Private Investigator – Not a DIY Business

Private investigators can help if you suspect someone is cheating you in a business or personal relationship, you need to have proof before accusing them. In today’s legalistic society, where people sue one another for just about any wrongdoing, the proof is even more imperative.  If your suspicions are wrong, you stand the chance of your suspect turning the tables on you for slander or defamation of character.

You may notice initial signs of dishonesty – like catching a person in lies or deceitful actions. Don’t try to follow them or investigate them yourself.  If your suspicions are correct, you’re probably not planning to resolve your problem in a TV court drama or daytime talk show.  You’ll need something that will stand up in a court of law.  Here are some reasons why you hire a private investigator and not try to do it yourself:

Safety – If this person is as unscrupulous as you think, you need to keep yourself out of danger.  Following someone and getting the right information can lead to dangerous situations.  Private investigators are trained to keep themselves safe.

Professionalism – Conducting a thorough investigation requires asking the right questions of the right people in the right way.  Private investigators know how to do this professionally, discreetly and carefully.  They are objective, detached and unemotional in situations where you may not be.

Techniques – Private investigators have access to advanced technology and investigating techniques that will get the most information in the least amount of time for the least amount of trouble.  They’ve already invested in high-speed cameras for close-up photography and sensitive microphones for recording dialogue, so you won’t have to.

Experience – An experienced private investigator is invaluable.  Because of their experience, they don’t make mistakes.  Their investigations are handled with integrity and finesse, and you can be confident that the information they report is accurate.

Legality – The techniques, professionalism and experience that a private investigator brings to your case can make all the difference in whether your case holds up in court.  Be sure to confirm that the investigator will testify in a court of law to his or her findings.

Know when to hire the professionals, and don’t do it yourself.

WHAT IS SKIPTRACING?

skiptracing

Have you heard of skiptracing? Let’s say, for the moment, that you never knew your father…but you’ve grown into a successful prodigy, and you have decided that now is the time to track him down. You have no idea what his phone number might be, or where he might be living, or whom he calls friends. You’ve asked around, but nobody has anything valuable to offer you. You’re no closer to finding him today than you were yesterday or the day before, and the search is becoming exhaustive. You’re beginning to lose hope. But then, you hear about skiptracing.

Skiptracing is the process of collecting and analyzing information to locate someone who has “skipped” town “without a trace.” There are plenty of things that you can do to get this process started on your own, but you may find it a valuable timesaver to recruit the services of a private investigative agency to help you.

The process of searching for a missing person has been greatly expedited with the advancement of technology. A basic web search may initially reveal little if any information for the average person; thus, private hiring a private investigator may be advantageous.  P.I.’s have direct access to records, material, databases, etc. that you might not have direct access. Skiptracing utilizes all available information to track down a subject, rather than just the public information (i.e. web searches).

In cases where the subject of a skiptrace doesn’t want to be found, often they will go out of their way to avoid releasing any public information. However, in today’s world, it’s impossible to live comfortably or naturally without leaving some trail. Credit cards, phone records, tax records, background checks, employment history, and utility bills can all be analyzed to find patterns.

For example, if the subject is found to have worked for employer A, Employer B, and employer C, in that order, then the subject is likely to be living closest to employer C. Given that, if employer C pays minimum wage, then certain parts of the area can be eliminated…you wouldn’t expect the subject to be living in a five-star-condo on minimum wage, now, would you? These sorts of patterns in private records can be cross-referenced with equal and opposite public records to find a single pattern that is ultimately used to follow the subject all the way back to his/her functional homestead.

Skiptracing is a valuable tool that has completely changed the game for search and recovery missions. Working hand-in-hand with either the police or a private investigation agency, you can track down virtually anyone, anywhere, at any time. If they’re out there, they can be found with patience, commitment, and skiptracing.

Learn more about our missing person investigation services.

HIRING A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR

Why hire a private investigator? The police don’t always have the time or the resources to tackle every unsolved case in their district. There are many reasons that a person might seek the professional aid of Private Investigative Services. Whatever your personal reasons might be, there are several things that are universally true about hiring a private investigator for a case.

Private-Investigator

Why Hire A Private Investigator?

While every agency is different, the services offered by private investigative agencies almost always include criminal background checks, the investigating of a person of interest (such as a spouse), the locating of missing person(s), the installation of surveillance cameras and/or software, some firms may even go to and use home security camera systems to find out information, to result in the serving of subpoenas for a courtroom session. If you are trying to accomplish one of these tasks, you may soon find yourself in the market for a private investigator.

How Should I Go About Hiring a P.I.?

When selecting an investigative service to assist you in your endeavors, the first thing you’ll want to do is visit the agency’s office. This establishes that the investigator who is working your case is not working out of his (or her) home, and that you’ll have a place to start looking for the investigator if you lose contact.

To become a private investigator and open a private investigative agency, individuals must meet the necessary qualifications and undergo rigorous scrutiny by law enforcement. This is to protect you, as a potential client, from being scammed by identity thieves who are impersonating private investigators. Before giving any personal information to an investigative service, you should ask to physically see both the agency’s license and the investigator’s license. Not to worry; no proper investigator will be offended by this inquiry, as private Investigative agencies are built on the fundamentals of trust and privacy.

Another important factor when selecting and meeting an investigator is your personal level of assurance that said investigator is willing to testify in court on your behalf, in the event that either the investigation itself or the results of that investigation should require it.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a P.I.?

Once you have established that the investigator is legally licensed and willing to testify, the next step is a consultation regarding everything that you hope to accomplish with an investigation. Many Private Investigators offer a consultation free of charge, but it’s important to clarify what the agency’s fees will be for each step of the investigation (including the consultation) beforehand.

