Sunday, August 13, 2006

Is Your Boyfriend Married?

Lately I've been getting frequent calls from women who aren't sure if their boyfriends are actually single. Believe it or not, they have been dating these men for over a year and still don't know.

Here are a few tips to help you determine whether or not your boyfriend is married or single.

1. If they won't tell you where they live - they are married!
2. If they only see you on weekdays - they are married!
3. If they do not introduce you to any of their friends - they are married!
4. If they don't answer their cell phone while they are with you - they are either married or have another girlfriend!
5. If they go out of town a lot and don't tell you anything or they are defensive - they have someone else!

I don't understand why some women know deep down that their boyfriends are either married or have someone else, but still won't admit their boyfriends are not monogamous.

Some states, like California, have confidential marriages where the record of marriage is not public. However, there are some counties that have online records, but not all marriages are listed. Anyone who gets married in Las Vegas has a record of their marriage on the Clark County Nevada Website. Here is a list of all the states and counties in the US that have online marriage records- Online marriage records.

Remember, if you really aren't sure if your boyfriend is already married, then ask him. If he beats around the bush or is defensive, do yourself a favor and get another boyfriend.

Good luck.

Jay Rosenzweig

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Background Checks: How They Can Determine Whether You Get Hired or Not!

By Matthew Keegan

Background checks are utilized by companies today to decide whether or not you will be permitted to work for them. Information in these reports can reveal many things about you to a prospective employer; it is critical that you be aware of what a company may uncover via a background check before one is conducted. You need to be aware of what steps you must take to protect yourself should negative information about you be uncovered.

Background checks [or reports] can range from a corroborating an applicant's Social Security number to a detailed description of the prospective employee's history and friends. There are several bits of information that might be included in a background check. Please note that many of these sources are created by governmental agencies and are, in fact, public records:

Bankruptcy Character references Court records Credit records Criminal records Driving records Drug test records Education records Incarceration records Medical records Military records Neighbor interviews Past employers Personal references Property ownership Sex offender lists Social Security No. State licensing records Vehicle registration Workers' compensation

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets national standards for employment screening. This law, however, only applies to background checks performed by an outside company, called a "consumer reporting agency" under the FCRA. The law does not apply in situations where the employer conducts background checks internally.1

Depending on in which state you reside you may have stronger laws than what the federal government mandates. One example can be found in California with their Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (Civil Code Sections 1786 - 1786.6) and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agency Act (Civil Code §1785). Your state may have similar fair employment guidelines and labor codes in place that can put a limit on the content of an employment background check. Google a search for "consumer reporting agencies" and "your state's name" to find out this information.

Under the FCRA, a background check report is called a "consumer report." This is the same "official" name given to your credit report, and the same limits on disclosure apply. The FCRA says the following cannot be reported:2

* Cases under title 11 [United States Code] or under the Bankruptcy Act that, from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication, as the case may be, antedate the report by more than 10 years.

* Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that from date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period.

* Paid tax liens which, from date of payment, antedate the report by more than seven years.

* Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years.

* Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.

You have every right to know before a background check is being performed that one will be done. Under the FCRA, the employer must obtain the applicant's written authorization before the background check is conducted. The authorization must be on a document separate from all other documents such as an employment application.

The company may not perform its own credit report, rather the report must be prepared by an outside company [such as those listed on the right side of this page]. The term "consumer reporting agency" means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports. (FCRA §603f)3

If you believe that the information obtained by the company was incorrect you need to inform your potential employer immediately. Request copies of all documentation and make sure that any incorrect information is expunged from your account. Will any of this effect whether you are hired or not? I cannot give you a clear yes/no answer. Much depends on the content of the report, how it is interpreted, and whether or not the information contained therein can be construed as damaging to you.


