Investigative Professionalism Recognized
Columbia Investigations and its detectives have been noteworthy and newsworthy, appearing in print and radio interviews. Please be aware that we will never violate a clients confidentiality... ever! Our clients come first!
Private Investigators Declassified
What is happening to our children? Children are being bought, sold and smuggled right under our noses right here in the United States, maybe right in your own neighborhood.
Local Sex Offenders a Cause for Concern
I got an email this week from Melinda Kidder, a private detective with a heart for children’s issues.
City Allows Scavengers and Detectives Dominion Over Trash
At last night’s Columbia City Council meeting, speakers ranging from private investigators to self-proclaimed “Dumpster divers” protested a proposed ordinance making it illegal to take trash or recyclables from the curb.
Investigators with Integrity
Our team of detectives and support staff are committed to providing the highest quality investigative services.
Our law firm has retained the services of Columbia Investigations many times over the past year. Our firm is extremely pleased with the expeditious manner within which results are achieved. Columbia Investigations owner, Melinda Kidder, is very professional and courteous. We highly recommend Columbia Investigations, LLC and the services they offer!
When I became a target of workplace violence, stalking, theft, and identity theft, it was Columbia Investigations (CI) that came to the rescue and helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Melinda has the integrity, toughness, and honesty needed in investigators today. She is freakin’ awesome and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else for your investigative needs or even to establish a baseline as support for trial.
Melinda Kidder has provided insights and advice to others that appears both sound and reasonable. Further, she has a very enjoyable sense of humor and obvious intelligence.
I have worked with Melinda for approximately 15 years. She is my go-to person for all things in Missouri. Melinda is an honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable investigator. I can count on her to keep me up to date on my cases, and I trust her work. The details matter in this business, and Melinda gets me the results and details I need every single time!
Useful Tips and Tricks from the Blog
Is My Daughter Dating An Axe Murderer? How to Run a Background Check on Anyone – Part One
Reasons for a Background Check: One of the most common inquiries we receive at our firm is to look into someone’s background. Some clients need to know with whom their children are spending time. Others want to check out a potential spouse. The more financial savvy individuals are looking to find whether a potential investment is sound or if the deal may be a scam. Persons of a more litigious nature want to dig up the dirt before getting into the courtroom to either get something on the other guy, or make sure their own witnesses can stand up to cross examination. The number of reasons for a background check vary broadly. Application of the Law: As licensed investigators, we have to be aware of many laws which keep popping up to protect the privacy of our fellow citizens. There’s the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm-Leach-Bliley_Act Next is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf Another is the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) http://www.accessreports.com/statutes/DPPA1.htm There are more, but these are some of the major ones by which we need to abide when checking into someone’s background for a client. If you attempt to check into someone else’s background on your own, you STILL need to abide by these laws. They’re not just for private detectives. They’re for everyone. To put it plainly, these laws are there to make sure NO ONE can have access to another individual’s specific personal information without a valid reason. To see those reasons, check out the links above. How Can I Do It Myself? What Do You Already Know? The first thing I ask a client is to write down all of the information they already know about the subject upon whom they’d like a background check. This saves them cost since I won’t be running down the same avenues they’ve already traveled in their search. More importantly, however, this helps the client to organize their needs, information, and helps establish other ideas for where to search for more facts. Database Searches: Well, you’re not going to have access to our proprietary databases such as www.irbsearch.com, www.skipsmasher.com, www.locateplus.com, etcetera. So, what about those sites all over the internet which appear to offer a background check for around thirty bucks? The difference between proprietary databases and the cheap online public access databases are that the proprietary ones typically update their information on a daily basis. However, if you’re going to do this yourself, the public one might be worth a shot as a starting point. Be sure to note that some information may be outdated or incorrect. Always double and triple check your information for accuracy, especially when your subject has a common name. Use the Power of the Internet: The internet is a wonderful tool. Learn advanced search techniques. There’s a very simple, but true, list of “do’s” at: http://www.ehow.com/how_2911_conduct-advanced-internet.html For a deep web search, check out www.paterva.com . One could not ask for a better search and relationship connecting program than Paterva’s Maltego Community Edition. I’ve been amazed at the depth to which this tool delves in its search to find information. The user interface is a bit difficult, but if you play around with it, the results will be worth the time and effort. The PI buddy who steered me to this “open source forensics and intelligence application” told me its even used by the CIA. True? I have no idea, but the program is awesome for our cause. Every investigator should add this data mining tool to their arsenal immediately. Hell, its free, too! Social Networking Sites: Don’t miss the social networking sites. Although Facebook and MySpace are enormously popular, there are so many more like LinkedIn, Naymz, etc. Even your boss might be checking on your online activity on these sites. Opposing counsel and prosecutors use social networking site searches to gather evidence and more. Here’s a great list of popular social networking sites for your search: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites Another social networking site recently pointed out to me by a friend, which is not on the above list, is secondlife.com. Its new and growing fast as a virtual reality social networking site. Pretty cool, too. However, the first time I used it, I took the tour, then clicked randomly on the map and ended up in a virtual reality BDSM shopping center with no warning of the true nature of the content in advance. The moral of the story is to be careful where you click 😉 My family is urging me strongly to get off of the computer and join them for some family time. Therefore, this post is going to be a two-parter 🙂 Melinda Kidder Licensed Private Detective Columbia Investigations Columbia Missouri 573-673-2485
Coming Soon on DIY PI SPY!
How to become a Private Detective Tracking someone with GPS Using the internet for information gathering and checking backgrounds Legal Matters Identity Theft Bugging Surveillance Much, much more!
Introduction to DIY PI Spy
Welcome to DIY PI Spy! This blog is to become an oasis of information to help you gain the knowledge and tools you need for Do-it-yourself investigations. Although auto-didaction, or educating oneself, should be completely legal, be sure to check the laws in your locality before you go completely James Bond or Philip Marlowe. I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on this blog. We’ll discuss legal issues, certainly, but again, be sure to check with your attorney before engaging in any activities discussed on this blog. If you have questions, toss them out. I’ll try to get an answer to you as soon as possible or refer you to the best source I can find. Next up: Who runs this blog and why should you listen to me?
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