Most people think that the standard weapon used by most
private investigators is a gun. The fact is, the most powerful
weapon a private investigator uses is the telephone. Knowing
all you can about them when practicing your profession is important.
It's the telephone, not a gun that is the most important piece
of equipment a private investigator uses. The telephone brings
you both business both new and old and is the one major communications
medium you obtain information with. Product knowledge on it's
use as it relates to your profession is of extreme importance.
This article gives you some general but little known tips about
private investigators use of their major weapon, the telephone.
Some of them employ little techniques that are quite useful well
others require special equipment. In the case of those that require
special equipment, I'll lead you right to the web page for review.
Anonymous Calling: Outgoing And Incoming
The number one question these days about private investigators
and telephones is how to make calls anonymously without revealing
your caller ID stuff and how to answer calls coming in when you
are undercover or under pretext. Here are some answers.
Call the operator and tell her that every time you dialed a certain
number, you are getting an "all circuits are busy"
message. She'll dial the number for you which then avoids caller
ID. It's important to note that some telephone service areas
offer caller ID blocking techniques you can employ any time on
your phone. To find out, just call your telephone service.
On most phone systems, you can hit *67 which blocks your caller
ID information that goes tough.
Set up a separate unlisted and unpublished line in your office
for receiving calls and give this number out when you are under
pretext or want to avoid mentioning who you actually are. Always
answer the phone, "Business Office."
Cell Phone Tips
To find out what carrier a person has for their cell phone, simply
call the number when you know the phone number is not in use.
The recorded message about the number not being in use at this
time usually tells you what carrier the subject has.
To trace an old cell phone number, go to the cell phone service
and tell them you are interested in using the number but want
to know who had the number before you. They will usually look
it up and verbally tell you the information.
Many investigators don't know it but there are several cell phone
directories posted on the net. Here are the major ones:
Dialed Number Info From Recorded Calls
When a telephone call is recorded, there is a new self-contained
long play tape recorder on the market that will log both incoming
dialed numbers and outgoing dialed numbers. It's simply called
the R2D2 Long Play Automatic Telephone Recorder. You will find
information on it at:
Telephone Recorder/Two Way Info Logger
If you already have purchased recording equipment and just want
a decoder that will decode the dialed number for you, you can
one that will decode it by playing the recorded tape back. You
can review the Decoder at:
Keeping Your Line Secure And Free Of Eavesdropping
There is a new generation telephone line monitor and analyzer
on the market that keeps your telephone line free of bugs, wiretaps,
hidden tape recorders and extension line pick-ups. This unit
is unique in that it not only detects them, it also stops them!
Simple to operate, you just hook it into your telephone in 30
seconds or less! It's called Safeline and it can be reviewed
For a completely self-contained secure phone that is inexpensive
with countermeasures built right into the telephone see:
When Using Wireless Phones
The convenience of a wireless phone is nice but it's like broadcasting
your conversion over the radio! If you are going to use one,
get a digital one. The digital wireless phones transmits from
the headset to the base in a digital method. Many of them come
with scramblers and descamblers. This scrambles the info going
from the baser to the headset. The other feature to look for
is what is called spread spectrum. Spread spectrum sends data
at one frequency and receives on another. Using these features
and secure wireless phones will prevent most eavesdropping except
for diplomatic level eavesdroppers. If you are at that level,
don't discuss anything on the telephone at all--either a wired
phone or wireless one.
Telephone Lie Detection
Did you know you can turn your computer into a live lie detector
when on the telephone? Truster software will do live analysis
or analysis from tape recorders. For information on this unique
software, go to:
Telephone Lie Detection
Educating Yourself About Your Local Telephone Company Options!
Want a huge and free education about the options you have with
your local telephone service? Read the front pages of your local
telephone directory. You will get a huge education about what
you can use and I guarantee you will find something useful.
Blocking Call Waiting Beeps
Block incoming calls when you are on an important call. Many
investigators these days use call waiting. Call waiting gives
a little beep when another call in coming in and you are on the
phone. This can be annoying when you are doing an important interview
and will sometimes disconnect you when you are using the line
on a modem or fax. By simply dialing "*9" before you
make the call, you block call waiting. Any caller will get a
Installing A Special Code For Callers To Make Your Phone
Did you know you can filter out unwanted called with a new phone
called The Call Filter Phone? When your number is dialed, the
caller is asked to input a special security phone to make the
phone ring. Without the code, the phone will not even ring. It's
a great aid for a special phone line you only want a limited
number of people to have access to. For more information, see:
Quick-Check Telephone Tampering Tip!
