As your reputation grows and your demand for work increases, you may find yourself in the position of having to hire a private investigator to be a part of your team to fill in for existing work you may have, but may not be able to cover. In order to not let your clients down and turn down a potential client, private investigators oftentimes turn to other PIs to work for them as a subcontractor. However, having an extra set of hands on board has its pros and cons. Let’s explore the benefits and downsides to subcontracting a private investigator.
Subcontracting a private investigator when you’re overloaded with work should not be the only reason why you should consider subcontracting, as there are many benefits that can help your private surveillance business to grow.
One of the smartest moves you could make to expand your business brand as a private investigator is to offer services in different areas. Subcontracting a private investigator will allow you to offer services in different regions, states or provinces and even different countries.
Subcontracting gives you the opportunity to provide work for other investigators while growing your own business. While investigators jump the fence from being freelancers to having their own company, it’s important to keep costs down as you explore what works best for your business. Subcontracting gives you the freedom to count on the help from different PIs in different regions, without the need to have them on payroll, until you get the ball rolling and can hire your own full-time investigators.
As every investigator has their niche of expertise, subcontracting could open the door for you to be able to provide services of different specialties, that perhaps you did not offer yourself in the past as they were out of your area of specialization. This is especially helpful when you want to be able to provide a plethora of options for prospective clients.
Although the pros of subcontracting a private investigator are significant, you must still be aware of the negative aspects that you could encounter while working with subcontracted private investigators.
One of the biggest assets a private investigator has in the eyes of a client is their ethical outlook. When a client speaks with a private investigation firm, what they want to know is that their ethics and values are aligned. When working with a subcontractor, your values may not match, which would cause you to clash professionally or disagree on the route to take during an investigation. As a contractor, you’ll have to either compromise and work with people of different values than those of your own, or choose to only work with private investigators who share your ideals, as this could definitely reflect on the result of an investigation.
When subcontracting an investigator, you’ll have to be open and honest about their role in the investigation or within your company. Otherwise, you may find that some private investigators put their own branding or watermark on surveillance and findings. If you present the results of an investigation to a client and they see someone else’s logo on the recordings, you will look unprofessional and it will be obvious that you worked with a subcontractor rather than with someone directly under your supervision, which would definitely upset a client or two.
There’s a wise saying that states that “if you want something done right, you should do it yourself.” This couldn’t be more true when subcontracting, as those PIs may not take responsibility as seriously as you, which would only make you look bad. Make sure that although anyone you subcontract will not be an employee, you still follow an interview or a hiring procedure with a formal contract, that will establish terms of work from the beginning of the labor relationship.
As you can see, the pros of subcontracting a private investigator outweigh the possible cons, which can easily be avoided by working carefully and keeping a close eye on those who you choose to work with. As with any job that you may create, it’s important to not give so much freedom and give specific instructions of your work standards, expectations and rules before choosing to work with anyone to protect yourself, your business’ reputation and the outcome of your client’s investigation.
PI/Alliance International Corp. will start publishing an online bi-annual magazine (available in .PDF) in March. Our new online magazine will be filled with updates and activities from our organization, some articles, interviews of members, recap of events (post Covid) and more!
The magazine will be published twice a year, one edition in March and one in November. Stay tuned for the first edition coming soon!
We are also making some changes to our members newsletter. Instead of sending a weekly newsletter, we are now doing a monthly newsletter. At the beginning of each month, you will get an email updating you of our previous month activities, articles and updates or upcoming events.
We are working on other social projects as well to make the connections between our members stronger.
As usual, feel free to contact us for all your questions. Thank you for being part of organization.
Marketing is so much more than creating a Facebook page for your business and enlisting it on Google. There is a certain art and technique that comes with strategic marketing that most of the time is only accomplished by experts in the field of advertising. However, every type of business has its own different nooks and crannies that must be learned in order to create effective marketing campaigns. Fortunately, besides marketing experts, you can also rely on advice given from veteran investigators who have done their own marketing. To help you out, here are the top 10 marketing tips for PIs from experienced investigators, so that you can indulge in the best-kept marketing secrets.
