The Complete Guide to Private Investigator Services
In this article we are going to cover everything you need to know about private investigator services and what is available to you. You may actually be surprised in how much benefit there is in using a detective's services.
Most people have no idea what a private investigator can be hired for, or they have a very limited view of their use. The most common understanding of what a private investigator does is to follow people around and take pictures of adulterers. This is a very narrow viewpoint and so we go over the services more deeply and what a private investigator can actually do for you.
Just so that you know, the private investigator services offered vary extensively based on what a client needs and wants. This in itself can create a long list of investigator services, but there are some services that are common among all investigation companies; these are what we will cover here.
What services can a private investigator provide and how much?
We cover the main activities and costs in detail further on but the services of a private investigator generally cover civil and criminal matters - the two main areas of law. These two main areas are then subdivided into personal, business, legal and insurance, where the services by a private detective will usually fit around these four sub-categories.
Private Investigator Services Guide
Private Investigator Services for Individuals & Families
Private investigators can be very helpful to individuals and families when a problematic situation extends beyond the capabilities of the individual or family. Once this happens, a private investigator's service can be most beneficial in helping to resolve a personal issue or family case. Some examples where private detective services can benefit are finding lost or runaway family members, assisting with domestic violence, infidelity and relationship concerns, child custody or child maintenance issues, drug abuse, locating hidden assets, concerns with a nanny or care home looking after a parent. These are just some of the services provided by a private investigator for family or personal matters.
Private Investigator Services for Corporate Businesses
A private investigator's corporate services revolve around the business world and involve many specific services and activities conducted by a private detective for companies. Such corporate investigation services will include verifying the background of employees, investigating internal business fraud and theft by staff, conducting prospective business partner or company acquisition investigations, finding sources of leaked internal secrets or proprietary data, and anything in-between. Corporate investigation services by a private investigator can also involve setting up security measures that prevent these problems from arising in the first place, or at least reduce them.
Private Investigator Services for Lawyers & Law Firms
A lawyer, attorney, or law firm, using the services of a private investigator will gain a massive advantage over the other side, an advantage that could help win a client's case. Investigation firms provide extensive legal support services for lawyers by gathering supportive evidence that is admissible in court. The investigation services provided include locating people, asset searches, interviewing witnesses, taking depositions, incident reconstruction and examination, cross-examination preparation, information gathering, surveillance, background checks, investigating the adversarial opponent and process serving. Under the guidance of a lawyer or attorney, the service of a private investigator can be crucial to your case.
Private Investigator Services for Insurance Firms
Insurance fraud is widespread and comes in many forms perpetrated by organized insurance fraud gangs or individuals trying to make some "easy" money. Private investigation services include insurance claim investigations to help insurance companies verify and distinguish between false or exaggerated claims and genuine claims. The insurance services of private detectives include investigating slips, trips and falls, suspected staged crash for cash insurance claims, worker's compensation claims, fake house burglaries, exaggerated personal injuries, etc. Conducting surveillance on suspected insurance scammers, taking witness statements, researching records, are all part of a private investigator's insurance services to verify accuracy of claims.
Private Investigator Background Check Services
If you search the internet for background checking services you will find a stack of online companies offering such services. However, while these websites claim to produce quality or the best background check services, there is one profession that provides consistent results with a personal touch. Background check services by a private investigator do not only utilize public and semi-public online databases but also conduct phone calls and physical surveillance where needed. An investigation company can provide detailed background screening services for companies relating to employees and job applicants, for private individuals relating to dating, pre-marriage checks, and nanny employment. These investigator services check criminal records, credit and financial records, court records, driving license, employment history, education and qualifications, military records and more. Find out more about private investigator background checks.
Private Investigator Missing Person Services
A common service by private detectives is finding people. These missing person investigator services are also called skip tracing services and locates and are usually used by private individuals looking lost family members, businesses trying to find debtors that have moved or purposely "disappeared", or law firms looking for witnesses or related persons in a legal case. No matter who is missing they generally can be found through the services of an investigator by searching last know addresses, online and offline databases and records, as well as other investigative methods and techniques. Find out more about hiring a private investigator to find someone.
Private Detective Relationship Investigation Services
Relationship investigation services by a private investigator are commonly used by marital partners whose marriages have reached a stage of breakdown with divorce looming. Investigators see this often as their services are usually employed at the start of the breakdown and during the divorce and child custody hearings to help with proving infidelity, abusive behavior, etc. Private investigator services assist in building supportive evidence of spousal cheating, locating assets hidden by a spouse, proving sources of income for child maintenance, and evidence of whether or not a partner is fit to look after a child. Relationship investigation services are also used for pre-marital or pre-relationship activities such as background checking an online date or potential marital partner for a pre-nuptial agreement. Find out more about hiring a private investigator for a cheating spouse.
