PIs Use Facebook in Creative Ways

Normally, when looking for people on Facebook, the subject needs to have an account and be using their legal name, per Facebook’s terms of service. However, a Montana private investigator has figured out how to use the social media service even if he can’t find the person by name.

Charles Pesola owns Moonlighting Detective and Security Services in Kalispell, Montanna. Pesola has helped create new security standards in other countries and has just been appointed to Montana’s Board of Private Security, which works to develop security standards for the state of Montana and define different security positions.

Part of why he was placed on that advisory board is his creative capacity as a private investigator. Pesola talks about a time that he bailed out a man who promptly skipped town before he paid back his $30,000 bail fee. Like any good private investigator, Pesola asked around town to see where the man went. He found out that the man quickly traveled to the other side of Montana, too far away for Pesola to do any detective work.

Pseola jumped on Facebook and couldn’t find the man by name, so he used Facebook’s advertising platform to post ads in Sidney and Miles City, Montana, where he was told the man went. He posted a picture and a phone number to call should anyone have any information on the man.

Pesola’s phone was ringing for days after posting the ad. People called in with tips about what the man was wearing, where he was visiting, even what food he was buying at local grocery stores. All that was left for Pesola to do was drive to Sidney and arrest the man, which took a little less than 10 hours, including travel time. He attributes the success of the advertising ploy to the general curiosity people have about criminals and catching them.

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