Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A defense attorney & PI who also happen to be writers

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Be Your Own Investigator: Some Free Lookups and Services

Posted by Writing PIs on August 3, 2009

Free

Updated April 15, 2012

Here’s a few free, public means to look up info, from finding a phone number to looking up inmates:

1. Google offers a wealth of free lookups. Enter the following search terms in Google’s browser, hit return and Google displays the results (commands in bold type):

  • weather city (for example weather denver) gives you weather for any city.
  • time city (for example time denver) gives you time for any city.
  • zipcode (for example 80202) returns the town and a small map.
  • phone number (for example 303-444-0000) returns online listings and other public information about the number (Note: If no information displays, the number might be a pre-paid cell phone number)

2. Want to check someone’s professional licensing?  This website contains links to different states’ licensing divisions, including search lookups for contacting the agency and/or look up someone’s name and registration. To open website, click here.

3. Can’t seem to find any information about a person?  If it seems as though someone might have fallen off the planet, maybe it’s time to check the Federal prison system.  Check the Bureau of Prisons’ inmate locator by clicking here.

4. Want to see what’s located at an address?  Here’s a few options:

    • Google maps.  For a video instruction on how to use this service, click here.
    • Bing maps (click “Bird’s Eye” to get the satellite image): click here.
    • Vpike.com offers a side-by-side Google street view and map, with links to make into a QR code, website link and more: click here.

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

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