Private Criminal Investigation Services
Criminal investigation services by private detectives generally cover criminal defense cases but you can employ their services for civil prosecution work or to help further a criminal case not resolved by official police detectives, such as cold case deaths. Private investigators offering criminal investigation services get involved in a wide range of services relating to crime including serious crimes such murder, child abduction, rape, serious fraud; crimes against property such as burglary and persistent vandalism or copyright theft. Private investigators can also work undercover to get crucial evidence, providing undercover services for businesses to uncover collusion theft, fraud, and drugs in the workplace, corruption and embezzlement. Private investigators have also been involved in care home abuse cases and the all-too-common crimes conducted by psychologists and psychiatrists against their patients. Find out more about private criminal investigations.
Asset Search Investigation Services
People hide money and assets for all sorts of reasons and it's not always as crude as digging a hole in the garden to stash money away from a spouse; the web-like complexities of hiding assets can be very clever. Husbands and wives going through divorce, shady business partners, companies filing for bankruptcy, sometimes try to conceal their valuables and claim poverty; that's where asset search investigation services come in. Asset search investigators assist in identifying and recovering tangible and intangible hidden assets such as money, motor vehicles, properties, hidden off-shore accounts, hidden stocks and shares and valuables such as jewelry, gold, art and antiques.
Surveillance Investigation Services
Surveillance investigation services are a great way to build and gather evidence for any type of case. Surveillance services by an investigation company use investigators to discreetly follow a target around to find out what they get up to and who they meet. Investigation services that use surveillance on a case also use special surveillance equipment such as covert cameras, electronic surveillance equipment and tracking equipment to monitor and record evidence, essential for court hearings. These services are used in cases such as insurance fraud, workplace investigations, criminal investigations, spying on a nanny or in suspected care home abuse and matrimonial and divorce cases. There is no limit in utilizing this particular service.
Accident Investigation Services
Accident investigation and reconstruction services by private investigation companies are usually required after the fact of an incident or accident. Road traffic collision and fatal accident investigations are usually carried out by law enforcement agencies or health and safety authorities. Private investigator services that investigate accidents are generally used by law firms and insurance companies trying to establish cause and responsibility in connection with law suits and insurance claims. However, businesses also benefit from using accident investigator services to reconstruct the scene of an injury at work to protect themselves in workplace injury claims against the company. By and large, an investigator will take measurements, photographs, interview witnesses, take statements, and document everything relating to an accident in order for fair decisions to be made.
Online Private Investigator Services
The internet has a wealth of personal information generally put there by the individuals them self. The internet and social media platforms have made it easier for criminals and online scammers to commit crimes and seek out easy targets such as children by pedophiles. It makes it easier for the online criminal to hide or make up false online identities which is why online private investigator services online have boomed. Internet detectives have the computer skills and online techniques to weed out online predators and con artists and to track down their locations. The services of an online private investigator can be used in online dating scams, child online monitoring, social media investigations for background checks, identity fraud investigations, and also finding "hidden" information useful for legal action.
Forensic Private Investigator Services
Forensic services by private investigators involve the scientific methods and processes of solving cases. There are a number of different forensic fields all with the purpose of analyzing physical evidence to lead to a suspect. These forensic investigation services are usually used to solve crimes and are used for investigative matters such as theft, computer crimes, financial fraud, property break-ins, etc. Detective forensic services analyze fingerprints, blood, fluids (such as urine and semen), dentistry, toxins, handwriting, accounting records, computers and cell phones, to build forensic evidence.
Private Investigator Bug Sweep Services
Bug sweep services by private investigators are essential if you believe you are a target of bugs or electronic eaves-dropping devices or hidden surveillance. A big indicator of being bugged is information leaks about your company plans, product information, or home and private life. As soon as you are aware of private information being public then it's time to call in the bug sweeping services of a private investigation firm. These TSCM (Technical Surveillance Counter Measures) services literally sweep the whole property for hidden listening devices, hidden cameras, cell phone and computer Malware, Trojans, and Keyloggers. If you believe you have information leaks then it's best to use a private detective agencies bug sweeping services.
Private Investigator Services Cost
The cost of private investigator services really do vary from country to country, State to State, city to city. The costs of private detective services also vary from agency to agency, so it's a very mixed bag when it comes to prices. Investigator services are generally charged by the hour with some set-fee services. The majority of investigator services range from $70 to $100+ per hour in the United States; other countries will have their own averages. To get a better accurate price for services you will need to contact an investigation company about their service prices. See more about the private investigator costs.
Other Private Detective Services
The following is a list of other services a private detective may offer:
■ Fire and Arson Investigations
■ Adoption Enquiries
■ Home Security
■ Child Abduction
■ Address Verification
■ Identity Theft
■ Vehicle Repossession
■ Bankruptcy Checks
■ Loss Prevention
■ Credit Checks
■ Court Records Research
■ Medical Malpractice
■ Criminal Defense Investigations
■ Process Serving
■ Mystery Shopper
■ License Verification Checks
■ Executive Protection
■ Patent Violations
■ Expert Witness
■ Technical Surveillance
■ Personal Protection
■ GPS Tracking
■ Homicide Investigations
■ Public Records Search
■ Abuse Investigations
■ Harassment / Stalking
■ Undercover Operations
There are many more services investigators offer but hopefully you get the picture of how beneficial it is to use a private investigator in times of trouble.