1 Privacy Rights Clearing House

2 Federal Trade Commission; FCRA Paragraph 605

3 Federal Trade Commission; FCRA Paragraph 603

Matt is a writer, web designer, and internet marketing expert who resides in North Carolina, USA. His main website, the Corporate Flight Attendant Community, helps people enter the lucrative field of business aviation by providing job leads and tips, interview suggestions, helpful articles and links, and a thriving message board community. You can view his site at and his message board at

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Funny or Strange Investigation Requests

Over the years I've received some funny and strange investigation requests. I thought I'd share a few of them on my blog. So here we go...

1) Request: "Someone has been using my social security number and opening credit cards in my name and charging all kinds of items. Can you help me find out who is doing this?
JR: "Do you know where these items are being sent to?"
Answer: "Well, the credit card company told me Denver Colorado."
JR: "Do you know anyone in Denver?"
Answer: "Yes, my ex-husband."

That was a no brainer.

2) Request: "Can you check on an individual to see if he has any criminal history, jumped parole or has any warranties against him?

Warranties? I guess he comes with a 10 year warranty or your money back?

3) Request: "I'm a happily married man and I would like to find my high school sweetheart. Can you help me?

I guess he really isn't happy if he wants to find her.

4) Request: "My wife and baby left me. Can you find them for me."
JR: "Do you have any domestic abuse issues?"
Answer: "What do you mean by domestic abuse"
JR: Have you ever hit your wife?"
Answer: Yes, but not hard."
JR: "No wonder she left you."

It turns out the wife and child were in protective custody.

5) A little old lady walked into my office. She asked if I could help her find someone. I asked who she was looking for. She said "Anyone!"


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Surveillance Tips

Performing surveillance for your personal needs is generally not illegal. However, if you do it in the ordinary course of your business, you will most likely have to be a licensed Private Investigator. Please research the laws in your state.

Most people assume that using a van is the best vehicle for surveillance. This is not always true. The aim is to blend in as much as possible, and a van can be conspicuous. Instead, use a four door sedan that is dark blue in color. Blue is the most popular color for a car, followed by green.

Imagine being an outfielder in a baseball game where your pitcher is pitching a no-hitter for the 8th straight inning. You just sit there and wait, but there is a chance that a fly ball will come your way. You can't dose off, read a book, or do your nails; you HAVE to keep watching and waiting.

That's surveillance. A lot of waiting. It takes a special kind of person to be proficient at it. You have to remain alert and ready for action after sitting in your car waiting for hours on end. And you cannot rightly drive off to McDonalds to get some more fries and a coke and relieve yourself, because you risk the chance of losing your subject.

Dealing with the boredom and tedium of surveillance is the easy part. You can always rent books on tape from Blockbuster, or listen to the radio, or learn how to count backwards in Russian.

If it is within your budget, rent your vehicles. This will enable you to use a variety of vehicles and minimize your chances of being spotted.

Let's try this common scenario: You need to find out if John Doe is working at the same time he is collecting disability.

Unfortunately, the best way to perform surveillance is impractical. Example: In this scenario, it would be best to have a team of investigators with cars and vans, scrambled radio communications capabilities, long range telephoto lenses for their Nikon F3's, telescopes, various apartments and houses rented out for vantage points, and a relief team to back them up when they get a little sleepy. Let's get real, shall we?

If you're lucky your client will have enough in their budget to be able to pay for a two person team to watch a subject. Most of the time it will be just you, your car and your tapes. Hopefully you will have some binoculars, a still camera, a video camera, and a small tape recorder to record the path you are taking when following your subject.

First off, survey the neighborhood. Find several points where you can see all the exits of John Doe's house, and yet be far away enough, where it would be difficult for him to see you. Study a detailed map of the area. Become familiar with the streets, alleys, shortcuts, and alternative routes. Plan to be there early in the morning depending on what you suspect Mr.Doe might do. Example: If he is a carpenter, you will want to be there before sunrise; if he works retail, be there an hour or two before the stores open.

