- In Texas, does a person need a special license to call himself a private investigator/detective?
- Yes, a license is definitely required in Texas. The Private
Security Bureau of the Texas Department of Public Safety is
the regulatory agency that licenses Private Investigators in
Texas. They have a fairly good website for information on
licensing located at: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/psb/
Basically, to obtain a company license in Texas, a person must: Pass a background check, Have verified experience in investigations, Pass a test on the laws affecting investigators, Have insurance/bonds, and more. Texas also requires continuing education to renew a license.
- What internet sites provide the best free information or public records?
- That is kind of like asking "what auto dealer sells the best
It all depends on what you are looking for.
Even with the extreme size of the internet, don't believe the media hype of "you can find anything on the net." There is no one shop stop for public records or information online. Not all public records (not even 10% of all public records) are available online.
The best bet is to start with a search engine like google.com and search for the particular type of public record you want and the area (location) it would cover. For example: Marriage Records in Houston Texas.
PI's have thousands of sites bookmarked, specialized databases, thousands of phone numbers indexed, and hundreds of contacts listed that we have to use to get public records. If it was as easy as just using the internet, our job would be so easy, and most people would not need PIs.
- How can I know if my phone line is being tapped? I´m seriously beginning to think this is happening. Please tell me how to do this, or at least how to find out. Are these devices inside my house? If they are, what do they look like? If they´re not inside my house, where should I look?
- If it's a government agency or the police tapping your line,
and they are doing it legitimately (with a court order, etc.),
then there is no way you can find out until they arrest you
with evidence they received that way. These types of taps are
done at the telephone company's substations or switching
stations and are nowhere near your home. There is no way to
detect these sort of taps.
If it's an amateur or non-governmental tap, you MAY be able to detect it. Trace every phone line in and outside your house from the pole. Look for any splices or strange devices/boxes. If you find something, call the phone company. They'll identify it for you.
Also if you received a phone as a gift or prize, it might be a phone with a built in transmitter.
If you use a cordless or handheld phone, it is transmitting info to the world and a good scanner (professional model) can pick them up. Even the 900Mhz "frequency jumping" cordless phones are not totally secure.
You may need to hire a professional Counter-Surveillance (TSCM) agency to check your home out. Expect to pay at least $3000 to have your home checked, and this should take two-three people at least 8 hours. If the person you hire comes with only a small single piece of equipment, you will not be getting full service. The equipment needed to attempt detect taps takes a lot of equipment. And even after all this, you still may not find anything.
FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions - Background Checks
- We have an extensive interview process, why should we spend more time and money conducting background checks?
- Although good interview techniques are a part of the entire process, background checks may provide the employer with information regarding the prospective employee's history of suing their employers, criminal activity, or personal financial mismanagement. We believe that people are victims of scams because they do not take the time to properly research available records.
- We do not conduct background checks on our employees, why should we start now?
- Court cases have demonstrated that employers who fail to
provide a safe working environment are liable to their staff
when something occurs that could have been prevented if
reasonable efforts would have been taken to prevent this. And
with numerous instances of courts applying the "Negligent
Hiring Doctrine" against businesses that either did not have a
background check done or had an inferior (online) check done,
it is a losing proposition.
Lets face it, this is a society of individuals just waiting on the opportunity to sue. Why give them the chance?.
- Our company has a security department, shouldn't they conduct our in house background checks and investigative needs?
- Security departments are just that, security, and are
designed to protect the physical facility and assets. There is
a dramatic difference in the expertise of security and
investigators. Security is their main job and they do not have
the proper resources, manpower or experience to handle
In addition, many companies utilize outside investigative agencies for liability reasons. When internal investigations are needed, most employees recognize security personnel and may have developed relationships with them. It is therefore important to obtain outside, unbiased investigative resources.
- We are a small or mid-size company with a limited budget, can we afford to conduct background checks?
- The question is, "can you afford NOT to conduct background
Why work to build a business, just to have it placed in jeopardy without reason?
- What is the minimum we should have done for a background check?
- That can only be answered by your attorney and the applicable laws and regulations for your industry. The minimum we recommend is a criminal records search of the counties that the individual has resided, worked, or gone to school in for the past seven years. Even better is to also check civil records and the Federal District records (criminal, civil & bankruptcy) for those areas..
The following forms or information sheets may be required.
- Pre-Employment Check/Verification Order Form
- General Background Check Request Form
- Applicant Release for Background for Employment Purposes
- General Release for Investigation/Records Request
FCRA Notification Forms: