#88: Reverse Search Cell Phone Numbers, Portable Batteries and More – Technology for Private Investigators

Despite my extended absence from the blog and podcast fear not, I am here to share knowledge I have gained over the past few months that I feel will add value to private investigators in the United States and in some cases around the world.

Portable Batteries

Random Order Portable Battery

My first encounter with small compact portable batteries was about a year ago when I was purchasing my new phone.  I probably paid approximately $15.00  for a Random Order 2800mAh portable battery.  It’s about the size of a lipstick canister.

I have only had to use it once or twice while working as a private investigator but this portable battery is good for the everyday individual.  I needed it to charge my video camera while working because I happened to burn out the cigarette lighters in my vehicle.

The Random Order 2800mAh portable battery that I have comes with a little light and can easily power a phone.

I got my mom two of them for Christmas because she is always worried about how much power is left on her phone.  She was excited to have something as a backup so she didn’t always have to think about charging her iPhone before going somewhere.


As a private investigator it comes down to just being overly prepared.  It doesn’t hurt to have a little battery in your vehicle, purse (or where ever) that you can rely on when in a jam or away from outlets.

This is the one I had but there are plenty devices out there that store more power than this one. I hope that I can review some more of these in the future.

Click here to pick one up on Amazon.



Do Traffic Cameras Record Video?

Traffic Camera

How many times have you slowed down because you saw traffic cameras near the traffic signals?  I am one of the guys that makes sure I watch my P’s and Q’s when I travel through cities with traffic cameras.

Well, at least I use to.

In the course of an investigation recently I had to call a city to determine if I could get my hands on video taken in a specific intersection.  I was surprised to learn in the specific city I was contacting that the traffic cameras do not record video.  The video is only used to adjust the traffic lights related to the amount of traffic in the area.

I can’t account for all video cameras posted on traffic signals but this might provide a possible answer for you if you ever try to secure video from traffic cameras.

Insurance Policy App

I got pulled over the other day because one of my headlights was out.  Thank goodness it wasn’t for something like speeding or having my phone in my hand.

While the highway patrolman asked for my license and registration I explained that I was a private investigator (hence the reason for my video camera being out).  He asked if I was armed and I explained that I am not licensed to carry as a private investigator.

Then he asked me something that cracked me up.

He asked this, “How much have you had to drink tonight?” (it was the day that the Seahawks had a miraculous comeback on the Green Bay Packers)

I was a bit irritated as I just told him I was on my way back from working and I felt as though he was trying to trick me into saying something. He didn’t ask, “Have you had anything to drink?”  He asked the question as if I already had.

I asked him,”Why would you ask that?”

He replied,”I asked everyone.”

I replied, “Noo, the way you asked that question makes someone think you already know they have been drinking.  I see your trickery.”

The officer appeared nervous and embarrassed and did not respond to my statement and said he was going back to his vehicle and would be right back.

I didn’t get a ticket but the one thing he didn’t ask me for was for my proof of insurance.  And I am kind of happy about that because I didn’t have my insurance paperwork in the car I was driving.

Needless to say the reason for this long story was to share that Esurance has an application for phones that allows you to access your proof of insurance along with some other cool things like the following:

Esurance App

Get your ID Cards-

Basically shows what you would need to show another driver in an accident or to a police officer if pulled over.

Policy Management- 

You can make a payment, update you payment method or change your payment date.  You can do this all from you phone.

Your Cars

You can add or remove vehicle from your policy.

Review Your Coverage

Don’t remember the type of coverage you have?  You can check it out all on your phone.

Accident and Claims

  • Save accident information
  • File a claim
  • See current and previous claims filed.
  • Call roadside assistance
  • Contact Claims

I don’t know that I will ever use everything in this Esurance app but I like that all that information is available to me when I need it.

If you have Esurance download the app for your smart phone.  If you don’t have Esurance see if your insurance provider has an app like this one.

How to Reverse Search Cell Phone Numbers

Over the years the only way I have ever been able to reverse search cell phone numbers is by using phone plus in the IRB Search system and it has been extremely accurate.  I have tried Whitepages.com and other free resources to reverse search cell numbers but they have never revealed any relevant information.

US Interlink

About a week ago I came across a posting in a Yahoo Group sharing a website that allowed anyone to reverse search cell phone numbers and get information on the owner of the cell phone.  More specifically  they provide the name of the owner.  If you want more information you have to pay for it.  The website is USINTERLINK.COM.  The link that goes directly to the reverse search is free.usinterlink.com.  The company provides other services that I have not used and all I can vouch for is the free reverse search tool.

Update-  3-17-2015 – Since writing this article US Interlink now requires you to sign in with Google Plus.  I am not quite sure why they need that but that is what they are requiring.  I don’t know if this is a free service anymore.

How To Locate a Federal Prisoner

A website I was reminded of recently to help you locate a federal prisoner is BOP.GOV.  You can search by name and narrow down the search race, age and sex (male of female).

I hope you can use some of the information provided in this article to make your life easier.



  1. Missed ya Dude and rooting for your Hawks today! Hope all is well!

  2. You mentioned that you’d burned out the cigarette lighters in your vehicle. Most likely, the fuse burned out. Replace the fuse in thirty seconds and it should work again. I’m not a PI but I love your site.

    • 🙂 Bill, yes you are right. The fuse is typically what ends up being the problem. With that being said I usually don’t have the fuses on hand and it’s not something I can do during a surveillance. But you are right about the fuses and I apprecaiate you taking the time to comment. Really glad you enjoy it even if you aren’t a PI 🙂

      Take Care Bill.