You do not want to alarm neighbors! They will be the demise of your case if you are not prepared. Call the local police department and explain that you are an Investigator and are conducting a surveillance in a given area. Describe yourself, your vehicle, the approximate location of where you will be, and the times you will be there. Go down to the station, if possible, and speak with a detective or sergeant. Leave them your business card and be friendly and professional. Try to convince the persons you speak with to notify the neighbors that you are working in cooperation with the police. It may be a little misleading, but if a neighbor calls the police they will hopefully put that neighbor at ease, making him or her believe that this is a police matter. If a neighbor spots you, smile. If the neighbor approaches you, be friendly, polite, and professional. Explain that you are an Investigator and are working in cooperation with the local police department. But apologize that , by law, you cannot share any details about what you are doing. By all means, subdue any panic the neighbor may exhibit regarding "Criminal Activity" in the neighborhood. Say that none of the neighbors are suspected in any wrong doing and assure them there will NOT be a swat team there. If you think it will not compromise your case, show them ID and give them your business card. Also offer to keep an eye out on their place, saying you will let them know if anything suspicious goes on.

As in any case requiring surveillance, there is the possibility of the neighbor telling everyone in the neighborhood. Then your cover is blown.

Carry a small tape recorder for recording your path when following a subject. Example: "Subject made a left turn on Elm (south), then a right turn on Main (West), and stopped at the Burger King drive thru. at 123 North Main." This way you can easily retrace your steps and you can focus on driving and not writing while driving. It is also a strong tool for writing your report when the case is complete. It can also be used as evidence, so DO NOT erase it. Keep in a safe place like an evidence locker or safe.

Surveillance Techniques:

The most common is to follow your subject in a car. Use common sense. Try to keep as much distance between you and your subject as possible, while still maintaining a close tail. Try to keep at least one vehicle between you and your subject. Chances are you will lose your subject in traffic. This is better than having him suspect you are following him and speeding off to places unknown. If you lose your subject you will just have to start over the next day. But there is an optional technique . . .
People are creatures of habit. Think about it. How long have YOU worked at your job? Now, how many different routes do you take to drive to work? I would bet you answered "One" to the last question. This is true for most people. Although I'm sure there are people who use multiple routes to get to and from work, but I would wager that even if they do use multiple routes, they are very similar and close to one another.
Try this: If you lose him at 123 North Main St. at 8:38 AM during the work week, there is a very good chance that he will be passing by there the next day at 8:38 AM. So be there. If he's there the next day and you lose him again, be where you lost him the next day, and so on until you reach your goal.
Multiple Vehicle for surveillance. This technique is much the same, except you have much more flexibility. You can both follow your subject and change places as you see fit. Example: Car #1 could remain behind the subject while car #2 could be closely in front of him. Car #2 could radio when and where the subject has turned. At this point car#1 could pick up the "close" position, and eventually pass the subject and take a position ahead of the subject, and so on. Of course, the more vehicle and investigators you have the more efficient you will be.
Surveillance on foot. Again, use common sense. If you have to follow someone during a lunch hour, dress as your subject would dress. He might go into a nice restaurant for lunch. You will want to be able to get into the restaurant, too, and maybe sit at the bar or at a table where you can see your subject. It's also a good idea to carry some disguises. Disguises?! Yup. Nothing elaborate is needed. Just a change of a shirt, pants, or shoes, a hat or two, a couple pair of sunglasses or prescription glasses, and yes a fake mustache. If you are not going to get face to face with your subject, these few items will take you a long long way. Just think of how many people you encounter on a daily basis. Can you remember what they all look like? If you could, you probably wouldn't be reading this . . .
Surveillance is very difficult to perform successfully. You have to have the patience of a saint and a keen sense of human behavior and good common sense. Also consider other options to surveillance. A pretext telephone call can work wonders if executed properly. Good luck!

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hidden Spy Cams and Your Childcare Provider - Should You Use One and How?

By Bob Whitehead

A hidden camera is one discreet way to assuage and alleviate concerns around your home. Parents find them especially helpful when it comes to keeping an eye on the person watching their children. But are hidden spy cams fair to those who are being watched? Do nannies have a right to know if they are being recorded?

