Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Investigation of and Tracking Down Perpetrators
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's Free Background Check Wizard

Most Wanted Criminals List and Directory

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.

In Canada you can also use Canadian Council BBB keeping in mind that the three Canadian BBB's that are part of the US database system are: Kitchener, Calgary, and Vancouver. See also Ottawa BBB.

RipOffReport - Complaint driven site allows name searches. Great current scam resource. Also see BadBusinessBureau.and WebBox.

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.

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. - SEC filings in easy read format - 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.

Database Listing

Docusearch Confi-Chek (fee)
Public Record Finder Virtual Librarian FreePeopleSearchOnline
Yahoo Reference    


U.S. Zip Code Database Canadian Postal Code Database

Florida Dept of Corporations Database

Idaho Corporations Database

Court Cases

Search U. S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Prisoners Database

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.

U.K. Info

Postcode FinderMultimapU.K. Internet Domain Info (don't add www in search)

Self-help investigation advice for UK ( DIY Spy )

Note: This page will expand as my time permits and contributions are sent in. ( Internet Services Providers Association) ( U.K. company registrations ). Commercial Crime Service in the U.K.)

Mapping Info

blue bullet point CitiSearch.
blue bullet point MSN MapPoint: High quality, detailed street maps online.
blue bullet point plans your trip with routes & facilities.
blue bullet point MapQuest, consumer travel site, includes Europe and Canada.
blue bullet point DeLorme's CyberRouter, receive a Map'n'Go® travel plan.
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blue bullet point Map-o-rama: U.S. & World Maps.
blue bullet point World Atlas.

Phone Number Searches

Phone Search Central - Guaranteed Accurate Phone Number Investigations

Phone Search Central can help you find the subscriber name and subscriber address associated with any given cellular or landline phone number.

blue bullet point The best online search sources.
blue bullet point Canada411 - Canadian listings
blue bullet point
blue bullet point Argali White & Yellow : Free Download of Great Search Capabilities.
blue bullet point Yellow.Com provides world-wide Yellow Pages.
blue bullet point Bigbook - Business Yellow Pages, over 16 million U.S. businesses.
blue bullet point The Directory of Directories.
blue bullet point the most powerful web directory.
blue bullet point AT&T Phone Directories: Search by name, business or phone number.
blue bullet point AT&T AnyWho Information.
blue bullet point Telephone Directories on the Web - worldwide.
blue bullet point Internet 800 Directory.
blue bullet point
blue bullet point Switchboard, the people and business directory.
blue bullet point WhoWhere? is the way to find people on the web.
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blue bullet point World pages, finding anything, anyone, anywhere.
blue bullet point Yahoo! People.
blue bullet point PhoneNumbers : International Phone Number Lookup.
blue bullet point Company and Telephone Directories.
blue bullet point Free Lookups : Street, phone, ZIP & Much more.
blue bullet point JCS Zip Code / Area Code Lookups.
blue bullet point Telephone Prefix Location Directory.
blue bullet point Pay Phone Directory.
blue bullet point Reverse Telephone Phone Directories on the Net.
blue bullet point Reverse Lookup by AT&T AnyWho Information.
blue bullet point Reverse Phone directory.
blue bullet point Reverse Phone & Address Lookup.
blue bullet point Reverse Phone & Address Lookup by FindLaw.
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blue bullet point Reverse Email & Phone Number Locator.
blue bullet point The Ultimates : twenty-five net services at your fingertips.
blue bullet point Freeality Internet Search : Reverse Lookup, E-Mail & Resources.
blue bullet point Net-Trace : People Search Sites.
blue bullet point Zip2 - Business & People Finder.
blue bullet point People Finders & White Pages : by WorldSwitch.
blue bullet point Who Is Hosting This : Domain Search Tool

Domain and E-mail Address Searches

blue bullet point InterNIC WhoIs.
blue bullet point Email Address Search
blue bullet point BetterWhois : Search All Domain Registrars.
blue bullet point Network Solutions : WhoIs.
blue bullet point ICANN-Accredited Domain-name Registrars.
blue bullet point MESA: The largest email address book worldwide.

Real Estate Searches

blue bullet point, national real estate listings.
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Vehicle Info

blue bullet point AnalogX: a free online VIN decoder.
blue bullet point Vehicle Identification Number Library.
blue bullet point Vehicle Identification Number Lookup.

Various Search Resources

blue bullet point U.S. Federal prisoner database : Federal Bureau of Prisons.
blue bullet point US Postal Service - lookup ZIP codes and more.
blue bullet point Guide to International Postal Addresses.
blue bullet point Search Systems: Free Searchable Public Record Databases.
blue bullet point Portal to official state websites and Tax Assessors & Recorders offices.
blue bullet point Investigators Guide to Sources of Information: US GAO/Office of Special Investigations.
blue bullet point Free Translation: is a free web-based translation service.
blue bullet point PublicRecordFinder: Financial & Banking Resources.
blue bullet point Search Systems: Over 4597 Free Searchable Public Record Databases.
blue bullet point Public Record World: World-wide public records.
blue bullet point Investigators Guide to Sources of Information: US GAO/Office of Special Investigations.
blue bullet point Investigative Links.
blue bullet point Background Check Gateway.
blue bullet point PeopleFinderNow: both FREE & Paid Searches.
blue bullet point National Association of U.S. Counties : County info & Statistics.
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blue bullet point Skipease : Online Skiptracing & Legal Research Platform.
blue bullet point SearchBug : The most useful searches.
blue bullet point 28 SKIP TRACE TIPS!: from contributors of Tracer eGroup.
blue bullet point Skip Trace Portal.
blue bullet point Public Records USA : Searchable databases worldwide.
blue bullet point U.S. Public Record Finder.
blue bullet point Black Book Online : Hundreds of Free Database Searches including bankruptcy.
blue bullet point virtual Gumshoe.
blue bullet point Library & Reference Desk.
blue bullet point Search the United States Federal Government.
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blue bullet point U.S. Social Security Number Validation & More.

Fraud Victims Section