Private Investigator Research Tools

private investigator research resources
A comprehensive list of private investigator research resources and tools.

We compiled this list of private investigator research tools specifically for private investigators. However, the resources are useful for police officers, crime scene investigators, forensic experts, and others who work in or with the investigation industry

In addition, free research tools are useful for those who work in security fields such as security guards, bodyguards, and bounty hunters. Also, professions that work to track down debtors and missing persons such as collection agents and skip tracers.

The list contains an extensive collection of research resources, search tools, reference material, how-to articles, websites, and other types of helpful information on a wide range of topics.

List of Private Investigator Research Tools




  • Catfish Investigations – An overview of catfish investigations for online dating scams and fraudulent schemes.
  • Celebrity Investigations – Learn about the drama behind some of the most 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 with investigating crime scenes, evidence collection, 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 related to 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 for genealogical research.
  • Domain Name Suffixes – A list of all domain name suffixes. Also, it includes an overview of domain names. Great 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.





  • Handwriting Analysis – How to analyze the handwriting of a subject 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, arson investigators, and more.
  • 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, it is possible that 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 a variety of online reports to dig up 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 overall, learn about new products and technologies, and network with other investigators.
  • Investing – Reference material for financial investigations and asset searches.



  • Law Enforcement – Online resources, agencies, associations, and more for police officers.
  • Legal Forms – Helpful forms for a variety of 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.






  • Reports – Learn how to order investigative reports online now 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 – How to run a reverse search to find people, phone numbers, and addresses.






  • 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. Often, P.I.’s are often hired by insurance companies to investigate fraudulent worker’s comp insurance claims.



  • Zip Code Lookup – Find zip codes for a particular area or look up 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.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Informative article. Thanks for sharing about the private eye research resources. Very helpful. Thanks.


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