We compiled this list of private investigator research tools specifically for private investigators. However, the resources are helpful for police officers, crime scene investigators, forensic experts, and others who work in or with the investigation industry.
In addition, free research tools are helpful for those who work in security-related fields, such as security guards, bodyguards, and bounty hunters. Also, professionals that work to track down debtors and locate missing persons, such as collection agents and skip tracers.
The list contains extensive research resources, search tools, reference material, how-to articles, websites, and other helpful information on a wide range of topics.
List of Private Investigator Research Tools
- ABA Bank Routing Numbers – Overview of routing numbers for financial inquiries.
- Accident Reconstruction – Helpful information for traffic accident reconstruction.
- Acronyms in Investigations – Acronyms and their meanings related to investigations
- Address Search – Find addresses, look up phone numbers, and run reverse searches.
- Adoption Research Tools – Locate adoptive parents.
- Airline Codes and Phone Numbers for Major Airlines
- Alumni Search – How to locate old classmates and friends.
- Amendments – List of constitutional amendments
- Area Codes List by state, number, and search Tools – A list of area codes for each state in numerical order. It also includes search and reverse lookup tools.
- Arrests and Warrants – Learn about the different types of arrests and warrants.
- Arson Investigations – Info for arson investigators and fire investigations.
- Asset Investigations – An overview of asset searches and financial inquiries.
- Automobile Research Reports – Vehicle history reports, auto associations, manufacturers, industry data providers, and auto repossession.
- Background Checks – An overview of top information service providers conducting background checks and investigations.
- Badges – Private Eye badges
- Bail Bondsman – An overview of bail bonds and the people who issue bonds.
- Bank Accounts – Information on bank accounts for financial inquiries.
- Banking Regulations – For those involved with financial matters.
- Bankruptcy – An overview of bankruptcy for those who are conducting asset searches.
- Become a Private Investigator – Learn how to get a private investigator license in each state.
- BeenVerified Background Search Review – A full review of the popular public records search engine.
- Blogging Websites – A review of the top blogging and content management solutions for setting up your agency site.
- Bodyguard – Bodyguarding, executive protection, personal protection websites, books, and more.
- Body Language – How to identify deception
- Books of the Bible – One of the more popular topics in our List of Lists section.
- Bounty Hunters – Fugitive recovery information and websites.
- Business Research Tools – Tips and advice for uncovering information about companies. Includes sources for business news, magazines, and more.
- Catfish Investigations – An overview of catfish investigations for online dating scams and fraudulent schemes.
- Celebrity Investigations – Learn about the drama behind high-profile celebrity deaths, arrests, and cheating scandals.
- Celebrity Mug Shots – A list of mugshots of Hollywood celebrities
- Civil Investigations – Support for civil trials involving separation, divorce, child custody, alimony, and child support payments.
- Collections Agency – Since gumshoes are experts at tracking down debtors, it’s good to know about collection agencies.
- Computer Forensics – Information on the computers, digital, cyber, and IT forensic investigation processes, tools, books, and reference information.
- Crime Scene Investigation – Learn about the process and procedures involved in investigating crime scenes, collecting evidence, conducting forensic analysis, ballistics, and firearm identification, DNA testing, police procedures, photography, tips, and more.
- Criminal Records Search – Learn how to find criminal records and court documents.
- Detective Training – Training classes, degree programs, and continuing education for private eyes.
- Dictionaries / Glossaries – A list of terms and definitions for performing investigations.
- Divorce Investigations – Resources for divorce, infidelity, and surveillance.
- DMV – Motor Vehicle Search – List of DMV offices throughout the U.S.
- DNA Lab Testing – For testing crime scene evidence or genealogical research.
- Domain Name Suffixes – A list of all domain name suffixes. Also, it includes an overview of domain names. Excellent reference material for PC forensics and computer-related cases.
- Dumpster Diving – A technique that private investigators may use to uncover helpful information during an investigation.
- E-Mail Address Search – The best free tools for finding and researching emails and running reverse email address searches
- Elder Abuse Investigations – Learn about nursing home abuse and how private investigators can help.
- Expert Witness – Expert witnesses to testify in court cases.
- FBI Books – Books on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including how to pursue a career in the FBI.
- FBI Field Offices – A list of FBI offices
- Federal Regulatory Agencies – A list of federal regulatory agencies for government-related work.
- Financial Calculators – Online calculators for everything from mortgage payments to credit card debt.
- Fingerprinting – Fingerprinting procedures and equipment for private eyes and police officers.
- Forensic Science Resources
- Fraud Detection and Prevention – Information and links for investigating and combating fraud.
- Genealogy Research Tools – Research family histories, find a long-lost relative, and learn how to search obituaries, biographies, etc.