There are many compelling arguments in favor of using a hidden spy cam to record your child's caregiver. Few would disagree that the safety of a child comes first. However, is it really ethical to hide a small camera in order to spy on your nanny doing her job? Safety surveillance is not a black and white issue. Both parents and nannies have rights.

If you want to use a hidden camera to obtain video footage of your nanny at work, the best thing to do is tell her. A professional most likely won't have a problem, as long you ask for her permission. Spy cams are extremely covert -- it could be a teddy bear or in a house plant. You have the benefits of a hidden camera without the risk of losing a good nanny, should she find out and become upset about the use of spying.

A recent Arizona Central article raised an important point -- while a parent is well within their rights to want to use a hidden spy camera to view their nanny, cameras shouldn't replace thorough interviews and a background check. Even a good caregiver might regard the use of hidden cameras as an invasion of privacy. While you aren't legally bound to inform your nanny, a spy camera could create a difficult situation.

Copyright 2005 Evaluseek Publishing.

About the Author

Bob Whitehead is a successful freelance writer providing practical information and advice about video security for business, non-profit and home use. His numerous articles include tips for saving both time and money when shopping for video surveillance products; equipment reviews and reports; and other valuable insights. Learn more about CCTV cameras and CCTV systems when you visit today!

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Locating Birth Parents

Every bit of information is helpful in finding them

I receive dozens of weekly requests to find biological parents. I only take a few of these cases because the adopted child does not have enough information for me to find their birth parents.

Without a name it's obvioulsy going to be next to impossible to find your birth parents. I suggest asking the adopted parent for the name (if they are cooperative). If you have the birth father's name, it's going to be easier to locate him rather than the birth mother. In the majority of cases, the birth mother gets married and changes her name. I had a case recently where we had the birth mother's maiden name and date of birth. I then conducted a nationwide search for all the people with that first name and birth date. There were only two people in the database with that name and birth date and one was deceased. So, it's not impossible to find your birth mother with limited information.

Sometimes it can be useful if you have an old address for your birth parent. These addresses can remain in a database for up to 25 years.

If you have absolutely no information on your birth parents,
you may want to try have a good database for birth records. However, most of their records list the name of the adopted mother and not the biological mother.

If you know what hospital you were born, try contacting their records department. You may get lucky and find a compassionate person their who is willing to look up your birth record. It never hurts to try.

If you have a medical condition and you want to find out your family medical history and your birth records are sealed, the only way you can get your birth records is through the court process. Hiring an attorney is expensive, but it can be an effective way of obtaining this important information.

I suggest that you have a good relationship with your adopted mother (or father) and every once in a while ask them questions about your birth parents and write down the information. This will come in handy when it's time to locate your birth parents.

Good Luck.

Jay Rosenzweig

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Recorded Statement vs. Written Declaration

I wrote this article over 10 years ago. I thought I'd place it on the blog because even with updated technology and the internet, investigators still take written declarations and tape-recorded statements.

So, here it is...

Recorded Statement vs. Written Declaration

by Jay Rosenzweig

The recorded statement is not an easy replacement of the signed written declaration. It has its own techniques and advantages and disadvantages. The following is a list of some of the advantages and disadvantages of a recorded statement as compared to a written statement:

Advantages of a Recorded Statement:

a. The statement is given in the subject's own words and his or her particular accent and phrase usage.

b. The recording will indicate a subject's emphasis and inflections and will give an idea as to whether he or she is forceful and positive or weak and vacillating.

c. Is probably the preferred method of obtaining a statement from an illiterate person.

d. Usually easier to read than a hand written declaration.

e. Generally takes less time to complete than a written statement.

Disadvantages of a Recorded Statement:

a. The statement is not signed by the subject at the time of interview (Unless the transcription is sent to the subject at a later date for signature).

b. Subject may "freeze" knowing the conversation is being recorded.

c. Faulty handling of the recorded interview can result in the statement being useless as evidence.

d. It is essential that the recording be clear and audible. Background noise not noticed at the time may prove to effectively "wipe out" much of the recorded interview by covering the voices, making it difficult or impossible to hear and understand the questions and answers.

e. Impressions of witnesses are more accurate in person rather the over the telephone (if it's not a personal interview).

