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Private Investigator Services Through the Net

Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.
Last Updated: July 1999

If you've searched the Net for email and street addresses and phones, and come up "zero", then you may need assistance by an Investigation Agency. You're going to pay for this service, so think first about what you can afford. Something simple can cost $20 dollars. But nobody is going to be happy getting a bill for $400 dollars for services they didn't know they were ordering. Be careful to limit your potential losses from an unscrupulous company. There are a few scams out there. I haven't listed anybody in that category that I know of -- but I make no guarantees. Read carefully before you order or sign up.

A few indicators can keep you out of the most obvious kinds of trouble with an Investigative Agency. If you're going to do something more complex than a credit record address check for a social security number, then a little early homework can save you grief later.

Having suggested these ways to stay out of trouble, let's look at some Internet sites where you might do business. I searched InfoSeek for terms like "Fair Credit Reporting Act" and "tracing people." I found over 4,000 links. Some of the sites I visited are these:
  • Mallpark Missing Persons Page provides links to several Private Investigators and Investigation Agencies. This is one of the larger collections of links in one place which I found.



  • The Solutions Group is a subscription service for businesses only. They do not do business on a "one time" basis to individuals. If you have a business license and signed authorization forms from employees or applicants, they offer a range of background screening searches for a relatively low per-search cost. 

  • National Credit Information Network offers individual subscription services with a minimum rate tied to several months of service. Depending on what you want, the services here looked pricey to me. Use your own judgement. Their advertised sources offer a good idea of what is available in many places:
  • There are a few other services on their list as well. Many services are also supported by other sites. I recommend that you comparison shop.

    Find a Friend will let you order from a menu of several search services for individuals and businesses. The page includes an email link to the parent company if you want to ask questions. Prices looked reasonable to me, but that's an individual judgement. How effective any one of the services will be, I simply don't know.

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