As most clients that come your way are more than likely going to be using the findings of your investigation within a courtroom, it’s a smart approach to reach out to attorneys and law firms offering them your services. If the attorneys themselves do not need your services directly, they could recommend you to their clients so that you may dig up some information that is needed.
These types of referrals are some of the strongest types of word of mouth recommendations, because they come from other professionals who your clients trust and take into consideration for advice. To get in touch with attorneys or law firms, you could visit them directly or let yourself be known by attending attorney events or conferences, where you can educate them on the type of services you offer. By letting them know what you could do for them, or their clients, you have a higher possibility of building bonds and growing professional relationships that will eventually lead to new clients. This is perhaps one of the best marketing tips a PI could receive, so it’s worth considering it, especially if you are just starting out as an independent private investigator.
It’s hard to avoid thinking of an Inspector Gadget type-of-look when it comes to private investigators. Although most private investigators don’t actually wear a fedora and a trench coat, it’s important to keep in mind that image is important for all professions and being a private investigator is not an exception.
You think your image is not marketing? Think again. According to marketoonist Tom Fishburne, “the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” Although you may think your clients don’t look too much into your clothes and general attire, it’s actually quite the opposite. The right type of attire helps your clients to feel more confident about hiring your services simply because you may look like a person who is well put together and would in turn translate that type of organization into your investigation. Never underestimate the power of first impressions, and the weight that a good outfit carries.
One of the most important things that portrays reliability and trustworthiness from a private investigator is having a physical address. It’s not uncommon for private investigators to not have a physical office, because they can simply meet a prospective client at a café or in a restaurant. However, an office demonstrates stability for a business. If a private investigator has a permanent business location, then it means they have continuous business, which in a client’s mind translates as having a reputation, experience and stability as a professional business.
Offering office space also allows your clients to meet in a private place without any distractions, where they would feel more open to discussing their needs, worries and a situation more in detail, whereas they may be a bit more hesitant to discuss full details of a case in a public location.
This marketing tip is not in reference to creating social media accounts for your business, because that’s sort of a given task that every business has to do nowadays. However, the important takeaway is that once you do create your social media profiles, that you create content that evokes professionalism, experience and interesting information that will keep your users engaged.
Online user engagement is important because it opens the doors to quick recommendation from users who may not even need your services, but are familiar enough with your online presence that they know who to recommend if they hear of someone in need of your services. Social media presence is where everyone runs to for business recommendations, but if your profiles are not kept-up or they haven’t been updated in a long time, you will give the impression that your business is either not currently functioning or not offering any worthwhile services.
A great marketing tip for private investigators is to not stick to just private investigation for firms or individuals. There are many different services that come naturally as a side niche of private investigation, such as risk management services for companies, which could prevent them from being sued in the future. In order to approach this type of business, you can choose a niche of specialty, such as the industrial, economic, food, etc. and focus on offering services with an expertise that suits your likes and previous experience.
Helping a business to recognize their weaknesses can help them mitigate the chances of assorted losses from an underdeveloped risk management strategy. Your skills and professional assessment will help businesses to create emergency protocols, apply strategies to minimize personal injury amongst employees, and assess product liability. This is a service you could advertise during an attorney conference or event, or use it as an excuse to approach a firm to build a relationship.
While being a jack of all trades can be good for knowledge, it’s always best to specialize in a specific niche that will allow you to reach out to businesses in the need of your specialty. This can help your marketing strategy greatly, as you will be able to target a niche-oriented audience who will be more likely to hire your services rather than someone who is just exploring.
If you choose to specialize in family dispute investigations, this will allow for law firms who also specialize in family law to look in your direction if your services would ever be needed. If this is the case, look for attorneys who specialize in divorces, child custody or wills. However, if your interest is more focused towards fraud and criminal investigation, you would do better by approaching businesses. Either way, your niche should be reflected across all of your social media platforms and other types of advertising.
Oftentimes, prospective clients resort to finding their private investigators by browsing through private investigation directories found online, such as the one by PI Alliance International website, where distinguished investigators can join to have access to clients all over the world. Joining a PI Association, such as PI Alliance International, is important because these organizations take the time to review each private investigator carefully so that they only have legitimate investigators as part of the associations, who are trained and certified professionals.