During the consultation, which, again, should be held in the investigative service’s home office, the P.I. will also answer any other questions you may have about the costs and procedures of the overall investigation. Often an agency will offer you a flat rate for some tasks, such as background searches or research, and an hourly rate for other tasks, such as following the subject. Consider, as well, the necessary travel and “standby” time (time spent waiting for a subject under investigation to become active, for example) that your case may involve. These factors will drive your overall costs upwards.

The investigator may request a retainer to begin the process of the investigation. Depending on your particular needs, the cost of this retainer could be anywhere from $500-$5,000. The overall cost is ultimately determined based on your needs as a client.

At the close of the consultation, both parties should sign a written contract which explicitly outlines the agreed costs, social boundaries, and task lists of the investigation. Without this contract, you risk incurring additional expenses as the investigation continues.

In Summary

Investigative Services exist to help you resolve private or personal problems in a private context. Investigations can indeed be costly, and will not always yield the results you hope for; but ultimately, the investigators will serve your needs and help you identify the truth of your case. Be smart when contacting an agency, and remember the basic guidelines for sorting proper agencies from scams:

  1. Meet in the Investigator’s Office
  2. Request to See the Investigator’s License
  3. Ensure That The Investigator Will Testify In Court
  4. Put Everything Into A Written & Signed Contract

By following these universal tips and establishing a relationship of trust with the private investigator you choose, you can finally close the door on any uncertainties related to your case and find the peace of mind that you so desperately need.

Adultery: When To Investigate A Cheating Spouse

Do you need to investigate a cheating spouse? Is he using apps like fling.com mobile login to find hookups? As a significant other, you have the advantage and of knowing your partner better than anyone else ever could. So if you notice behavioral changes or patterns in your partner that simply don’t sit right with your relationship, you have every right to be suspicious about them. However, it’s never advisable to make an accusation without any proof! A private investigator’s responsibility is to help you work through any confusion and paranoia you may face and to provide you with the truth. If you believe you have a cheating spouse, when is the right time to launch a formal investigation?

investigate a cheating spouse

WARNING SIGNS:

1) My Partner Wants More Personal Space

  • Your significant other was once your best friend. However, the same person now refers to you as “clingy” or “overbearing”. If he or she has now ceased to treat you with any kind of significance, it could be a sign that they are filling your role with someone else. Ask yourself- has my partner stopped confiding in me? Has my partner become emotionally distant? When was the last time we had a mutual discussion about how we were feeling?

2) My Partner Is Working More Often

  • If your partner has suddenly been consumed by work or hobbies that routinely keep them away from you, it could be that something or someone else is occupying their time. These tasks or hobbies will often be kept deliberately vague; if your partner cannot (or will not) go into extensive detail about them, it may be cause for concern.

3) My Partner has Become Very Secretive

  • If your significant other will not allow you to look at their emails, photos, or text messages, there’s a better-than-average chance that they are trying to bury something before you get a chance to see it. This is a key indicator that something may be going on behind your back.

4) My Partner has Become More Aggressive

  • A significant other who is cheating will be on the defensive at all times. If you’ve noticed a sharp increase in the number of arguments between the two of you, it could be that your partner is inadvertently overcompensating for the guilt or fears that they may be feeling.

 

These are some of the most prominent signs of trouble in paradise. Some other signs of note could be that your partner is investing more time in their personal appearance, your partner cannot explain a change in the finances, your partner is no longer engaging with you sexually, or is no longer satisfied with the sexual encounters you share, or that your partner has ceased to wear his or her wedding ring.

If you have noticed any of these warning signs in your relationship, you may have a cheating spouse, and it may be prudent to bring an investigator into the equation. Your heart is the most valuable gift that you can give to someone; you deserve to know whether it is being taken care of or taken for granted.

Private Investigation: Then & Now

private detective
Sherlock Holmes, the most well known private detective of all time.

Sherlock Holmes, the most well-known private eye in show business. Usually, the first thing people think of when they hear “Private Investigator.”  He made and still makes it look cool to be a private eye.  For those who don’t know, a private investigator is someone who offers investigative services to people, businesses or organizations.  Usually, whoever wants to take advantage these services has some uncertainty or something “fishy” that they want to have investigated, and the private investigator does this for a fee.  You may have heard these investigators referred to as private eyes, private detectives, investigators, agents, spies, and sometimes P.I.’s, all of which are acceptable.

Then:

Private investigation has been an age-old occupation in America and began in the 1850’s.  Alan Pinkerton, a historical figure in this industry, was the very first private investigator in the United States.  He got his start simply by being a good Samaritan and informing local police of a group of counterfeiters nearby.  He was deputized for his act of valor, and from there decided to become a full-time police officer.  After working in the field for some time, Pinkerton noticed an increase in crime in Chicago and took it upon himself to do something about it.  He opened the nation’s first private investigation firm – Pinkerton National Detective Agency – and his services were very popular.  His firm was used by citizens, businesses, and even the U.S. Government.  Pinkerton’s company was his legacy and is still around as a subsidiary of global security group: Securitas.

Now:

Private investigation is still a very widely used service in the U.S. today.  Private detectives are used in criminal and civil cases all the time, like child custody, alimony and divorce court cases.  One of the most popular reasons to hire one today is to investigate adultery.  Unfortunately, cheating spouses are a very common topic in the private investigation field, and one of the most lucrative. On a business level, private investigators are sometimes hired by potential investors to make sure the investment group they’re about to give money to isn’t a pyramid scheme, and everything is legitimate.

So, even though every private investigator isn’t as witty and slick as Sherlock Holmes, it is still an important industry, and one of the ones that helped shape our country.