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.