#4 Surveillance Training and Tips Series #1

A Successful Surveillance

The past month has been very busy but I have been inspired to talk about surveillance because I think it is the least talked about subject in the private investigation field.
Many Private Investigators believe surveillance to be part Art and part Science.  I believe this to be true as well.  To truly understand why this comment is true, you have to conduct surveillance for quite awhile.  I will write a series of blogs related to this topic as there is too much information to cover in one blog.
The first key to a successful surveillance is to have as much information about the individual you are watching as possible.  If the surveillance is related to infidelity, the spouse will usually be the best source of information.  If this is related to an insurance investigation, your preliminary investigation along with any information from the insurance adjuster will be the best possible beginning to your surveillance.
A check list that I have been very successful with using is the following:

Run a comprehensive search of the individual

IRBsearch.com and TLO.com are considered the best resources for the following information:
IRB Search application
a.)    Covering address summary/history
b.)    Phone numbers
c.)     Vehicle information
d.)    Court related cases
e.)    Know associates or relatives
f.)     Vehicle information
g.)    Property information
*Remember that the one with the most information going into a surveillance is the most
prepared!
An address summary will tell you how long someone has reported an address for.  This is a great indicator as to whether they currently live at the address or not.  This is a tool like all of the other information.
IRB Search has a function called Phones Plus. This function allows for you to determine an address related to a cell phone.  This information is captured when an individual uses a cell phone number on a credit application.  Just another resource to check when you are having a difficult time locating individuals
Vehicle information for insurance cases can help you not only locate the individual but helps to identify their identity as well.  The tricky thing about vehicle information is that not all states provide it for Private Investigators.  Some data base sources do however provide it like Accurint, accurint.com.
Court case information can sometimes help you develop an idea about the character of an individual.  Additionally if you are having a difficult time locating the individual, the area of the court case might help you to link the person to a specific location.
Knowing the addresses of relatives in the area of the individual might help you locate them if you lose them.  There have been many times that I have lost sight of an individual only to find them at a relative’s home.  This does not happen frequently but it might save you on a case.
I love property information!  The aforementioned paid websites like IRB Search and TLO tell you what properties are owned by the individual.  But this is not solid information in determining whether someone lives in an address.  All address need to be verified through the county assessors website.

BIG Trick of the Trade

If the tax payer’s address of the residence is different from the physical address, the owner most likely does not live there.  This will save you quite a bit of time.

3 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. I am just entering this profession and I am eager to learn. Thanks

  2. These are great tips for private investigators and for regular people who are looking for information. Thanks so much for sharing these!

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