Friday, May 17, 2013

Investigative Professionals - Recommendation for Sonjat

Sonja Atwell - VP Investigative Professionals

Here is a great recommendation given to us by one of our clients at Investigative Professionals for Sonja our head researcher and VP. Sonja always says she treats every background check as if the applicant would be taking care of her own children. Big congratulations to Sonja.

Sonja Atwell, Vice President, 
Investigative Professionals
Recommended by Christine Generale Service Category: 
Background Investigations
Year hired: 2011
Top Qualities: Great Results. On Time.  High Integrity.

Dear Sonja,
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users:

"I have worked with Sonja for two years using her company's services for my company's hiring process. She is phenomenal! I often need the info on the person we are considering back very quickly and Sonja is there for us!

"I am not the easiest client to please. She personally let's me know if  we need to dig deeper or if the applicant is clear. She gets it right every time. She is on the ball and a pleasure to work with.

"Many background check companies have tried to steal me away, offering cheaper services. I just laugh. They can't compete with Sonja and Investigative Professionals.

"I would recommend her to every person in need of investigative services. I will continue to use her. Anyone is more than welcome to ask me for more info and a reference about Sonja. Great businesses are hard to find so we need to stick together!"

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Search for a Bank Account to Collect a Debt

New from Investigative Professionals. We can now provide you with a bank account search to aid in collecting on judgments.

We search large banks, local banks, credit unions, online banks, online investment brokerage houses and local investment firms to find both personal and business bank accounts. All financial intuitions and bank searches are nationwide. More Information . See our Sample Report.

Regular Price $249
Members Price $199
Members Special for February 2013 $99 (Use Discount Code BAS-02-13)

Sign up for Membership
  - No Fees or Minimum

If you have a question please email us at

We hope to fulfill your records search needs.
Anni Adkins  and 

Monday, March 05, 2012

Investigative Professionals, Assist USPS to convict Adekunle Adetiloye for Credit Card Fraud

Anni Adkins and Joe Hoover, the owners of Investigative Professionals LLC, and the producers of this blog helps nab one of the largest high-tech bank robberies in U.S. history. Read the whole story by Dave Kolpack of the Associated Press in the Desert New.

Their company Investigative Professionals have been conducting background checks for the public and companies since 1999.

They operate two additional websites: and You can apply for memberships at
Adkins and Hoover also developer "Secrets of Top Private Eyes," Pi Course 101 an online training course for professional Investigators.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Database & Public Records Searches

by Joe Hoover


When we were growing up, adults cautioned us against doing anything wrong, anything bad, because, “it will go on your permanent record.”

Well guess what: Everything goes on your “permanent” record - from the time you were born!

Your birth was recorded at the hospital, at the county courthouse, and in your state's department of vital records.

With very few exceptions, every American is on file somewhere. Hundreds – if not thousands - of repositories throughout the country and around the world have a record “of” you - and numerous details “about” you.

There are records of the schools you attended along with your grades and degrees earned.

Your vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and the property you own are all recorded.

Finally, after your death, the Social Security Administration records your demise in its Death Index.

Fact: There are 739,000 registered sex offenders in the USA!

Q: How does one go about accessing sex offender records?

A: Nation-wide sex offender records are available – if one knows where to look.

Fact: Most people have no idea the number of databases they are part of nor of the amount of data/information out there which concerns them.

The Challenge: How to sort through the mountains of data and determine what data is relevant for your purpose. Then, how to organize it be interpreted into useful content.

Cost effective alternative: Determine which of the experts – like Information Providers - to hire to accomplish these tasks.

Q: First of all, what is data?

A: Data is a selection of facts that can be translated into a cornucopia of possibilities. Data is collected on property, businesses and credit transactions. Personal, individual data can range from magazines subscribed to, every residence a person has reported when applying for credit.

Q: Who collects data?

A: Data is collected by both the government and the business sector.

Q: Who owns data and how is it distributed and sold?

A: The original collectors of the data - including government entities and the credit bureaus - own the original data, which is often sold and resold to Data Brokers and Information Providers.

Q: How does one go about tapping data sources, and then translating and interpreting that data into useful information?

A: Value Added Information Providers interpret compiled data so that it “tells the story,” and “paints a virtual portrait” of the subject in question.

Q: For what purpose is data accessed?

A: Records searches are conducted to:

• Locate people for reuniting family members or collecting on a debt.
• Gather background information on individuals and businesses.
• Learn about births, marriages, deaths, addresses, phone numbers
• Get the facts about the person with whom one intends to establish a personal or business relationship
• Make sure the information you've been furnished is true and that the person you're hiring or renting to checks out.
• Learn about a business, its reputation, financial status, and standing in the community.
• Seek information about property and assets to enforce a court order or judgment
• Find out whether or not one is an heir to money or property.