Being a part of a PI association or organization will also help you to connect with other private investigators around the world, who may refer clients to you if they are contacted by someone who requires an investigation that is out of their area of expertise. In cases where you may also need a hand from an investigator in a different states or country, having such connections is always helpful and can be a huge asset for your business.
This marketing tip is oriented towards education. In some professions, such as the field of private investigation, without the appropriate spread of information about what an investigator can do, people in general stick to thinking that private investigators are just to be used to recreate an episode of Cheaters.
When the general public is educated about what you could do for them in certain situations, they know that you are the person to go to when a situation comes up. This is where social media aids in spreading information about your services, your field of expertise and your professional image.
Physical advertising is something that goes hand in hand with every single marketing tip given before. You can’t show up to an attorney’s office, a law firm or an event without having flyers and business cards with you on hand. Just giving someone your phone number to save on their mobile is simply not the type of approach a professional private investigator wants to take.
While business cards help your professional image, flyers can provide education that showcases your services, career trajectory and fields of specialty. The literature that comes in flyers provides some extra marketing that will contain more space to help others understand what exactly it is that you do and what you can offer them. Having both flyers and business cards ready on hand is a great way to maintain your professional image in case you run into the chance of talking about your business outside of your area of work.
Although these tips give you the 101 on marketing essentials for investigators, unless you really work hard at your marketing game and get a feel for it, you will most definitely need an SEO and marketing expert who will help to upkeep all of your social media profiles and create the branding that you need as a professional private investigator or that your PI business requires.
If the expenses that come with hiring a marketing expert scares you, do not fret! To get affordable marketing, you can take the route of hiring a freelance marketing expert or a newly graduated marketing student. You can reach out to local colleges or universities for a list of recommended graduates or you can do a quick search online for freelance marketing experts. This is perhaps the most important marketing tip, as this will help to define the branding that will get you the clientele you want to work with and that will promote your business.
Gathering information is something that we all embark in on a regular basis, whether it is to do some good ol’ Facebook creeping, or for a formal private investigation by a PI, most of us have taken advantage of OSINT - whether we knew what it was called, or not. Open Source Intelligence, better known by the acronym OSINT, refers to gathering data that is readily available as public information. As PIs can never have too many sources of information, it’s worth investing time into understanding and applying OSINT into your private investigation so that you can take advantage of the tools that are readily available at your fingerprints online.
Open Source Intelligence, refers to the vast amount of data that is available to view by the general public without the need to ask permission. This type of data could be found on any type of public domain such as social media profiles, published news or broadcasts or even information seen or heard by casual observers.
If any type of data is acquired by having to request special permission, paid access or a court order, then it does not qualify as OSINT. So, it’s important to remember that in order for data to be classified as OSINT, it must be part of a public domain or be accessible to all and any individuals regardless or the purpose that such data may be intended for.
Details found on a résumé.
Information found on social media posts.
Data found in public record databases.
Commercial imagery, text or details.
Information seen or heard by a casual observer.
Anything found in maps or geospatial information.
Data acquired by attending an event or visiting a location.
Business or company profiles, reports or documents, including press releases.
Data stored in government documents, reports or websites, whether it is in digital or print form.
Any information found on the IoT or the Dark Web, including blogs, videos, podcasts, forums, etc.
Information that has been published or broadcasted for public viewing by any media sources.
Any type of data that can be accessed by the general public by making a purchase or acquiring a subscription, whether it is paid or free.
All academic publications, such as journals, thesis, dissertations, conferences or public speaking endeavors.
Any type of data that can be received by anyone upon placing a request, whether it is in a government facility or otherwise.
Although it may seem like most of Open Source Intelligence is accessed by a means of manual search endeavors, there are actually several tools that can be used depending on the type of data you are looking for. There are tools to search for very specific types of data, such as images, documents, assets or data collection of an entity. Due to the high efficiency and reliability of the information found on certain websites, hackers often use the same tools to access information and find unsuspecting victims.
