(WWBT) - If you're going into business with someone you recently met, or if you're trusting a new nanny with your kids, there are online tools to use instead of hiring a private investigator.
Private Investigator Brian Willingham says you can often check court records for criminal history at local courthouses with a quick search online.
Newspaper archives are also a great resource, and many local libraries offer free access to extensive databases.
You can also seek out valuable human intelligence. Try and find your own references instead of just the ones the person provides.
And don't forget social media accounts where people's lives are an open book, as long as you take the time to look.
The bottom line -- with a little effort on a computer, and 30 minutes of your time, you can find out if there are any red flags about a person pretty quickly.
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