Private Investigators In Virginia

PI Chatter Professional Investigators in Virginia

Phony Professionals

Posted by Bill on November 21, 2007

Yesterday I wrote about the fallacy of the “national criminal background check.”  Today, I am reminded of the importance of an investigation speciality–the background investigation.  Two recent news items caught my attention, and I knew I had a topic for today’s “nooziness” (meaning news worthy–new word with help of Cobert– Colbert) post.  Two articles appeared today in the news media about two individuals who were charged with impersonating a lawyer and unlicensed practice of law.  In other words, these individual held themselves out to be licensed attorneys, gained the confidence of “clients,” received money and all the time neither was licensed to practice law in their jurisdiction.  Some of the supposedly clients were fairly sophisticated business people, but they did not check their “lawyers” background to determine if he was licensed to practice law in that jurisdiction. 

Of course, those stories reminded me of the importance of background investigations when you hire someone whether it is a professional like a doctor or lawyer or the person that knocks on your door wanting to trim your trees or cut your lawn or remodel your house.  Before you give your money to people for a job or investment, you should check their credentials.  In today’s Internet world there are on-line sources to do a quick license verification on an individual. 

Most people can conduct this type of background investigation on their own adding to it a Google search, Google, Better Business Bureau check, BBB, or local jurisdiction consumer complaint agency, Fairfax County plus much more.  For example, the “clients” of the alleged attorneys could easily check to determine if the attorney is licensed by going to the State Bar Association web site and searching the name in the licensed attorney list.  If an attorney is practicing in a jurisdiction, they must belong to the State Bar Association.  The American Bar Association has a complete list of the state bar associations– see State Bar Associations.  From there you can click on the state bar association and see if a person is licensed in that state.  To check on a doctor, you can go to Doc Finder or the American Medical Association’s Doctor Finder site– AMA.

There is so much more the conducting proper background investigations that I could write a book for “dummies.”  But, if you have an important transaction, business or personal, and you need a thorough background investigation, you should consider hiring a private investigator.  Of course, check on the private investigator’s license in you jurisdiction first. 

In future posts  I will reveal more background investigation techniques and resources. 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA


2 Responses to “Phony Professionals”

  1. Sue Kelly said

    Dear Sir – while I note it is nearly 2 years since this page was created, this is just a quick note of thanks for its existence.

    I have had to find information on a person who had a. lied about his professional standing in the medical field; b. lied about his age and c. lied about an assault conviction. To make things worse, I am only an amateur at this type of investigation, and I’m not even in the US at present.

    The links and advice I’ve found because of this one page of yours have been invaluable; I wish you all the best.

    Yours faithfully

    Sue Kelly

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