Private Investigators are commonly requested when a person or company does not know where else to turn. Whether its an individual working with the police to solve a crime or a company working with an attorney in a case, private investigators are there when other professionals have run into a dead end or cannot help the situation. Private investigators are useful because they provide people in difficult situations with the knowledge they need to make the right decisions. This is why an essential step in having a successful outcome with a private investigator is not waiting too late to call. No matter what the industry or situation, knowledge is power; and the sooner you have the information you need, the better chance you have at a good outcome. If you are currently in a situation where you are considering using a private investigator, here are a few signs that it is time to take action and make the call.
- You are looking for someone (private) – As soon as you need to find someone, whether it is an heir in a probate case, a missing person, or a spouse that is acting suspiciously, call a private investigator. Trying to investigate someone’s whereabouts yourself can be everything from frustrating to dangerous. While relying on the police is a good option, hiring a private investigator to work alongside the police tends to result in faster information and better outcomes. Private investigators have the tools and technology to track down people who do not want to be found, and to uncover the necessary information to find them.
- You suspect a future crime (private or corporate)- Police can only investigate crimes that haven’t taken place to a very limited extent. If you suspect that an employee, a neighbor, or a business partner may be planning to commit a crime, call a private investigator. He or she will be able to investigate the suspected crime before it is committed and save you the heartache of dealing with it after the fact. Not only that, but since situations related to crime are inherently dangerous, we always recommend consulting a professional and not investigating alone.
- You are in a legal dispute (private or corporate)- With very few exceptions, all legal disputes can seriously benefit from hiring a private investigator. Everything from tracking down witnesses to finding leverage on opposing counsel falls under the umbrella of private investigation, and with such sensitive material and often the wellbeing of both parties at stake, it is not the time to leave surprises for the courtroom. The rule of thumb is this: if you are in a legal dispute, assume that the opposing side is learning absolutely everything they can about you and the case, and make sure you do the same. Often times the outcome of a case depends less on who is right or wrong, and more on who is the best prepared.
- You are losing money or valuable items (private or corporate)- Even if you don’t know whether an item was lost or stolen, even if you think that the loss of money could be nothing more than bookkeeping mistakes, consider hiring a private investigator. In the case that a loss of valuables really was a mistake/accident, the P.I. will quickly uncover this and there will be no harm done. If there is more to the story, a private investigator can help you piece it together before you lose anything else.
- You suspect abuse (private)- Whether it is a mother who suspects mistreatment of a child under the care of a nanny, or a friend who suspects abuse of a colleague, private investigators can help uncover cases of abuse when an individual is unable to find concrete proof on their own. Instead of jumping to accusations and potentially wrongfully accusing someone, it is always better to do the research first and get more information before acting.
- You’re taking a big step (private or corporate)- From merging companies, to hiring a new employee, to adopting a new baby, it is wise to hire a private investigator before making a big commitment to another person or entity. Even if you think that you have done your research, there is always a chance that you are missing out on pertinent information that will affect your decision. While it doesn’t always mean that the step is the wrong one to take, it will leave you more informed while taking it, and a private investigator is a discreet way to check your interests before you do something you regret.
- You think someone is/might investigate you (private or corporate)- In rare instances, people have hired private investigators to investigate themselves in order to find out what information about themselves is “out there.” If you suspect someone is looking into you, look into yourself first.
- You have a feeling (everyone!)- At the end of the day, most private investigations arise from a client’s gut feeling that “There is more to the story.” Whether it is a spouse who is cheating, and employee who is stealing, or a colleague who is hiding something, the job of a private investigator is to clear away the doubt and reveal the truth so that all parties are on equal footing and can make sound, informed decisions about the future. If you think something in your life feels off, a private investigator may be able to use their experience and insight to help you sort it out.
Private investigators are available for any difficult situation that arises, both professionally and personally. If you are struggling to uncover the truth or looking for help in tracking someone or something down, consider a private investigator to help speed along the process.
Myth-busting “Private Eyes”
When one conjures up images of a private investigator or “PI”, what are some commonalities? Perhaps a long tan coat, a notebook, mustache, and of course your handy dandy – magnifying glass?
Somehow this is the universal image for a profession where you use facts and reasoning to find information. Most people use magnifiers to look at ants.
Detective stories have long altered the perception of what private investigators do so here now lies some basic PI 101 information.