Below you can find a few of the most well-known tools that can help facilitate your process to obtain Open Source Intelligence:
Although there are many different tools available to help with data gathering on the public domain, Justin Nordine, a security expert, created something called The OSINT Framework, which provides a clear path on what tools to use in order to obtain the type of data that you are looking for. On the OSINT Framework website created by Nordine, you can find an intricate diagram that displays the various types of data categories one could look for through Open Source Intelligence, along with the tools that will help one to retrieve that information. This Framework could easily pass as The Holy Grail of OSINT sources for a private investigator.
As you can see, the various tools and techniques that return OSINT are highly useful in a private investigation, however, because it is precisely open source information, many people who are knowledgeable about OSINT use the tools and techniques mentioned above for wrongdoing. So, as a rule of thumb, remember that if you could access certain information, someone else could also certainly obtain it to use it against your client. This is relevant especially when as a private investigator your role is to protect your client and you need to inform them on how to better protect themselves against what others may find in public records.
Back in the day, businesses relied on services such as the Yellow Pages for their business presence, but with the growth of internet users over the past two decades, businesses have had to adjust so they can leave a footprint on the internet.
Private investigation businesses, like all others, have benefited from being just a search result away from getting prospective new clients, rather than waiting for a lengthy search from flipping pages.
Google My Business is one of the tools that, if used correctly, can aid a PI business to get started, grow and stay afloat. So, can Google My Business do for your PI business? Let’s take a look!
Google My Business is an ensuite tool offered by Google that helps you create a smart business presence on the internet. Through this tool, you can create a business profile, see customer engagement data, get insights to search results pertaining to your business and much more to help with the management of your online business presence and activity.
If you’re just getting started with your private investigation business, you will need to get your online business presence set up as soon as started. If you don’t have the slightest idea about SEO and rankings, Google My Business is the best way to get started. This is why:
Whether you’re working solo or have set up a private investigation agency, you have to get a business profile set up on Google as soon as you have registered your business. This is because your business profile will help with your online ranking.
Setting up your business profile on Google My Business can significantly help your ranking so that your business has a chance to appear on Google’s top search results in relation to your business.
To help your ranking, use keywords that are relevant to your business in every description or tag line as you set up your online business profile. It can take time for your business to come on the top results, but if you follow the next key pieces of advice you will be able to have your business on the first page of Google within days!
One of the key benefits for PI businesses is physical presence shown on Google Maps. Once your business’ physical presence has been confirmed and is up and running, your business will be visible to prospective clients through features such as “near me,” which will help people to know you are a legitimate business.
Now, if your PI business doesn’t have a physical location and runs from home or operates online with investigators in several points of the state or nation, you can still register your profile with a certain location by setting up a service area.
However, Google’s algorithms are changing constantly and they do update their guidelines regarding a business’ location. So, try to make sure you use a legitimate business address if you do have one, or don’t lie by using a P.O. Box or UPS Store location address to get around address requirements. By trying to cheat the system, Google could punish your business listing and put you on a black list to not allow your business to show up on top search results, or at all.
If you had already previously posted your business on Google Maps, or someone else did it for you, it’s possible to claim a business listing as your own so that you can begin to manage it through Google My Business.
Especially if it was not you who initially posted your business on Google, you’ll want to get a hold of the listing so that you can manage your private investigator business’ profile so that it meets your standards and reflects your business image accurately.
Once you have claimed your business listing online, be sure to add pictures of your business, or services you may offer, update your business operating hours and your contact information, so that prospect clients can get in touch with you.
Google My Business is a great tool for PI businesses because it helps investigators to visualize and understand where their audience is mostly concentrated. This is data that all businesses need so that they can see the growth of their exposure online.
The insights provided by this tool are so detailed that you can see the demographics of your audience, so that you can move forward with other services, such as Google Ads, to push your business’ online presence and advertising even further.
Setting up a profile on Google My Business helps prospective customers to connect with your business by booking appointments, leaving reviews and getting in touch with you by phone, email, chat or by visiting you in your physical address if you happen to have one.