Most statements are used in court for impeachment purposes only. However, in some cases, if you show up in court with a pile of witness statements in your favor, most likely the judge will take that into consideration when rendering a decision.

Remember, even if the witness does not want to cooperate and provide a statement (but will provide an interview), you can still use your notes for impeachment purposes. I suggest that you do not conduct investigation on your own behalf, but to hire a professional. Courts give more credibility to a 3rd party (or someone impartial) rather that someone related to the case.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Vital Records Searches

Where to Find Vital Records Online

Let's start with this page that has most of the links for where to find information about State and County birth, marriage and death records from around the USA -'s Birth, Marriage & Death Records page.

If you are trying to find the birth date of the person you are researching, I suggest trying this site that has a free birth date lookup - is a pretty good resource of finding the exact year, month and day of a person's birth. The best part is that it's FREE. The only fallback with this site is that you can't narrow your search by state. The search results cover the entire USA for all the persons with the name you area looking up. Some names are omitted from this database. has a very good death index. You can search by first, middle and last name. You can also search by social security number.

For birth information, is another good resource. It also has a death information database.

Marriage records are tricky, especially if you want information from California. Most recent marriage records in California are confidential. You can obtain some information from; however, the records only go up to 1986.

Vitalsearch-ca. also has a marriage database for Texas. Their Texas marriages database is comprised of over 6 million groom/bride entries from 1967-2002 displayed in straight text form. In addition they have a Kentucky marriage database from 1973-2002.

Clark County Nevada (Las Vegas) has a great marriage records database. Marriages are indexed on-line from 1984 through the present. This marriage inquiry system is also FREE to use.

If you cannot find the vital records information online, try The National Center For Health Statistics page on "Where to Write For Vital Records." It lists the mailing addresses, phone numbers of all the states vital records offices and how to obtain such records.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Internet Monitoring Spy Software

Find out who your family members are talking to on the Internet.

I frequently receive calls from parents that want to know who their children are talking to on the internet. In addition, husbands/wives want to know the content of the emails their spouse is sending to someone they might be having an affair with. I tell my clients that I cannot obtain the information from these emails without a subpoena.

I suggest Spector Pro 5.0. Spector records all web sites visited, all keystrokes typed, all incoming and outgoing e-mails. As frequently as once per second, Spector secretly takes a snapshot of your computer's screen, and allows for easy, VCR-like playback. Spector is ideal for parents concerned about what their children do on the Internet and for employers concerned about loss of productivity due to recreational use of the Internet on company time. Spector has also become very popular for the wife or husband who suspects their spouse of cheating online. With Spector, you SEE EXACTLY what someone else was doing on the Internet.

eBlaster is a product that automatically forwards you an EXACT COPY of their Chats, Instant Messages and Emails.

eBlaster is the ONLY software in the world that will capture their incoming and outgoing email, chats and instant messages - then IMMEDIATELY forward you an EXACT COPY.


  • You are at work and your child is home from school.

  • She receives an email from John at 3:00 PM.

  • Within seconds, you receive a COPY of that email sent to your email address.

  • A few minutes later, she replies to John's email.

  • Within seconds, you receive a COPY of what she sent to John.

    In addition, eBlaster also records ALL emails, chats, instant messages, web sites visited, keystrokes typed, programs launched and peer-to-peer (P2P) files downloaded - then sends it to you via email in the form of a detailed Activity Report.

    Both Spector Pro 5.0 and eBlaster are reasonably priced. Right now each product is $99.95. Using one or both of these products is much more efficient and cost effective than having someone conduct surveillance and having the possibility of getting "burned" while following them.

    Word from the wise- if you have young children, make sure you place parental controls on their computer and always monitor their activity. The internet is a breeding ground for sexual predators and we do not want our children caught up in it.

