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.
Friday, January 27, 2006
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
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
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.
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 "PublicRecordFinder.com." The PublicRecordFinder.com 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 PublicRecordFinder.com to Intelius. Last year, I created another free public records site called FreePRF.com. Today, FreePRF.com 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.