Q: What “types” of records are out there?

A: Public, or “open” records, semi-private records, and private records.

Public/Open Records:
These are records open to public scrutiny. You have a broad right of access, without discrimination, to government information. Data are gathered and cross-referenced by a host of database brokers, combined, traded and sold to other data brokers and systems operators, and ultimately sold to end-users, like Information Providers.

Note: You do not need too prove a "need to know" or furnish a reason "why" you seek certain information. Plus, once you have that information, you are free to use it and disseminate it any way you see fit. You can even sell it.

Semi-Private Records:
Access to semi-private, or semi-open records is limited. Legal dictates, state statutes, and business policy may limit access to financial reports, credit reports, medical records, and employment information.

Closed Records:
This often classified data is maintained by the federal government. Closed records can be opened only by court order and are not subject to The Freedom of Information Act.

All involved in this "data chain" must agree to enforce the regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the first major Federal law enacted to protect privacy. The Act is for everyone. It’s a federal law that designates which public records are open to the public for either reviewing or obtaining documents.

The Act has really helped the general public in making information available, but it is not as important as the local statutes when it comes to state/county/local-held information.

Read the Complete Database and Public Records Article

Investigative Professionals maintain up-to-date “database broker-direct” connections to all pertinent state, county, municipal, civil and criminal records. Investigative Professionals interprets and translates DATA for their many varied clients, to VALUABLE, USEABLE, INFORMATION.

Investigative Professionals offers complete multi-database searches. Conduct a Complete Background Checks for the public and Individual Database Searches for Businesses.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our Littlest Private Investigator

Never too young to start a career as a Private Investigator. This is our granddaughter Isabel already on the job.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Cost of NOT Conducting an Employee Screening

by Joe Hoover

Here’s THE BIG QUESTION: “What risks do I face if I
don’t screen an applicant?”

These are THE RISKS:

(Note: This is a “worst case” summation of the major costs of NOT doing a
thorough background check.)

• Possibility of being liable; of being sued
• Negative news coverage and possible loss of reputation of the company
• Stress of litigation and the investigative process
• Cost of legal defense, even when not guilty
• Loss of time, productivity, and income; another training period
• Loss of equipment and property if by theft
• Cost of training a new hire
• Loss of income/profits in general
• Theft, embezzlement, a shooting, a sexual assault


A person with a job in the accounts receivable department, if inclined, has the
advantage to embezzle. An unscrupulous person employed as a cashier might be of a mind to steal from the till. A job that involves stress and close proximity to
others could result in violence aimed directly at you or your employees. A heavy
equipment operator with a drinking problem or medical issues could cause serious
injuries or death. You could be held libel.


. . . He talked the good talk, stated he had experience in allied fields, and had participated in various related endeavors and projects and enterprises - expertise and experience you could use in your business. Six months down the
road he’s calling in sick and showing up late. That’s when you find out about his drinking problem. And the five DUIs you didn’t know about. And it could be way down the road before you discover any of this . . .


That $19.95 “Criminal Search” you ran: You’re not sure whether he even gave you his correct date of birth! The “Search” results came back: He was “clean.” Of course he was...

Add to the dilemma six months of poor production and the repercussions of poor management on the subject’s part. Plus, once again, your time is on the line; you’ve got to go through the unpleasant interviewing process all over again . . .

But, now, finally, the bad experience is behind you and you’re ready to move on. It was costly, but you’ll survive. Right now you’ve got to hire somebody else.

All that money you spent on training the first loser, and you’ve gotta’ spend it all over again . . .

What it boils down to is: you saved a couple hundred bucks. You could have lost your company!


By not conducting a background screening at all, you, as the employer, could be subject to lawsuits and crippling penalties - plus court awards - if an employee you didn’t check out commits a crime against a fellow employee or a client.


The cost of employee theft and fraud and the cost of recruitment and retention are some of the things that keep Human Resource professionals up at night.


Governing bodies and courts in the United States have created laws regarding employers' responsibilities. It pays to KNOW who you are hiring before you put your clients and employees at risk. What if the guy had been driving the company vehicle and got into an accident; maybe injured or killed somebody. Or hurt somebody in the warehouse while he was operating a fork-lift.

Was he going into people’s homes, representing your company? What if he commits a crime, like rape? You could be held liable. What if he was a sex offender, a real risk to you and your employees, and you didn’t check?

