This week I’m going to share with you the two essential parts of a pretext call. If you’re making pretext calls over the phone you need both of these elements.
1. You need the magic number.
You need to know what phone number to call in order to get the information you want.
2. You need to be able to speak the language of the person, entity, company or business you’re calling, whatever it might be.
A classic example is if you’re going to pretext a cable company to get the address for an account holder. Maybe he’s a a skip you’re looking for. Maybe you’ve got to serve process on him. Whatever. The reason doesn’t mater as long as it’s legal and ethical.
Who do you call at the cable company and what terminology do you use? You have to have both of these just right.
The Phone Number
If you’re calling and posing as a Line Repair Tech out in the field, you’ve got to call the right number. If you call “customer service”, they’re going to wonder why you’re calling them rather than the Tech Support number. Maybe you can still make this work. Maybe you can ease a reason into your pretext. Heck, it’s easy enough to do, but why not just call the right proper phone number in the first place!
The Right Language or Terminology
But, you also have to “speak the language”. If you ask for “the subscriber’s address”, that may not be language that they’re used to hearing. Why are you asking that? If you ask for “the service address”, that might be what they’re looking for, or vice-versa. Using the right language tell the person you’re calling that you are who you say you are and you’re authorized to the information your asking for!
You need both the number to call and the language. This goes for any phone pretext.
If you’re trying to pretext the subscription department of a periodical, you’ve still got to have the right phone number and the right language.
Here’s a great reason for not using pretexts. Your client won’t allow it!
You’ll find this especially if you’re working for law firms. They don’t necessarily want you showing up in court, and under cross-examination having it come out how you located this person.
Your client may not want pretext because it seems pretty sketchy when it comes out in testimony in court.
So, how do you avoid pretext? How do you get information without it?
If you need to get information, but you’re not good at pretexts, not comfortable with pretexts, don’t want to use a pretext, or you’re client won’t authorize the use of pretexting, I have an alternate source for you.
If you know me, public records are the key to solving the “no pretext problem”.
OSINT, Open-Source Intelligence, is out there. You can get all sorts of information. Within OSINT there is this specialty niche of public records.
It couldn’t be simpler! It couldn’t be easier if you need information on a person start searching public records like deeds, marriage records, traffic citations, etc.
My favorite source to talk about – and I’ve talked it to death – is police runs and police records. All sorts of things are easily accessible to you. No pretext. No lie. You don’t have to be sneaky about it.
Now, I’m not a lawyer, but you’ll find public records are usually admissible in court. And it’s not going to seem as sneaky or scummy to a jury way you might be perceived getting information through a pretext.
I do have my Public Records Mini-Course and I’m just so tickled with it because public records have served me so well over the years.
Public Records have made me so much money and gotten me so much information where other investigators hit a dead-end!
Nowadays, with the social media, people can be pretty darn good at finding their own information. Even your potential clients! But when they come to a dead-end or the subject of the investigation doesn’t have a social media account (or it hasn’t used it in years!), that’s when you can switch over to public records and you’re going to seem psychic to your client, because you’re going to get all sorts of information that eluded everybody else!
And, as always, keep it legal and ethical!
Committed to your success,
Private Investigator &
#1 Best Selling Author
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report, If You Want to be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless you Do These Three Things. You can get it for free right here…
P.P.S.- This is huge but super easy to miss…
Never do a pretext if your client prohibits it.
This can easy cost you a lucrative law firm client. If they say, “No pretext”, then don’t do it. Eventually, they’ll find out!