Reply To: Guidance for a new PI

Kelly Riddle:


Good advice already. I would add to that as follows:

1. How would you all verify information acquired by a paid site like TLO or Skopenow? Anyone have any report samples for background checks.

All information obtained from databases and records are treated as unverified information until collaborated. You have to understand where the information comes from (credit bureaus, etc) and then you can understand some of the issues with records. “Comprehensive” background reports thru databases really provided more information that typically needed. For instance, “Associates” listed in a report are simply people who may have rented an apartment after the subject of your investigation or they could have bought/purchased an automobile from your subject. They are linked together by common identifiers and they may in fact have no association with each other.

2. How would you all start a missing persons investigation outside of gathering all possible info from the client?

Depending on the age of the person missing, there are different steps to be taken. Kids and teenagers have now learned that if they want to run off and meet that “special someone” that they need to leave their cell phone, computer and credit cards at home. They also learn to stay off of social media. Depending on where the person was last seen, you should go to that area and check for CCTV cameras as well as along the routes coming and going from that area. You should check police calls for suspicious persons and cars on the date in question (as well as the week before in case they were checking the area).

3. What software and OSINT websites would be beneficial for these two services.

A PI really has to have 8-10 “go to” databases. Then you will build on those based on the need and specific tasks. has some unique searches when you get stuck. County Clerk records have a host of records that many don’t even know are included in “Deed” records such as liens, judgments, gifts, etc.

4. Can you recommend someone you think may be interested in mentoring me to help me bounce a few things off of to get started?

I believe you are in CA. They have a great mentoring program through NLITE. Reach out to Frank Huntington or Francie Keohler. You should join CALI if you are not a member.

Hope this helps!



Kelly E. Riddle, TCI, TPLI, CII, BAI (210) 342-0509 Corporate HQ: 23119 West IH-10 Bldg #6 San Antonio, TX 78257


Director: RecordPros Background Screening Services

Director: PI Institute of Education ( / Founder: Assoc. of Christian Investigators ( / Founder: Council of Association Leaders (

President TX. Assoc. of Licensed Investigators 2010-2012; President-Elect TALI 2009-2010, Board of Directors TALI 2007-2009; Advisory Board Member – Florida Assoc. of Private Investigators (FAPI); Board of Directors – Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas; Board of Directors – Can You Identify Me; Board of Directors – National Assoc. of Missing and Exploited Children (NAMEC); Board of Directors – National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS ) Region 4 Director – National Assoc. of Legal Investigators (NALI);



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