The Wasser Agency

License# A8500094

Private Investigator in Miami, FL. Surveillance Investigation Miami and Divorce Investigation. South Beach Investigator. Miami Investigator

Investigate Someone Miami Beach South Beach

The stereotypical private investigator comes from books, TV and movies, so does the stereotypical client. In the world of fictional investigators, clients often turn to investigators for help because the information they seek doesn't fall within police jurisdiction. They may also be afraid or unable to ask the police for help. In some portrayals, clients have already tried to work with law-enforcement agencies but aren't happy with the result. Often, fictional clients are looking for:

Investigate Someone Miami Beach South Beach

  • Investigate lost or stolen property
  • Proof that a spouse or partner is unfaithful
  • Investigate and proof that a friend or business associate is dishonest
  • Someone Missing: friends or relatives
  • The perpetrator in an unsolved crime

Although real clients aren't the archetypal damsels in distress that appear in fiction, the types of cases that surface most often in movies and books are also common in real life. A real investigator's caseload often includes background investigations, surveillance and skip traces or searches for missing people. Investigators may also serve legal documents, notifying people of their involvement in legal proceedings. In the United States, this is part of the due process guaranteed by the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

Naturally, day-to-day duties vary depending on a detective's expertise. Someone who specializes in intellectual property theft will spend far more time studying patents than staking out hotels looking for errant spouses. Some cases are also more common in specific regions. For example, in New York City, some landlords hire private investigators to determine whether tenants in rent-controlled apartments are violating their lease terms. The investigators look for physical proof of violations like subletting apartments and living elsewhere or using residential units for business purposes.

Finding the perpetrator in an unsolved crime might not seem to have much in common with running a background check or finding grounds for a tenant's eviction. But they all involve the same basic task, in order to solve any case, a private investigator has to collect and organize facts.

Gathering facts involves more than the luck and intuition that some fictional investigators seem to rely on. Successfully solving a case begins with planning and analysis. The investigator must:

  • Discuss the case with the client and determine whether it is legal, ethical and possible to solve.
  • Work out a plan and budget for gathering the necessary information.
  • Conduct the investigation, gathering evidence in such a way that it can be presented in court when necessary.
  • Analyze the evidence.
  • Report to the client with findings.

Like any good researcher, a private investigator uses multiple sources of information to solve a case. The source most commonly associated with private investigators is surveillance. The basic idea behind surveillance is very simple, the investigator follows a target and documents where he goes and who he meets. Actually conducting surveillance can be far more difficult.

Following people without losing them or being noticed is a difficult skill to master. While some affluent investigation agencies have sophisticated surveillance vans, many investigators simply work from their cars. The process of watching someone can also be long and tedious with no possibility for breaks.

Researchers can also interview suspects and witnesses. In general, the person being interviewed has no legal obligation to speak to the investigator. For this reason, the process often involves time devoted to building rapport and making the interviewee comfortable. In addition, some investigators use pretexts or ruses to get information from people who might otherwise be reluctant to talk to them. Using false pretenses to gain information can have legal and ethical implications.

In this day and age, you can never be too cautious when it comes to meeting someone new. This is especially important if you're hiring someone to watch your kids, dating someone you've met online, or are hiring someone for a sensitive job. While you can still hire a private investigator to find any dirt, using a variety of tools online can actually provide a significant amount of information and insight. Just be sure to not put too much stock into what you read.

It takes tenacity and patience to investigate someone, but the payoff can often be dramatic and surprising.

The type of activity investigators engages in and the material gathered varies depending on whether investigations use the reactive or proactive method. However, they all go through similar stages.

Every investigation is different and may require a different route through the process, e.g., in some cases, the identity of the person been investigated is known from the outset and the investigation quickly enters the suspect management phase. In others, the identity of the offender may never be known or is discovered only after further investigation.

When looking for information on someone, the best place to start is often public records.

That said if you're planning to investigate someone who died more than 50 years ago (or if the records are more than 50 years old) your job will be easier, as all the records are now part of the public domain and accessible.

Investigate Someone Miami Beach South Beach

To find basic information, such as birth, death and marriage records, start with the local municipality's holdings. The bigger the city you're searching, the smarter it is to start online. Especially if the person started out in a place like New York City, where the Department of Health maintains these records and trying to get information on the phone from a human can be frustrating.