    J R
  • Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Where to Find Property Records

    The Web Has Many Free Property Records and Valuation Sites

    The site is the hottest and newest property valuation site on the web. It seems to show up on every blog and Yahoo Group that pertains to public records.

    Zillow provides a free home valuation tool which includes square
    footage, bedroom/bathroom count, historical information, assessed
    value of homes in the area and a satellite map of the property and the
    surrounding neighborhood.

    If you are looking to see if someone owns a parcel of land, this page covers most states and counties - Free Property Records Online

    Nationwide Environmental Title Research (Netronline) has the most comprehensive collection of both online and offline county assessor, recorder and tax collector contact information.

    If the state or county of the property you need to obtain information does not have a free webservice, then I suggest Intelius. The Intelius property report is $14.95 and includes sales history, current value, lot size, property details, owners information, current mortgage, legal description & more.

    J R

    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    Searching For Inmates

    Where To Find Inmate Locator Websites

    Most states have online searches for inmates through their Department of Corrections websites. Here is the complete list (also includes county jail rosters) - Inmate Locator.

    For California, the Department of Corrections has a 24-hour inmate locator telephone number of (916) 445-6713. You must have either the inmate's CDC number, or the inmate's full name and date of birth to receive information. The Inmate Locator will provide an inmate's location, mailing addresses and relevant phone numbers. They will not provide any future release date information.

    Vinelink is another database that provides inmate information at the state and county level for most states.

    If you are trying to locate an inmate at the Federal level, try the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator page.

    If the county or state department of corrections you are looking for does not have an inmate locator on the web, I suggest you call the prison directly. They will tell you if the inmate you are looking for is incarcerated in their facilty.

    J R

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    How To Choose A Polygraph Examiner

    The results of your polygraph test may change your life!

    When choosing a polygraph examiner, price is the last thing you should ask about. In the polygraph profession, affordability does not always equal quality. Remember the old saying, "You get what you pay for."

    It's up to you to be a smart consumer when choosing your examiner. When selecting someone to do your polygraph test, ask the person the following four questions. If the examiner doesn't answer "Yes" to all four questions, you may want to look for someone else.

    1. Are you a member of one of the following National professional associations?
    APA - American Polygraph Association
    AAPP - American Association of Police Polygraphists
    NPA - National Polygraph Association

    2. Are you a member of a State professional association?
    CAPE - California Association of Polygraph Examiners
    List of All State Association Websites

    3. Are you Certified? (In California, CAPE certification is best)

    4. Do you attend at least 40 hours of continuing education seminars each and every year?

    If a polygraph examiner does not answer "yes" to all four questions, he may not be good enough for you.

    Additional questions to ask when selecting an examiner:

    5. Have you testified in court about polygraph tests?

    6. Are you an Officer or Board Member of a Professional Association?

    7. Are you a teacher at an accredited polygraph school (accredited by APA, AAPP or NPA)?

    8. Have you written articles about polygraph testing?

    9. Do you have one or more college degrees?

    Remember, your polygraph test may be a life-changing event. Don't put yourself in the hands of anyone but a highly-qualified professional!

    J R
    Our polygraph services page

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Finding Hidden Assets

    PayPal - A Viable Source

    If you have a judgment against an individual, most likely you are not going to find any attachable assets by searching public records. Judgment debtors are smart. They know you are looking for their bank accounts. Most of them do not have open checking/savings accounts in their name.

    In recent years, the internet has been a great place to hide money. PayPal for example allows individuals to have online accounts to either store funds or make business transactions. A high percentage of Ebay users have PayPal accounts. Many online businesses use PayPal as a form of accepting credit cards. If you believe your debtor has a PayPal account, here is what you do:

    Have your attorney send a letter via U.S. Certified Mail or by courier service (Fed Ex, UPS, etc..) to PayPal with a subpoena (or writ of attachment if you have a judgment) to the following address:

    Attn: Legal Dept. - Civil
    2211 N . First Street
    San Jose, CA 95131

    Make sure the subpoena/writ includes the debtors full name, address, social security number. It wouldn't hurt to include the email address of the debtor.

