In a world fraught with deception, misinformation, and cheating, you may need a professional, skilled and experienced private investigator who can ethically obtain requisite information for you.

Know Your Objective

• It is imperative to know how to describe what kind of investigation you are seeking. Do not call a Private Investigator and ask “what are your rates and what kind of investigations do you do.” That will immediately send up a red flag to the investigator that you have not thought out exactly what you want or need a private investigator to do for you. Think what is most important for you to know. If it’s a business related matter, ask the private investigator if they perform the services you need. As an example, let us say you are about to invest in a new venture and you are unsure of the trustworthiness of the principles of the company and you would like a background investigation conducted.  You would then ask the investigator how in-depth can they go to find out how credible are the principles of the company you are interested in.

• Another example is when you want to know what it would take to learn if your spouse or significant other is being unfaithful to you. You would ask the investigator if they conduct infidelity surveillance and if so, can they tell you what their rates are. Prior to making the calls to various investigators, think about what would be the ideal time to have the surveillance started. Would it be in the morning, the afternoon after they leave work, on the weekends and etc? You should understand that the only professional procedure for commencing surveillance is to know exactly where the person you want surveillance on is at. You cannot start surveillance without a specific location on where that person will be at the time surveillance commences. Trying to locate where the subject of the surveillance is at by you guessing is a waste of your time and money. On the other hand, if you are one of the legal owners of the subject’s vehicle you may want to ask your private investigator to sell you a GPS live monitoring tracking device that is easily placed under the subject vehicle. You should always ask the investigator what is their hourly rate are and what evidence will they provide you after the surveillance is over that, in fact, the surveillance was done as agreed. The investigator should assure you that they will deliver to you a DVD that shows where the investigator was at during the entire time of the surveillance and the DVD should have a date and time stamp on the video.  Inquire about the investigator’s experience with surveillance, the kind of camera they use and if their vehicles have tinted windows so not to be seen by the subject. Investigative fees vary but seeking out the cheapest investigator usually turns out to be the most costly because you only will have to do the surveillance all over again if the inexpensive investigator fails to provide you with evidence that their surveillance assignment was carried out as you requested. Keep in mind that top notch surveillance investigators are constantly busy and they make a lot of money working several cases a week because insurance companies always have lots of work for investigators. If among all your calls you find one or two investigators that quote you a much lower fee than the rest, you probably contacted a very poor and inexperienced investigator who cannot find work.

Do Your Homework

• Make sure you feel 100% comfortable that the investigator you are about to retain can deliver what is promised. Check the private investigator’s license with the State authority that issues private investigator licenses. In California, it is the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.  You may also want to check if the investigator is a member of an association of private investigators in your state. In California, it is the California Association of Licensed Investigators. In New York, it is the New York Association of Licensed Private Investigators

• Should you feel that the private investigator you called appeared to be knowledgeable and made you feel comfortable, ask if the investigator will be providing you with a written retainer agreement. All professional private investigators should present you with a retainer agreement prior to commencing the assignment.

You Be a Great Detective & Research

• Last but not least ask them about references or look at their recommendations or testimonials on their website. Be sure to look for the names of real people, real companies with their name on their letterhead. To find a great investigator you need to be a good detective by conducting your own research. Good luck and call us if we can be of help to you.