Google Images for Due Diligence Investigations
Google Images plays a big part in Phelps Research’s due diligence investigations. A photo of a subject can help confirm an identity and add a face to a name in a report. But sometimes Google’s image search results can lead to much more. On several occasions I’ve found some great non-image content that’s had a big impact on our investigation.
For example, last month I checked out an individual, and our research produced few results. Sometimes no information can be as valuable as pages of it, but sending an empty or nearly-empty report is not my favorite way to go. So I ran several image searches, followed links to the original web pages, and – finally – there it was. One of those nuggets of info that, at closer inspection, turns into a gold mine.
This particular nugget was an entry in a donor database, obviously unprotected, which somehow didn’t show up in Google’s web results. This entry included the photo and the most detailed bio I’ve come across in more than 16 years of online searching. The bio provided additional leads for my research, which led me to a lot more background information. Also, I was able to compile a long list of unreported past employment (big red flag) that I’d share with my client.
Thanks to Google Images, I delivered a much different report than I thought I would.