Theft from employees is always a possibility. It’s not just your property either; he might have stolen your client list!

He could have been a repeat “Workman’s Comp Offender,” looking for an easy mark: You.…


Not all risks can be measured in dollars alone. Consider loss of talent, loss of morale, loss of reputation. By law, an employer must exercise due diligence in hiring to ensure that people selected do not pose a threat to others. Poor hiring decisions can have long-term financial and legal ramifications for employers and your other employees. A meticulous pre-employment screening can significantly reduce the risks.

Read the complete "The Risk of NOT Conducting an Employee Background Check" article.

Investigative Professionals performs complete and thorough Background Checks. Conduct an Employee Screening.

How to Conduct a Surveillance

by Joe Hoover

These types of investigations may require surveillance.

  • Relationship (pre-relationship, romantic & domestic)
  • Child custody
  • Worker's compensation & insurance claims
  • Employee theft
Bounty hunting

Important! Of all these, non-professionals should attempt only Relationship Investigations surveillance. All other cases should be handled by the pros.

Who Should Attempt Surveillance?

You can follow and observe someone you know, but to do so you must take extreme cautions. If the target is known to you, you might be better off to hire a trained PI, or recruit a friend or two to do the surveillance for you.

Evidence Gathering for Court

If you conduct surveillance for the purpose of gathering evidence to be presented in court, your timed and dated notes, videotapes, and photographs will have much more credibility with judge and jury if there was a witness present who is willing to testify on your behalf.

Types of Surveillance

There are two types of surveillance: tailing, or shadowing (on foot, or by private and public transportation), and fixed surveillance - also called "the stakeout."

Plan Ahead

Gather all information about the target's habits and haunts before you attempt surveillance. Know the neighborhood you'll be working. Plan possible routes your target might take. Cover yourself by preparing an alternative plan you can put into action should things suddenly go awry. If you've done your homework, you may be able to reestablish a tail even if you lose it.


The more research you do the better. Get to know the neighborhood. Find out where you can sit, where you can be. Learn to be patient.

Learn how to get off the street. One technique is to sit on the driver's side and not the street side: you're waiting for someone. Or, sit in the back seat and slump down.

A female is nowhere near as obtrusive as a male. Obviously she's waiting for her husband.


The kind of stakeout you perform will be determined by the area in which you'll be working. A neighbor's home, a hotel or motel room, an associate's office - these are but a few of the stakeout positions from which you can observe, take photos, and videotape what transpires.

Mobil Stakeout

A stakeout is most often accomplished in a car, van, or truck. A comfortable room or an office from which to watch your target would be optimum, but that kind of observation post is generally difficult to arrange. In a quiet neighborhood, you are always more conspicuous than if parked, walking, or standing on a busy city street. In a run-down section of the city, nothing but old cars parked on the street, your shiny new car will stand out and attract attention. Think about borrowing or renting an older car to use in these areas. In nicer residential areas, curious residents will notice you sitting in your automobile and will come by to check you out. Or they'll call the police, who, if they arrive, will question you and ask you to leave.


Perform a reconnaissance to familiarize yourself with the area before beginning the stakeout.

Also, Do These Things:

  • Top off the gas tank in case you have to follow your target a distance.
  • Check all exits of the house, apartment, or office building you intend to observe.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that will blend in, clothes the target will not recognize.
  • Wear sunglasses and a baseball cap to disguise your face and hair.
If the target knows you, he or she may still recognize you by body shape, coloring or other features and traits, even if you are fully disguised.

Anticipate where target is going; change to clothing appropriate to the environment, i.e. bathing suit at the beach, dressy clothes in a fancy restaurant.

On The Scene

If possible, park in front of a store, bar, or service station. Slide over to the passenger side or slump down in the back seat: You’re waiting for someone while reading a road map or newspaper. Surveillance takes time; learn to be patient. You may be sitting in one spot for a long while. Minimize eating and drinking to alleviate the need to break surveillance to locate a bathroom.

Change Appearance

Take along a couple of changes of clothes to fit in where your subject might be going.

Cover Story

Prepare a cover story in case you're spotted, identified and questioned. The cover story you prepare for the police or a suspicious neighbor may not be a good cover story for your target if he or she spots you.

Read the complete "Surveillance Techniques" article.

The field of private investigation is widely diversified and requires a variety of skills to fill a growing list of specialties. Training and skills you may already have, like photography, electronics - and especially a knowledge of computers - can be very valuable assets for the investigate business. Learn how to get started, where to go for help, and what each state requires.

Secrets of Top Private Eyes -  Private Investigator Training Course - Get Started Now!