Private Investigation
Do your own investigation. Avoid scams. Live free.


Your Right to Know.

Who will benefit from the information in this survival guide?

You will.

Thomas Martin

Thomas Martin. President of Martin Investigative Services. Martin is a former supervisory federal agent with the Department of Justice.

This Web site is filled with solid advice to benefit your home and work life. And it's a reference guide showing you step-by-step how to find the information you need by using public documents, library resources and the Internet. If you get stuck, there are checklists to lead you to a helpful expert.

You're about to read stories centering on real people, clients who came to our private investigation firm desperately in need of assistance:

  • A woman who was given up for adoption as a baby and wants to meet her birth parents
  • An older couple who lost $50,000 to a con artist
  • Parents unsure of hiring a nanny to watch their child while they're at work
  • A young woman raped after she couldn't reach the pepper spray in her purse
  • A family disrupted by a drug-addicted, runaway teen-age son

Most of our clients brought feelings of pain and confusion with them when they entered our offices. We've helped them by providing information and understanding their situation. We've tracked down errant spouses, located birth parents, investigated fraudulent businesses, checked out child-care facilities, taught personal protection techniques and recommended treatment for troubled teens. But it isn't enough to help only the thousands of people who come to us each year. We want to reach out to you as well.

Feel Safe

This book has been written to help you feel safer, live smarter and succeed in your relationships-at home and at work. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic. Each offers concrete information and represents hundreds of success stories-the clients we've pulled out of tough situations.

As each chapter took shape, I would think, "This is the most important chapter in the book," because of the people I know who have been helped by the information in it. Then I would write another chapter, and I'd think, "No, this is the most important one." Finally, I realized that you-the reader-will decide which is the most important chapter, based on your need. If you learn from it, and if that knowledge improves your life, then that's clearly the most important chapter.

Even though the chapters are written to enable you to flip to any particular one that addresses your needs, I recommend checking out all of them. This entire book was composed with your best interests in mind.

Chapter Three lists twenty ways to know whether your partner is cheating on you.

Chapter Five shows you twenty-five new ways to protect yourself, your family and your home.

Chapter Six lists twenty-five types of fraud and how to avoid them.

There are ways to make your time spent at work safer and more comfortable-from preventing injuries to punishing someone for sexually harassing you or a co-worker described in Chapters Twelve, Thirteen and Fourteen.

All Aspects of Your Life.

This book is packed with information compiled from experts in the fields of personal protection, finance, investigation, fraud, adoption, youth, work policies...all aspects of your life. It also is filled with my experiences as a supervisor with the U.S. Department of Justice and as a licensed private investigator and president of Martin Investigative Services based in Anaheim, California.

In my thirty-eight-year career, I've met presidents, kings, queens and dictators. I've also seen starving mothers carrying dead babies in Pakistan and Bolivia, and confronted ruthless drug peddlers who would sell out anyone for cash.

Martin Investigative Services

In traveling to sixty foreign countries, I've been given a real sense of how much unfairness there is in this world, as well as an understanding of how much fairness needs to be brought back into society. Through this book, I hope to add a dose of fairness to your world-to give you the information you need to tackle the bad guys, protect all you cherish and help you reach your goals. I have also included information on the people who can guide you while you're making your life better: lawyers (Chapter Eight), domestic violence counselors (Chapter Four), adoption experts (Chapter Nine) and private investigators (Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen).

What I Offer You

I spent four years in a seminary studying to become a priest, and I think that helped me become a better private investigator. How? By improving my people skills. A good private investigator (PI) has to know how to work effectively with private citizens, one-sided lawyers, unyielding insurance companies and anyone else involved in a case. Because of this involvement, a PI can affect many lives.

As an insider in the investigative field, I can give you first-hand information on the characteristics, background and credentials you should look for when hiring a private investigator. And I'll tell it to you straight. I'm often asked to serve on a panel at security conferences. I'm joined on the dais by people selling safety videos, home alarms, whistles and canisters of tear gas. When it's my turn to talk, I startle the audience-and the others on the panel-by stating right away that I don't sell products and I wouldn't recommend buying most of the products on the market. (Want to know why? It's all in Chapter Five.) I don't tell you this to make it sound like I'm holier-than-thou. Like I said, I'll tell it to you straight. And what's most gratifying is steering you in the right direction so you can find what you're looking for, whether it's information, advice or a lost loved one (Chapter Two). For this reason, I feel this book is one of a kind. There isn't a book or a lecture series that I've seen by a private investigator at any level, from the wise veterans to the rookies, that gives you the sources and information you need to investigate on your own. The books that PIs write are for other PIs, telling them how to interview, interrogate, conduct a surveillance, do a background check. Now you will be able to do that by yourself. This Web site is a useful tool, a document that can help show the way. Just turn the page.