Neil Caddell demystifies the TransUnion|TLOxp Address Report and offers a few tips on best use.
The following content is provided by TransUnion|TLOxp. (TransUnion|TLOxp is a sponsor of our podcast, the Sound of Pursuit.)
Like most private investigators, I keep my eyes open a little wider than most. That’s probably why I noticed an older gentleman one day at my daughter’s school, picking up a child and acting aggressively towards other kids. The school noticed him, too. And since they knew I was a licensed PI, they engaged me to look into this individual, as a safety precaution.
Reviewing the methods I used to track down information on the man offers plenty of insight into what’s changed about investigative work over the past few decades.
Databases transformed the profession.
If I’d been hired back in the ’80s to get some perspective on this fellow, I’d have had to do some serious ground work—for starters, traveling to courthouses and spending hours leafing through paper directories searching for connections between addresses, aliases and associates.
Not so today. The database revolution brought tremendous amounts of public and private information into increasingly accessible formats. In fact, database research is the most important part of most investigations. If you don’t do a good job of it, you’re going to waste a lot of time making bad assumptions and chasing down false leads.
Information is the investigator’s currency, and databases are our banks.
Running down an address yields results.
Which brings me back to the guy I noticed. I ran his plate through the online skip tracing tool, TLOxp, and found criminal information on the surface level with a Comprehensive Report. When I dug deeper by using TLOxp’s Relationship Diagram, I found he was once married or associated with a woman he shared many addresses with. She now has a different last name, so I ran her most recent address in the newly introduced Address Report and, wow, it delivered.
From that new address, I was able to get a list of aliases and other SSNs this guy used. And by using the integrated social media search, I exposed his online profiles. Turns out, he had questionable online activities and an extensive criminal record. And he changed his name every two years to stay ahead of a violent rap sheet a mile long.
The Address Report helps you visualize relationships.
As an investigator, you can’t rely solely on open-source tools like Google Search, because they lack the linking mechanism available with private sources. Familiarize yourself with today’s best databases and dig deeper. In the Transunion TLOxp database, the Address Report, supported by the Comprehensive Report, Relationship Diagram and Social Media Search, peeled back the layers for me, exposing the larger scope of this fellow’s activities. This was information I couldn’t get from a simple Google search.
View the Address Report as a way to generate a complete background dossier on any address, as if it were an entity or person itself. A single address can yield a vast cross-section of information: other people and vehicles listed at an address; criminal information across the board; roommates and other associates—plus everyone’s assets, businesses and filings.
This is critical data that lets me know what I’m walking into, and it goes far beyond what other databases and single searches currently offer. I encourage investigators to dig deeper and use other reports and tools such as I did to uncover the unknown.
And the guy in the car? Perhaps he’s changed his ways for good, but at least now the school is fully informed.
About the author:
Neil Caddell is manager of Locate/Investigative Markets at TransUnion|TLOxp. He has worked as a licensed private investigator for over 20 years in Florida and New York, and has extensive management experience in his field. He has served on major investigations and insurance boards, and is a member of many country-wide investigator groups.