- Genealogy – National Archives – Using the National Archives to find family members
- Glossary of Investigation Terms – A list of commonly used terms and their definition.
- Google Search Commands – Become a better searcher by learning how to run more effective queries, save time and get better results.
- Government Email – Learn how to contact your congressman.
- Government Research Tools and Information – An extensive list of Government Resources, Data, and Information for Research and Investigations
- Handwriting Analysis – How to analyze a subject’s handwriting to determine possible personality traits.
- Hire a Private Investigator – Visit our worldwide directory of private investigators to hire an expert in your area. Our directory has private investigators, process servers, bodyguards, background check companies, and arson investigators.
- Homeland Security – The government agency responsible for keeping the United States safe.
- How to Find Hidden Cameras – A step-by-step guide for finding hidden cameras and other surveillance equipment.
- How to Find Someone in Prison – If you are searching for a missing person, they may be incarcerated. Learn how to check local jails and state/federal prisons to find inmates.
- How to Promote your Business with Social Media – Learn how to use social media to promote your services, build a following and connect with others who work in the industry.
- How to Survive a Mass Shooting – Learn how to stay alive in an active shooter situation. Get advice from law enforcement, security experts, military, and survivors.
- Hunchly – Web capture software solution for online investigations
- Insurance Fraud Investigations – Investigating fraudulent insurance claims, a list of major insurance providers in the United States, and insurance resources.
- Insurance Companies – A list of the major insurance companies in the United States.
- Intelius Public Records Search – Run various online reports to gather facts and information about people. Reports include criminal records, public records, property information, address and phone number reports, court documents, and much more.
- Investigation TV Shows – The best police dramas and crime TV shows.
- Investigation Industry Conferences, Seminars, and Events – Find events, conferences, and seminars related to the investigation industry. Stay in touch with what is going on in the industry, learn about new products and technologies, and network with other investigators.
- Investing – Reference material for financial investigations and asset searches.
- Jobs (Private Investigator) – Find a job
- Judgment Recovery – If you have a client who needs to collect money related to a judgment, learn how you can help them collect.
- Law Enforcement – Online resources, agencies, associations, and more for police officers.
- Legal Forms – Helpful forms for various personal and business purposes such as Bill of Sale, Bankruptcy, Deeds, Divorce and Separation, Incorporation, LLC Formation, Last Will & Testament, Power of Attorney, Pre-Nups, Wills, and more.
- Legal Research – Free research websites for legal-related matters.
- Licensing (Private Investigator) – Learn how to become a licensed private investigator.
- License Plate Search – Learn about license plate searches, how they are conducted and if private investigators are legally able to run a search.
- List of Lists – Lists on a wide variety of topics.
- List of Acronyms for Chatting and Texting
- Lock Picking – Learn how to pick locks like a professional.
- Loss Prevention – Learn how businesses prevent financial loss by preventing theft and embezzlement.
- Malpractice and Negligence Investigations
- Map Search – An overview of different types of maps, companies, etc.
- Military Locator Services – How to find someone in the military.
- Military Branches
- Miranda Rights – An overview of Miranda Rights and the Miranda Warning
- Missing Persons – Learn how to look for people who have gone missing.
- Mobile Forensics
- Mobile Phone Spy Software – Software for monitoring cell phone usage.
- Morse Code
- Most Wanted Criminals – Various lists of most wanted criminals.
- Motor Vehicle Records – A list of Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices throughout the country
- Mystery Shopping Services – An overview of mystery shopper services that evaluate the service levels, employees and facilities for companies.
- National Crime Information Center – An overview of the NCIC and how law enforcement organizations use it.
- Net Detective and Net Detective Plus – Read a review of what these products can and cannot do.
- Newspapers – A list of major newspapers.
- NORAD – Overview of the North American Aerospace Defense Command organization.
- Online Calculators
- Online Coupon Websites
- Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Tools – Learn about OSINT tools for social media, reverse image searching, fact-checking, transportation, and more.
- OSINT Investigations – Social Links
- Paranormal Investigations – Ghosthunters
- People Search – Online tools for finding people
- Personal Protection – Learn how to protect yourself and your possessions.
- Pet Detective – Resources for finding missing pets.
- Phone Number Search (see Reverse Search below)
- Police Body Cameras – An overview of police body cameras, including the pros and cons regarding whether they reduce police violence.
- Police Officer Equipment – Learn about the equipment and tools used by police officers in the line of duty.
- Police Officer – Learn about the duties and responsibilities of police officers, the equipment and weapons they use in the line of duty, the vehicles used by law enforcement, and more.
- Police Reports – Learn how to find police reports.
- Police Ten Codes – A list of the codes used by police officers to communicate in the line of duty. In addition, this article includes an overview of the military and civilian phonetic alphabet and police acronyms.
