Investigation of and Tracking Down
for Fraud Protection - Skip Trace Tips
Determining whether an offer or opportunity is real, honest, valid, legal and beneficial to you in advance of losing money is difficult if not impossible. Determining who stole your money and where it went, even more so.
Going to the police and saying someone stole your money but you don't know who they were or where they were from is really asking for trouble, or at least a lot of head nodding and sympathetic grunts. Certainly little, if any, action though.
Only numerous fully completed complaint forms will ever warrant any attention from the authorities.
Private investigation can be fun and therapeutic for victims and also give you a sense of self-worth and satisfaction. It also saves on expenses if you decide to sue privately.
While I am a researcher, I am not a private investigator, so I beg the forgiveness of that profession as I display my total ignorance of their methods. Perhaps a few will take pity and provide further useful tips or point out any glaring errors of judgment.
Sometimes information about a case is only readily available long after the dust settles and it is too late to recover anything, but using a few examples of both famous and current cases I hope this will be a starting point to learning about the process.
The first famous case that I know has a wealth of info available for is regarding Martin Frankel, while the second is the current investigation of Triple Gold Benefits. We shall follow through an investigation of each assuming you are a victim and you want to see both justice and the return of your money.
How to Do a Free Background Check on Anyone using Search and Investigative Tools:
In the USA, court records, inmate records, sex offender records, vital records (and a lot more) are all in the public domain and free to access - if you know where to search!
Most sites will charge you for access to a database of public records sources - but you can get the goods on anyone for free by using SnoopStation.com's Free Background Check Wizard
Probably the first place you should have looked, before even doing business with a company, is the Better Business Bureau's online search function of company practices. This allows you to find out if the company has any prior complaints against them.
Track down an individual or company by name or phone number using AnyWho, Teldir or Infospace. They have a reverse search feature where you key in the phone number and out pops a listing. This is handy for verifying shipping addresses for business sales as well as determining who you are talking to and where they are calling from. The nice mapping features also indicate the neighborhood so you see if they are operating out of their basement.
For international searches try Thomweb.
You can also determine who the registered owner of a website is and where they are located using a Whois / WHOIS function.U.K. Internet Domain Info (don't add www in search). Although they may lie on their application you can always do a phonebook search above to see if they even exist where they say they are.
Determine who the organizations' directors and affiliated companies are through the Competition Bureau of Industry Canada
SEC Search - Securities related scams.
www.pinksheets.com - SEC filings in easy read format
www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm - SEC filings database
FTC Search - Consumer scams, business opportunity scams, franchise fraud.
FCC Search - For info on phone related scams.
StockPatrol - Stock scam forum is very revealing.
StockWatch - Fantastic research articles on penny stocks.
FDbase - Company and individual search of prime bank and high yield investment offerings due diligence bulletin boards.
Straightshooter - fugitive database search function
StockMarketYellowPages Allows you to search for public companies based upon descriptions.
Over the Counter Stock Info - links
Public Record Finder provides instant public record reports which include: phone, date of birth, relatives, address, home values, marriage/divorce records, death reports and other important details.
Pages of Various Info Databases.
|Public Record Finder||Virtual Librarian||FreePeopleSearchOnline|
Securities Commissions and Financial institutions
Australian Securities Search - determine if company or person is registered.
U.K. Financial Services Authority - determine if company or person is registered.
BankersAlmanac - check all registered banks.
Web CRD - public data on members from the National Association of Securities Dealers
NASDR - Enforcement actions against securities dealers association members.
National Futures Association - futures and options scams, foreign currency fraud.
Denmark Securities Search - determine if company or person is registered.
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions - Canadian warning list of fake banks.
Note: This page will expand as my time permits and contributions are sent in.
http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/ ( U.K. company registrations ).
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|MapQuest, consumer travel site, includes Europe and Canada.|
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|Map-o-rama: U.S. & World Maps.|
Phone Number Searches
Phone Search Central can help you find the subscriber name and subscriber address associated with any given cellular or landline phone number.
Domain and E-mail Address Searches
|Email Address Search|
|BetterWhois : Search All Domain Registrars.|
|Network Solutions : WhoIs.|
|ICANN-Accredited Domain-name Registrars.|
|MESA: The largest email address book worldwide.|
Real Estate Searches
|Realtor.com, national real estate listings.|
|AnalogX: a free online VIN decoder.|
|Vehicle Identification Number Library.|
|Vehicle Identification Number Lookup.|
Various Search Resources
|U.S. Social Security Number Validation & More.|