    Another way to search for someone assets is to check their trash. I always tell my clients to shread their personal information before they throw it away. However, there are still many careless people out there who just throw away their bank statements, stock portfolio, telephone bills, etc...

    In most cities it is legal to search through someone's trash as long as the containers are on the street or in the alleyway. I suggest checking with the city regarding their laws before you take someone's garbage.

    There are many other creative ways to find hidden assets. I won't list them all here. The above steps are probably the best way to start when you need to collect on a sizable judgment.

    J R

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    What are the Best People Finder Sites?

    I thought I would post this on Valentines Day because this is the time of year I receive many requests to find "lost loves" or childhood sweethearts.

    First, here is my disclaimer: I will not locate anyone unless there is a legimate purpose. Married people (and I get a lot of them ) should have no reason to find their high school boyfriend/girlfriend.

    Okay, with that out of the way, let me tell you that the best FREE people finder site is Zabasearch. You can find the link at's people finder page along with all the other free people finder links. Zaba publishes all of the listed addresses for an indivual for at least the past 10 years.

    To be honest, as a private investigator, I rarely find updated addresses using Zaba or any other free search. For the general public, I suggest Intelius. For under $30, they will provide you with the most recent updated address of an individual.

    The absolute best site to obtain adrress information and background information is Merlin Information Services. However, Merlin will only sell their data to companies such as private investigation firms, government agencies, collection agencies, large corporations, law firms, insurance companies, repossessors, process servers or any other business with a legitimate purpose under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

    If you do not qualilfy to have an account with Merlin, then I suggest you contact a private investigator. My firm charges a flat fee of $250 to locate a person (higher for missing persons). Many times I receive calls from people who spend more than that using several online services and they come up empty.

    All in all, I suggest you follow the above steps and if you strike out, contact me.


    J R

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Fingerprint Examination

    The other day I received a call from a company that wanted to hire me to lift fingerprints off one of their laptop computers. I told them that I don't offer that service.

    After I hung up the phone, I thought about it and said, "Why Not?" So, I did some research and contacted some of my colleagues, and I found the #1 fingerprint and document examiner (in my opinion) in all of Southern California. Kurt Kuhn, retired from the Beverly Hills Police Department will now offer his services to our clients. Please read our page on Kurt Kuhn- here

    J R

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    How Can I Find Warrants?

    I receive many requests to find arrest warrants. Unfortunately arrest warrant information in California is not public record to a 3rd party- except for San Diego County - Thanks to Paul Bush of Legal Dockets online for reminding me.

    In some other states, warrant information is available online. Check this link of a City in Kansas - City of Rose Hill Warrant List

    Another way to check for warrants is to run a criminal index for the individual. If there is a pending criminal case, contact the court to see if there is a "Failure to Appear." Most likely if there is an FTA, then there is a warrant. Also, run the individuals driving record. FTA's show up for traffic violations if the Subject does not show for his traffic court case. Law enforcement will only pick up that person if they are stopped for a traffic violation.

    One other way to check warrant information is to check the County's most wanted list. Granted not everyone will be on that list, but some small counties will list everyone with a warrant. Try this link - Most Wanted Persons by State

    J R

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    What Can't Be Used in an Employment Background?

    You would surprised how many employers have no clue whan can or can't be included in a pre-employment background check. Today I received a call from someone who wanted arrest records of a potential employee. First of all, arrest records are not public records. The only criminal records that are considered "public" are misdemeanor and felony charges filed on a defendant.

    Oddly enough, criminal records more than 7 years old (for California - other states are 10 years) cannot be reported by the agency conducting the pre-employment background. You can ask applicants the following: "Have you been arrested for any matter for which you are currently out on bail or have been placed on your own recognizance pending trial?"

