The words “Private Investigator” or PI evoke images of heroism and daring-do. Television shows probably give you the impression that they stamp out crime and wrongdoing.
PIs, in reality, do not fight crime in the same way as the police. Who are they, and why would you need their services? What qualities should a PI have, and most importantly, how would you go about hiring one?
Who is a Private Investigator?
A private investigator is a person hired to find information to prove misdemeanor. Some of these individuals are self-employed, while others are employees of corporate or government institutions. They usually conduct surveillance on those who have disappeared, on a property or cheating spouses. Most of them ferret out data to prove business fraud.
Why would you need a private investigator?
All people want to think the best of others and not have a jaded view of the world. Unfortunately, corruption, fraud, and dishonesty sometimes rear their ugly heads. There are times when the expert advice of a professional private investigator is needed.
1. Hiring PIs for Business Purposes
If you run a business, you may want to hire a private investigator to background checks on companies or individuals to determine if you are doing business with honest, reputable people. PIs can conduct Real Due Diligence, which is the process of verifying firms and individuals all over the world. They scour details like registration, legal status, reputation, and profitability. ‘
You may also hire a PI to check the employment background of a person you are interested in hiring. They will determine if the potential employee has a criminal record, and if he is competent.
2. Hiring PIs for Welfare Organizations
If you run a welfare organization, you may want to determine if a Personal Injury claim is authentic. A PI can follow a claimant to find out how badly injured he is.
3. Personal and Family investigations
PIs can help you gather information on your estranged spouse if you want to secure the custody of your children. If you suspect that your spouse is cheating or withholding information, a PI can access bank records you may not know about or follow him. An investigator can perform International Asset Searches as well.
Private Investigators can conduct background checks on the people you date. They can find out if the people you meet over the Internet are genuine, and if they are involved in romance scams. PIs can also perform Pre-Marital checks to verify the identities of foreign brides and grooms.
If you are about to make an investment, a PI can help you decide if it is sound. High-risk zones are in China and the United Arab Emirates. A PI can perform Real Due Diligence to determine the credibility of a company.
8 Essential Tips for Hiring a Private Investigator
Now that you have decided that you need a PI’s services, it is time to hire one. Here are some tips that will help you find one who can help you deal with your situation.
1. Assess a Potetial Investigator’s Personal Qualities
A dependable Private Investigator maintains a high level of professionalism and integrity. A PI is responsive and maintains an open channel of communication with his client. He should be skilled in time management and handle his cases quickly. An investigator should also be persistent and tenacious, refusing to give up even when a situation is not in his favor.
A PI should be ingenious when it comes to utilizing resources. A savvy one should know how to access databases, social networking sites, and court records. An investigator should be able to access specialized databases that contain information on employment history, driving records and civil litigation. He should also be efficient.
It is essential that a PI is trustworthy. PIs do not have to sign confidentiality agreements like lawyers, but they will not share information if they are reliable.
2. Hire a licensed investigator
Many countries require investigators to be fully licensed. The licensing agency of your country or state will tell you if an investigator’s license is authentic.
Ask to view his resume to determine if he has relevant experience. He should have a background in law enforcement and have degrees in subjects such as criminal justice and criminology. Ask to see physical copies of these documents.
3. Check Professional Associations
If a PI states that he is a member of a Private Investigator Association, you can contact the organization to verify this claim. It will tell you about his reputation as well.
4. Get References and testimonials
Then, ask the investigator for referrals. Contact them to gather information on his success rate, ethics and whether it is easy to do business with him. As him for examples of his achievements, such as newspaper reports, articles or client reports.
5. Agree on Pricing Upfront
Agree with him about cost upfront. Discuss details like retainers, deposits, flat fees, hourly fees, and reimbursements.
6. Meet the Investigator in Person
Meet the investigator in person, if possible. Many PIs do not have offices to maintain confidentiality and secrecy, but this does not mean that they are any less efficient.
7. Discuss Techniques
Ask an investigator about the techniques he uses to obtain information. Avoid those who make unethical claims, and those who suggest breaking the law. Ask if he is a specialist in the area where you need his services.
8. Check the Investigator’s Website
Find out if the PI has a website; If it is dead, he may be out of business.
Discover more about the nature of a PIs work before starting the hiring process. Decide if you need the services of a PI to deal with your situation, then go about finding the best one for you.