What to Know When Hiring a Private Investigator

How do you know who’s the right private investigator for you. There is a difference between a good investigator and a bad one. The difference between the two is, they should work and operate their business professionally and charge the correct rates and not rip you off and get rubbish results. If you look on Google or directories you will see thousands of investigators who promise certain things, these sort of things they promise shouldn’t be promised as anything can happening when conducting surveillance, you don’t always get the luck you need and they may be a chance something will go wrong, this is what a good investigator will tell you.

If you really need to hire a private investigator, they are a few ways you can do this below is a short lift of ways to find a professional investigator;

  • Search Engines.
  • Yell
  • ABI (Association of British Investigators)
  • IPI (Institute of Professional Investigators)
  • WAPI (World Association of Private Investigators)
  • Referral from a friend.
  • Private Investigator Network

Some of the above options are trusted ways to find a reliable investigator. Personally the best way to find a professional investigator who will give you the best possible service and help is from a referral from somebody you know. This is because you know somebody who have dealt with an investigator and will be able to give you positive or negative feed back. If you don’t know anybody who has ever hired a private investigator make sure you make lists and ask questions.

Make sure you look for the following.

Below are some things you need to look out for when hiring an investigator:

Good Character

What’s the first impression you have from this person? What is his first concern, the money? (Your case should always come first and then the money after you have decided you want to go ahead and hire the private investigator) Can you trust him?

Private Investigators are not officially held to client confidentiality like a doctor is, a good investigator will honor this. They should never share or give out any information and keep everything private that is shared between the two of you, unless the investigator isn’t happy in what you are telling him or how the investigation is shaping up.

If the investigator is compromised they should never disclose the client’s name, this will protect you from any repercussions because of it.


When hiring an investigator you have to make sure they have some experience in the field of investigations you want to carry out. Have they got any educational background such as; Police or military? How long have they been working as a PI have they completed any training courses. Also what areas do they specialize in? It is also good to ask if they have dealt with any cases like yours before and what the end result was.

Has an office and doesn’t work out of his house.

It is always better to hire a PI who works out of a office, this is because it shows they are professional and it just looks more legit and professional. They are plenty of good quality investigators who work out of their spare bedroom, but have these got the man power to provide you with the service you require, he might only be a one man band who can only offer his services and not a team. Surveillance should never be carried out on their own, if somebody offers you to do this ask yourself this;

  • How will you follow him for long distances.
  • What if you get stopped at lights
  • What if they are more than one person to follow?
  • How can you react so quickly on your own?
  • Isn’t it dangerous to not have a small team?

It’s also a better way to communicate in later dates to maybe rearrange more possible surveillance and to get hold of them.

An orderly office can also be a window into the degree of his professionalism.

Clear on the price.

The investigator should give you a rough estimate of the cost after you have told him the brief details. Once he has all the information he should calculate the costs and inform you of them, if you agree to proceed the investigator shouldn’t exceed this amount unless you’re notified beforehand.

The First Meeting

Some investigators will want to see you for a meeting before the investigations start (this only really happens for high profile jobs such as; surveillance. Or even if it’s a private client paying cash) Some investigators i have spoken to in the past refuse to meet you and say its ‘unprofessional’ my first thoughts were, you’re not really in the location you are claiming and you properly won’t do the work you will sub-contract in out, so be careful of this make sure you know where the investigators are based, if you are unsure ask them for a meeting and see what their reactions are.

The investigator should also give you a brief description on how the surveillance will be undertaken and how you plan on doing it.

Final Thoughts

In the first call to a private investigator can be hard and emotional, but the best investigators will support you in all the ways you need along the way. Make sure you are 100% certain you need to uncover the information you are searching for and be prepared for the possible outcomes; some are not always what you want to hear.

What if you need to know what your partner is really getting up to, what if what you learn is heart breaking and upsetting, are you ready for this?

What if you want to find a lost relative? Maybe that person doesn’t want to have a relationship with you. How will you respond?

Or are you researching a business investment? What will you do if you find out that it’s fraudulent?

Remember that you can rely on a good private investigators. Besides handling the situation with professionalism. Also, remember that you’re making the first step toward empowering yourself in order to resolve issues that may be preventing you from living happily.

Women in Private Investigation: Work Part IV: Pros and Cons

What are the most commonly used techniques for delivering investigative services, and what are the pros and cons of using a female Private Investigator?

Remember that the Private Investigator does not have police powers and has to rely solely on wits, diligence, and sustainable, legal means to gather information. Otherwise, the PI will not be in business for long.

The three mainstays of the investigation business are surveillance, interview, and public record. Women are certainly capable of handling all three with ease.

While it might be harder for a good-looking woman to melt into the background than a man, all Private Investigators must learn this skill. Can you imagine doing a surveillance job wearing a bright red dress and stiletto heels? Just like male investigators, female investigators learn how to mute the colors and dress for blending in. They can also use tricks such as changing sweaters at intervals while tailing a suspect, so the suspect does not realize that he or she is being watched. Also, women tend to pick up on the styling that is predominant in various sections of town. Dressing too fancy in certain neighborhoods will call attention, and dressing too poorly in other sections will draw attention also. Adjusting makeup and accessories will also play a role.