    The full Fair Credit Reporting Act can be read here - FCRA

    J R

    Saturday, January 28, 2006

    Cell Phone Privacy - Online Vendors Targeted

    Over past couple of weeks there have been many articles and news stories(Read here) about online companies selling personal cell phone information to the general public. Congress is moving fast to stop these companies from selling cell phone information to the public. Read the latest letter from the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.pdf format

    I do not condone the conduct of these online companies selling to the general public. As a private investigator, I have many different resources for obtaining information. None of which are illegal. Most of the time I have to be creative in obtaining information on a subject of an investigation. Being creative does not mean that I am violating the laws or being unethical. These individuals I investigate are the subjects of an ongoing legal matter. My clients are either victims of fraud or trying to prevent being defrauded by having a "due diligence" investigation conducted.

    We will see what happens with cell phone privacy legislation over the next few months. I will keep you posted.

    J R

    Friday, January 27, 2006

    What Are Free Public Records?

    I posted this on my Yahoo Group a while back and thought you may want to read this on my blog.

    Many of you are wondering why certain public records are not free via the internet.
    The answer is simple: Anything that is not considered a "Public
    Record" is not usually free. For example, some of you want to find out
    who a cell number is registered to - "for free." If the Subject's
    cell phone is not listed in a public directory, then it's
    considered "quasi" confidential. There are companies out there that
    will "break" the cell phone number (for a legitimate purpose) for a mere $25
    or so. I personally think that is extremely reasonable.

    Regarding locating people: The free databases mostly have old
    information gathered from "public records", ie.. telephone book. If
    the Subject is not found through any of the "pay" online companies
    that charge $29 or so, then the only way you are going to find that
    person is by hiring an investigator. An investigator will only take
    a case if there is a legitimate reason to find that person. For
    example, wanting to find your high school sweetheart is NOT a
    legitimate reason. Most PI's will tell the client that they will
    locate her and let her know you are trying to contact her/him and
    give that person your contact information. That way their privacy
    is protected.

    Regarding getting all of this information free: The confidential
    databases are not free. Investigators, government officials,
    insurance carriers, etc.. all have access to this database. The
    database mostly consists of "credit headers." A credit header lists
    all the names, addresses and birth dates used by a Subject when they
    apply for credit or fill out a rental application. 9 out of 10 times
    a person is found using this information. A credit header will not
    list creditors or any debt information. Again, it is only used
    for "legitimate purposes." The cost for these agencies to obtain
    this information is minimal. However, you are paying for their
    expertise. The cost to the public to locate someone using these
    methods usually range from $75 to $250 depending on what information
    you provide.

    All in all, I suggest that you continue to use the free public
    records searches first and then you may have to pay for the services
    that are not free online.

    I hope this helps.

    J R

    Welcome to Public Records Blog

    New Public Records Blog Starts Today!

    Today is the first day of our public records blog. I have been asked by many individuals to have a blog for public records information. So, let me begin by introducing myself.

    I am a licensed private investigator in the State of California. As a PI, I was constantly bookmarking sites that would assist me in my investigation. After a while, there were many too many sites in the bookmarks. My wife asked me, "Why don't you create a website that has all these links for free public records and promote it to the general public."

    Well, I took my wife's advice, and in the summer of 2000, I created a website called "" The site linked to free sites that provided online public records. I spent years gathering links and placing them on the site. In 2003, the site became one of the top sites on Google for finding public records. In the fall of 2004, I sold to Intelius. Last year, I created another free public records site called Today, is one of the most popular sites for finding free public records and can be found on "Google's" first page under the keywords "Public Records."

    I spend about 10 hours a week updating the links and rely on your recommendations for adding links. You can join our Yahoo Groups forum to recommend links and discuss public records. There are over 3600 members in this group.

    This blog will mostly provide information about conducting your own investigation, where to find public records that are not online and legislative news and information about access to public records. I can't guarantee that I will post everyday, but I will certainly do my best to inform you about public records.

    Thanks for your support.

    Jay Rosenzweig