If you know where your subject lived (or can reasonably guess) census records are a good place to learn basic information. The United States is the only country in the world that has as part of its constitution the requirement that a census is taken of the populace every 10 years. These records are available on microfilm dating back to 1790 at government archives around the country as well as online.

Once you learn the basics about the person you are investigating, you can start attempting to recreate their lives. Through local historical societies, you can gain valuable information on what life was like for this person.

Other sources for interesting information include everything from veteran's records to ship passenger lists to old directories.

Searching over the past 50 years

If you're looking to trace the background or the whereabouts of someone who is currently living or only died within the past 50 years, your search will not rely as heavily on public records, as public records only become available after 50 years. If you want birth or death information or veteran's records for someone more recent, you'll have to get their approval.

If you're only concerned about the bigger problems, check the National Sex Offender Registry or perform a criminal records search in your area of choice. For example, the state of Minnesota offers several searches, from registered sex offenders to fugitives to every public criminal record on file. While you can find these easily with a simple web search, Wikipedia lists every state with links to their relevant sites. You may not always be able to find everything you want through public records, but with a little effort, you can gather a ridiculous amount of information fairly quickly.

A paid public records search may yield more results than a free search, but keep in mind that all of the records it retrieves are available if you put the time in contacting the various agencies. If you don't have time to do this, paying for a search may be a better use of your time and money.

The only way you'll be able to truly verify any information is to talk to the person directly. If you're performing a job interview, you should be able to address any issue you have without raising eyebrows. If you're investigating someone on a personal level, you may have to be a little more tactful about how you bring things up.


The internet offers several search engines dedicated to finding information about a given person. While it's not always the best way to find the information you're looking for, it's generally a good means of locating enough data that you can cross-reference to find what you want

“Pipl”, is very comprehensive and doesn't require more than a name. If you provide it with additional information, it will provide you with more accurate results. What's both great and problematic about Pipl is that it attempts to profile a person like it knows them. When it's correct, it gives you a very comprehensive look at a person. If it's not, you may end up believing false information about a person.

“123People” is equally comprehensive but asks for both a name and location (although the location can be as vague as a country). It also sorts its results into separate categories, which is great if you're looking for something specific. It also provides you with a means of obtaining additional information through paid public record searches, but presumably, you're trying to avoid those if you're reading this post.

That said, 123People is nicely organized and can be a great starting point when you're trying to find social media accounts and other places to look for more. When using these sites, it's very important to remember that there's a high chance of finding information that's either inaccurate or about a different person with the same/similar name.

While people-centric search engines can be helpful, regular search engines can often provide you with the best information. This only works, of course, if you already have some information to go on and can cross-reference everything you find. For example, say you come across your target's email address and it's (apologies if this is a real email address). You can start out by searching for the entire email address and you might find a few things, but chances are all you need is awesomegirl456. Your target has likely used it to register accounts on other sites, and simply searching for the name can bring them up.

Once you find some success with cross-referencing, you'll have more information you can use for the same purpose. You'll also find pictures and other telling data that will help you determine whether what you find is accurate or not. You'll rarely have trouble getting search results, but cross-checking and verifying is vital. If you go on believing false or incorrect information, you're doing yourself and your target a disservice. It's important to remember that your goal is to find the truth and not just anything at all.

In general, you'll want to stick to finding information that's publicly available using the methods described above. An email address or Twitter handle can lead to usernames on more niche sites and forums so you can find a lot this way. However, if you're not finding much you can often fill in a lot of the blanks with the help of Facebook. Ideally, your acquaintance is someone you'll feel comfortable friending yourself and you can gain access to their profile and wall; or at least portions of it; by sending a simple request. If that's not an option, however, you can pretend to be someone else. More specifically, an attractive stranger.


Name (including alternate spellings), date and place of birth

If you don't have the basics, start with a birth or death records search Ask family members for more details, they may provide a clue.

Understand the history of the time you're researching. Place your subject in the context of their daily life.

Be prepared to be frustrated, take a break or try a different tactic. Success is often pure luck.

Do as much preparation online as possible. Go to an archive with the call number of the information you're hoping to get.

When it comes to investigating someone your best choice is to contract professional investigators with the best knowledge in the subject. The Wasser Agency offers you all this and more. We are located on Miami Beach/South Beach, FL.