surprisingly voluminous amount of local, state and federal government-collected data is readily and legally available for perusing.
Cost-free internet sources already provide much information that is useful to private investigators. Property tax records, sexual predator statuses, reverse telephone and address look-ups, missing persons files, people and genealogical searches, death and voter records and other such public information can be found with some internet knowledge and determination.
For-pay commercial information sites, however, have streamlined the process and have consolidated much of this scattered data, while also adding a considerable amount of additional information, into “For Members Only” access sites.
For as little as $40.00 per year, private investigators can now have access to millions of pieces of information, with some sites offering full-access, three-day evaluation trial periods for only $5.00. It is amazing that at those prices it is possible to find the variety and the amount of information that can be searched. Besides the typical personal and public records that include birth and marriage information, and the financial records that range from corporate business files to personal bankruptcy and lien information, there are the more sensitive records about past criminal behavior, court histories, social security number verification, military experiences as well as very specific government files.
For the price of a one year subscription to a trade magazine, private investigators now have formidable research tools that no longer require hours of tedium, the potential of misinformation and their associated staggering costs.