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Look Out for Bogus Background Investigations

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Look Out for Bogus Background Investigations

The term “Background Investigations” is probably one of the most misunderstood phrases since the emergence of the Internet. Just type it into any search engine and see what comes up. Paid ads top the list. Some say you can have a background investigation performed for $20. Others claim to rate background investigation sites.

While many of these sites are legitimate, others perpetuate the myth that there’s a crystal ball in cyber space with all the information you need to know about anyone—all for $20! Some boast flashing colors, sliding graphics and warnings about the “confidential” information you’re about to receive or even claim to reveal arrest records.

Don’t be duped by these misconceptions!

Who Do You Trust?

True background investigations require an investigator who knows where and how to look for the information.

The first thing you need is a positive identification. That’s easier said than done. Try running the name Joe Smith through one of those “crystal ball” sites. Even if you know what city he lives in, you won’t be able to positively identify him. If you can provide a licensed investigator with a date of birth or at least an address, they can verify the identity through databases available only to them. These databases combine public records and the reported address information from credit reporting agencies. Please note: Confidential credit information is not available to investigators.

Once the subject is positively identified, the investigator can review the address history to determine where to look. Typically, the most important information can be found in courthouses.

The majority of flashy background sites boast criminal records as being most important. That’s not necessarily true. While it’s good to know if the subject of your background investigation is a felon, a wealth of information can be found in misdemeanor, civil and family courts.

These types of records tell a lot about your subject, including whether:

  • felony cases were pled down to misdemeanors;
  • they have a history of civil litigation;
  • they were sued by landlords, credit companies or medical providers;
  • they were divorced, maybe multiple times;
  • there was a record of domestic abuse or failure to pay child support; and/or
  • they filed bankruptcies, maybe multiple times.

Oftentimes people are involved in many types of these cases as the victim. They may be charged or sued, even when they’ve done nothing wrong.

A licensed Investigator can evaluate these cases and tell you in more detail if the subject has been creating their own problems. Know that whether you’re right or wrong, if you’ve been accused of something you must answer your accuser.

The Personal Touch

We’re committed to protecting our clients. Our private investigators bring a human element to your search, unlike the faceless online providers who promise an "instant" background check. They have the resources and know-how to compile the most accurate, up-to-date background reports. 


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Bill Lamb

William (Bill) Lamb, a licensed Private Detective, began his professional investigation career in the 1980’s in the Military Police, moving into Military Police Investigations within one year.  Following service to his country, Mr. Lamb moved into a management position, always having the thought of returning to some type of investigation work.  In 1995, he accepted a position working for Insurance Investigative Consultants, one of the nation's original investigation firms, providing support to the insurance industry.  William Lamb continues to review every file before it reaches a client's hands.  He also personally handles criminal defense investigations for some of Lake County’s top law firms.

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Inter-Facts Affiliations

NALILogoNational Association of Legal Investigators : Formed in 1967 for legal investigators actively engaged in negligence investigations for the plaintiff and/or criminal defense. 



The National Council of Investigation and Security Services: The National Voice of the Private Investigation & Security Profession  



The National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators : Providing recognition, encouragement, and support to individuals who demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism in conducting insurance investigation.