Want to be able to quickly check to see if you phone has been
tampered with? It's easy! Use A UV marketing pen on the screw
heads of both your telephone and your telephone jack plate. Simple
mark the location of the screw heads and check them with a UV
light. If the screw head does not line up with your mark, you
know someone has opened either your telephone or your jack outlet
plate. You will find a selection of UV lights and marking pens
Lights And Marking Pens
Know The Number You Are Dialing From
These are known as ANAC numbers which are used by telephone repair
people. Here are some national ones certainly reported. 800-444-4444,
888-324-8686, 800-444-3333, 800-727-5207, 800-555-1160.
Headset Telephone Recording Patchcord
On multi-line phones, investigators are often frustrated that
they can not use a conventional telephone recording patchcord
to record their investigative interviews. This problem is completely
solved with the Headset Telephone Recording Pathcord. You will
find a review of it at:
Telephone Recording Control
State-By-State Telephone Recording Laws
When recording telephone conversations, it's very important for
you to know and understand which states permit one party consent.
One party consent means that one party to the telephone conversation
has to have knowledge and give consent to a recording (you!).
In States that do not permit one party recording, the other party
needs to be advised and give their consent to a recording. You
will find a detailed state-by-state listing of this at:
One/Two Party Telephone Recording Law
You will also find a complete online handbook on this subject
you can use for free at:
Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls And In-Person
Conversations in the 50 States and D.C.
Answering Your Phone Without Even Being There!
One and two man investigative offices are often in the field
performing investigations. However, you need a way to answer
your phone anywhere and anytime and need to do it 24 hours a
day seven days a week. This can be accomplished with your telephone
company call forwarding services. When in the field, you can
forward your calls to your cell phone. When at home, you can
have your office phone forwarded to your home. It's important
to answer your phone with a live person so you don't miss any
important new case assignments or new clients so do this!
Lifelong Answering Machines
In my lifetime, I bet I have purchased a dozen answering machines.
The problem is, after a while they break down. Almost all telephone
services have what they call CallNotes. For a small fee, they
act as your automated answering service for you. Check it out
with your local telephone company.
Log And Manage Outgoing And Incoming Telephone Calls From
You can now obtain inexpensive equipment that logs and manages
incoming and outgoing dialed telephone numbers with small telephone
managers that plug right into your phone system. The Phone Manager
logs and manages outgoing dialed numbers and the Two Way Information
Manager logs and manages both incoming and outgoing numbers.
For more information see:
Recording Calls From Your Cell Phone
Recording calls from your cell phone seems problemistic but here
is your answer for the solution. Obtain any compact tape recorder
with an external mic jack. Purchase a small amplified mic that
will fit in your ear. Place the mic in your ear, turn the tape
recorder on and dial the number. When you place the cell phone
up to your ear, you will record the call. For information on
various types of tape recorder mics see:
Change Your Voice On The Phone
With a number of different types of voice changers on the market
today, it's easy to change your voice when on the phone. Some
of these voice changers make you sound digital but the better
ones tend to let you find one or two settings that work well.
For more information, see the following reviews:
New Generation Digital Telephone Recording
Did you know tape recorders like everything else is going digital?
The advantage is you can keep your recordings on your computer
and use various types of software to enhance the audio with simple
audio software. You can now keep your recorded investigative
interviews that tape place either by telephone or in-person in
a digital form and deliver them to your client on a disk or CD.
For more information on digital tape recorders see these reviews:
Hour Micro Digital Recorder
Hour Micro Digital Recorder
Portable Telephone Scrambling Keeps Telephone Conversations
Confidential And Impresses Your Important Client!
By obtaining a set of portable telephone scramblers, you can
keep two telephone conversations VERY private! Not matter what
kind of eavesdropping is taking place, portable telephone scramblers
will only allow communication to be understood by the sender
and the receiver who both must have the scrambler. This type
of covert communication over the telephone line is highly impressive
with your important client and tells him or her that you are
concerned about the confidential nature of the case. For more
information on portable telephone scramblers that simply attach
to the headset of a phone, see:
With all that said, I hope I have given you an education and
a better understanding on how to make full use of the private
investigator's number one weapon, the telephone!