Private investigators are hired by individuals, business, and organizations to seek out the truth. This can take many forms, which is why you have various kinds of PI’s like those who specialize in forensics, lost assets, surveillance, or background checks.
Though certain fictional representations may focus on a PI’s eccentric personality, the job itself is more grounded and based in logic, details, and deductions. Some other private investigator myths are as follows:
1. Private investigators basically have carte blanche when is comes to solving a case.
Couldn’t be farther from the truth. One of several distinctions of a PI from a Craigslist ad offering similar services is their vast knowledge of legal and ethic implications. They work within the system, often with backgrounds in law or law enforcement. Which means several examples you’d see on television aren’t relevant. Pretexting to gain access to phone records, breaking and entering, and important documents (like certain financial information) wouldn’t be accessible to private investigators due to legality and regulations such as the The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act.
2. Private Investigators are the same as police detectives right?
A surprisingly common question, with a simple answer. Police work for the government, while private investigators are hired by people or groups. Because of this, the kinds of work differs, as the police work on more crime matters while PI’s find answers without prosecution.
3. PI’s are just former disgruntled police detectives.
With the multiple kinds of private investigators, their backgrounds come from all sorts. From forensic accounting to computer science, the plethora of backgrounds give PI skills for their particular type of investigation. Depending on the state you may require formal license, or need to pass exams. With each state differing in requirements, sometimes reciprocity agreements are issued to work in several states. LII is licensed in Iowa, Florida, Indiana, and Arizona.
4. Their client base is 1940’s blondes.
Kinds of client depend on the area of investigation, but companies and organizations make up a significant part of PI’s business, often for reasons you wouldn’t expect. For instance, a larger company may hire a private eye to look into corruption from within the organization. By doing their due diligence, it allows for handling of smaller scenarios now in order to avoid a PR/stock price disaster later on.
Private investigation is a detailed process, and though not as heavily based on intuition or donning the look of an action movie star, private investigators can be a great asset in your corner.
Media’s representation of Private Investigators (Source: PInow)
In 2009, Adriano Sotomayor was on the hunt for money and an unsuspecting individual. Sotomayor was a con artist, and found his mark in the nuns of the Sisters of the Rosary of Fatima convent in New Jersey. He called one of the nuns and told her that he was a New Jersey priest and that a member of his parish had just named her the beneficiary of $2.1 million. All she had to do was wire a payment of cash over to a New Jersey business called Flex Account to cover the charges of legal proceedings and taxes.
The nun didn’t have the money up-front, so Sotomayor told her to bring in her friends and family to lend her the money she needed before she received her lucrative payment from the will. Unsuspecting, she convinced many who were close to her to give her the money she needed. As you could imagine, none of these people got their money back, and Sotomayor never gave the nun the money he promised.
This is just one of many possible con artist scams that are pulled on a regular basis in America, and just one of many scams that could have been avoided with the help of a professional background search from a private investigator. Background searches can help in situations like these as well as to find out personal and business histories of subjects.
Strangers getting involved with your relatives
As in the case of Sotomayor and the unnamed nun, strangers who enter the lives of the vulnerable often do not have their best interest at heart. If you know someone new has entered the life of a relative of yours such as your mother or father, investigating their history can ensure the truth of their claims and interests.
Many con artists will attempt to get close to elderly individuals with malicious interests such as defrauding them or getting them to place them in their wills. Investigators such as Lauth Investigations Inc. can conduct background searches that can find out if the subject is using an alias, has a criminal record or has defrauded others in recent history.
Background investigations can also be extremely useful when searching into the history of potential business partners. Before engaging in a merger or business transaction, a thorough and professional background search can look into the financial history of potential partners to ensure that they are worth trusting.
Professional investigations can dig up if other companies have had trouble with civil or criminal lawsuits in the past or are concealing damning information such as bankruptcies.
Pre-Marital background searches
Sometimes even those who we trust the most are worth investigating as well. Before entering an agreement as major as a marriage, a background search can be extremely useful. Professional investigators can find out if the bride or groom to be is concealing any serious information that a spouse would want to know.
This involves criminal records, past relationships that have been concealed and financial information. Using a background search from a professional investigation firm may be the only way to make sure a potential spouse is completely truthful and can ensure that key information is revealed before the wedding and not after the fact.