Bob Mazur's resume reads a lot like a spy novel. In fact, his experiences as an undercover agent are about to be turned into a Hollywood movie.
During his 27-year career with the IRS, Customs and the DEA, he infiltrated Colombia's drug cartel and brought down a massive money laundering scheme. Today, he operates a private investigative business based in Tampa.
His wealth of experience gives him unique insight into how new technology is used, and sometime misused, to get a private person's personal information.
"There is a tremendous amount of public information that is available," said Mazur. "There are many vendors out there that do nothing but collect information on a state-by-state basis."
Information selling is a big business and you can legally obtain all kinds of information on somebody without any type of law enforcement training.
"One of the fundamental things provided by databases is an address history for you, and that will be a pretty good search protocol to start with," continued Mazur.
Vehicle records, crash reports, court cases and phone numbers all become puzzle pieces to build a personal profile, and Florida law makes it pretty easy.
"No matter what city, county or state agency it is, if they have information concerning you and I make a written request, under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, I can get that information as long as it's not an active criminal case or particular sex crime case," Mazur explained.
He also warns people to be careful what they voluntarily provide companies and individuals on the internet.
"Social media is a very information-rich resource for private investigators or attorneys who are litigating matters," he said.
Mazur says finding information on people with a common last name, like Smith or Wilson, can be more of a challenge than unusual names, but it's nearly impossible to hide from public records in the Sunshine State.
"It's an extraordinarily difficult task if you've already been on the radar screen," Mazur added.
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