Another aspect of surveillance that is often overlooked is the verbal skill of blending in. On the off chance that the Private Investigator is drawn into an unwanted conversation, the investigator has to know how to talk the talk and quickly disengage while not arousing any suspicions.

While studies show that women tend to be more aware of semantics and language and more articulate than men overall, women have to deal with nonverbal cues that will attract males, no matter how good their conversational skills. I’ve known women who would purposely pad their bodies to make them look a little pudgy to avoid unwanted male attention while tracking a suspect. This, in conjunction with using street vernacular, helps them. It might seem absurd, and it might not speak highly of societal realities for women, but women who want to remain in private investigative work seem to take these realities in stride and take pride in winning the information they are seeking.

When it comes to interviews, women tend to excel. People, whether male or female, tend to be comfortable confiding in their female friends. Linguist Deborah Tannen’s research showed that women tend to make more encouraging comments while listening, such as, “Uh, huh,” or “I see.” This often makes other women feel important and appreciated during conversations with a female Private Investigator. It often makes men feel that the woman listener agrees with him, even if the woman is only trying to communicate that she’s hearing what he said. In either case, women obviously have some advantages in interviewing, even if it’s only due to societal beliefs that women are not as threatening as men.

Private Investigators rely heavily on public records. This includes sales of real estate, birth and death certificates, licensing, and everything else imaginable. There are public records for just about every area of life. Women tend to be very patient when going through massive quantities of paperwork.

Women are often more open to alternative theories and sometimes this use of imagination results in finding the answer, even if it wasn’t the most likely one. This ability to not only find and catalog facts, but to put them together cohesively, adds to the effectiveness of female Private Investigators.

There is one more absolutely essential factor in investigations. That is the use of paid informants who will introduce an investigator to people who might have information as to what really happened. While risky, it is sometimes absolutely necessary to associate personally with a suspect who may have committed a crime and has every incentive to cover it up. Women, while perhaps more easily introduced to a crime circle because of their ability to seem less intrusive and more desirable, also take a huge risk. If they associate with a group like this for long, it becomes more dangerous with time. Therefore, they have to have some street smarts to compensate for the risk, and they have to be willing to get out as soon as they have the information they need. The need for plausible cover stories is very important here.

Paradoxically, there is no stereotype that fits everybody. You could easily find a male Private Investigator who comes across as very easy to talk to and very nonthreatening, while you could also find female Private Investigators who push the boundaries of assertiveness and could frighten a suspect into spilling the beans. The world is tending towards more equalized opportunity based on abilities rather than stereotypes.

Any activity in life has risks. The risks of private investigation are very real. However, our own experience with women investigators indicates that women can play vital and effective roles in investigative services, helping many people in the process.

First Step to Becoming a Private Investigator

Undergo private investigation training if you want to become a private investigator. As a private investigator, you can choose to work for individuals, companies or lawyers. You can be your own boss. When you take and complete a private investigation training course, you can take part in an exciting, adventurous and rewarding career. Find yourself an accredited private investigation school and you can be on your way to a new career in as short as 30 days.

Training according to your needs

Many schools and agencies provide private investigation training programs to suit the different needs and goals of prospective students. If you do not need to work during your training, it is best that you devote yourself to training full time.

However, if you simply cannot take the time to be a full time student, online courses are an excellent alternative for you. Several inexpensive yet effective online private investigation training courses are available for you to take.

You will discover that taking private investigation training will provide you with many advantages in life and as a private investigator. It will help you develop information research skills. In addition, training in private investigation will teach you how to run your own business in case you wish to some day manage a private investigation agency.

Most private investigation training courses take two to three months to complete. However, some schools offer intensive curricula, which can be completed in as short as a month by those who are in a hurry. After you complete the training, you will obtain your Accredited Private Investigator License, the tool you will need to start your exciting, new career.

What you will learn in your training

Private investigation training courses typically involve about twenty topics. Some of the topics that students most enjoy are those that focus on missing persons, computer investigation, surveillance, insurance fraud investigation, interviewing and interrogation, criminal investigation, auto repossession and lock picking.

Online courses do not provide as much hands on experience, but they do often offer a better price. The cost of an online course is typically between $150 and $300. If at all possible, it is recommended that you learn from an experienced private investigator by practicing with him. You will find that the real world experience is invaluable in this field.

Life of a private investigator after training

About 27 percent of the private investigators are self-employed. Many self-employed private investigators only do investigation part time as they sometimes find themselves without clients for extended periods of time.

In order to get a private investigator job with an agency, you will need to have a strong resume and your private investigator license. Most investigation agencies are small and offer little opportunity for career advancement, although they can provide you with a good opportunity to gain experience. For the best salary and opportunities for advancement, you should seek out a large employer or start your own investigation agency.