- Police Training – Training classes and continuing education for police officers.
- Police Vehicles
- Polygraph – Information on polygraphs and lie detector tests.
- Presidents / List of U.S. Presidents
- Prison/Corrections – How to find someone in prison, jail, federal prison, or another correctional facility.
- Private Investigation Associations – Find an association to join and network with other professionals.
- Private Investigator Licensing – Learn the rules and regulations for getting licensed in any state.
- Private Detective Jobs – Resources for finding a job in the industry and an overview of salary and earnings.
- Private Eye Services – A list of services that private eyes might provide.
- Private Investigator Directory – A worldwide directory of private investigators.
- Private Investigator Software – Software used to conduct database searches, lookups, manage cases, and more.
- Private Detective Training – Resources for learning and continuing education. Includes a list of organizations that provide training for those interested in becoming a private eye.
- Private Investigator TV Series – The best TV crime and detective series.
- Property & Land Records – How to look up information on real estate.
- Process Service – Information on process servers, websites, books, and more.
- Public Records Search – Online search tools and databases for addresses, phone numbers, and other publicly available information.
- Reports – Learn how to order investigative reports online for background checks, public records searches, reverse phone number lookups, property records, and more.
- Report a Crime – How to report that crime to the appropriate law enforcement organization.
- Research Databases – Database information providers.
- Reverse Search – Run a reverse search to find people, phone numbers, and addresses.
- Scams and Fraud Schemes – A list of common scams and fraud schemes.
- Search Engines/ Directories – The major search engines and directories for finding information on the web.
- Secret Service – The organization responsible for protecting the President and other members of government.
- Security Guards
- Security Systems
- Sex Offender Search by State
- Skip Tracing Online
- Social Networking Websites – A list of the most popular social networks.
- Social Security Numbers – Learn how SSNs are assigned.
- Spam – Resources for preventing email spam.
- Spokeo People Search – Search anybody by name, e-mail address, phone number, online username, or even friends in your address book and instantly return lots of info.
- Spy Gear and Surveillance Equipment – This includes an overview of the essential equipment used by private investigators to conduct surveillance and counter-surveillance. Personal protection devices include TASERs, pepper spray, mace, and more.
- Stalking and Anti-Stalking – A list of suggestions for dealing with a stalker.
- State Information – State abbreviations, state capitals, constitutions, and websites.
- Stock Market Information – Websites to use during financial inquiries and investigations.
- Stolen Property and Goods – How to use the TransUnion / Recipero Trace Checker service to determine if property or goods have been reported as stolen to the FBI Stolen Articles file on the NCIC database.
- Surveillance – An overview of how private eyes conduct surveillance on subjects such as deadbeat parents, suspects, and witnesses.
- Survival Kits & Supplies
- TASER Guns and Stun Guns
- Telephone Number Search and Reverse Search Tools – How to look up a phone number and use a phone number to look up a person and/or address.
- Ten Codes – A list of radio communication codes used by police officers.
- Training, Development, and Education – See Private Detective Training above
- Travel Guides – List of websites for researching travel, maps, and geography. See also Hotels, Car Rental Agencies, Cruise Lines, and more.
- TruthFinder – An online public records research site.
- TV Crime and Investigation Shows – The most popular TV crime shows.
- Unclaimed Property Research – Find unclaimed money, property, and valuables.
- Urgent Detective
- U.S. Department of Defense and The Pentagon
- US Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. Intelligence Agencies
- Videos / DVDs – TV crime shows on DVD and video.
- VIN Number Decoders – Learn how to read a VIN number.
- Vital Records – Where to find marriage, birth, death, and other records.
- Website Setup – Learn how to leverage online web design tools, content management systems, web hosting, and wikis to get your private investigation agency up and running.
- White Pages – For looking up phone numbers and running reverse searches
- Wiretapping: One-Party & Two-Party Consent States
- Workers Compensation – An overview of worker’s compensation. Insurance companies often hire PIs to investigate fraudulent workers’ comp insurance claims.
- Yellow Page Lookup Websites – Free search resources for businesses, corporations, and companies in the United States.
- Zip Code Lookup – Find zip codes for a particular area or the zip code for a particular address.
Questions and Comments
If you have any questions about our list of private investigator research tools, please post a comment below.
What a comprehensive list of resources. Thank you! I was a licensed PI several years ago and am trying to refresh my skills because I have an interview for an investigator with the public defenders office. Technology changes so rapidly and many of these resources were not available when I last worked as a PI. I could spend countless hours on your website looking at all the interesting links you shared.
Thank you for the exhaustive list of private investigator tools! I’ll let you know if I can find anything that would be useful to add to your list here.
Informative article. Thanks for sharing about the private eye research resources. Very helpful. Thanks.