Most people nowadays believe that social media is the strongest way of communicating with an audience, however, Google is still to this day the top search engine used in the world. So, by combining social media presence with Google My Business, you will have a strong online business presence.
Getting your niche as a private investigation business running on the top search results online can take a couple of months, however, it’s important not to get discouraged and maintain continuous activity on your profile. Once you have set up your profile, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to update your profile continuously, so that you can reap the full benefits offered by this great free tool offered by Google.
Perhaps the most important part of an investigation is the surveillance ritual, where an investigator observes to obtain a wider scope and insight about a case, and although every investigator has their own way of doing surveillance, there are certain things that can be done to make the process more effective, safer and thorough.
Even before heading out to start an investigation, more than paying attention to a client’s needs, it’s imperial to ask as many questions as possible to fully grasp the situation at hand. A rookie mistake is to not ask enough questions, to avoid looking like an amateur in the field, however missing the most general details can hold you back from a successful investigation.
While holding an investigation, an investigator’s first priority should be to stay safe. In order to do so, before heading to the location from where the surveillance will take place, it’s important to get a sneak peak of the environment and check out Google Maps, Google Earth or any other type of maps that provides satellite images to help you get acquainted with a place much before you get there. This will ensure you know what to expect when you arrive at the place of surveillance and you have checked all exit routes and roads to help keep you safe. This will also help to choose a strategic surveillance spot before arriving at the scene.
When it comes to surveillance, an investigator that is ‘on time’ will always be considered as being late to the scene. Human behavior is practically unpredictable, which is why even though you think you may know a target’s schedule and routine, you should aim for always starting your work day early. The most interesting findings often occur outside of one’s normal daily routine, so be prepared to watch your target even though your client may have already given you insight about your target’s daily proceedings.
A vehicle is a private investigator’s most necessary surveillance tool, because it will be needed to follow a target and get an investigator from point A to point B of an investigation. Furthermore, it’s exactly what will keep an investigator concealed during surveillance. As staying concealed is of the highest importance, an investigator must be mindful to not use a vehicle that stands out too much and can be easy to forget if spotted. Dull colors and tinted windows are some of the features that a surveillance vehicle must not miss.
This is one of the reasons why satellite images are so important to consider before arriving at the surveillance spots. Unless you have checked out the area prior to the investigation, you will be out of depth when it comes to choosing a spot where you will position yourself during the investigation. Avoid parking too close to a target’s location and stay at a safe distance that would not make anyone notice you immediately if they were to look outside. Park on the direction of the road that allows you to make a quick exit, if necessary, so that you can catch up to your target if they happen to leave their location or so that you can get away.
A rookie investigator may think that alone time in a vehicle is the perfect time to catch up on some reading or social media, but this could not be any more wrong. Avoid taking distractions such as books, cell phones or tablets that you may use for recreational purposes in order to stay focused on your target. You never know when something unexpected may occur, so it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
This point is basically mute, because well, there won’t exactly be any meal or bathroom breaks. As you will be unable to leave the area under surveillance, you will have to prepare your snacks and meals to eat during the surveillance period without leaving the scene or your car. When it comes to bathroom breaks, private investigators have to get creative, as they must stay in place no matter what once the investigation has begun.
As a professional investigator you must provide your clients with proof of surveillance and evidence of a target’s wrongdoings. For this, you will have to invest in reliable photography and recording equipment so that you can provide video and pictures of any evidence you have collected or of any suspicious activity. This will also help to document your investigation and keep an activity diary. Invest in both quality equipment and the appropriate classes to learn to handle your equipment effectively.
It is not rare or strange to have to follow a target in order to keep up with their daily activities. While on the move, be on the lookout for clues you may grasp from the target’s vehicle, such as bumper stickers, license plate information, brake light shape and any damage that may be visible to the vehicle. This will help you find the target again in case you lose them in traffic.
It’s not all about fancy video recording and sitting out eating snacks all day, in order to deliver a professional investigation, you must provide a well-written professional report. This is because private investigator reports are often used in court as evidence, therefore the reports must be written in a clear and concise manner that is ready to use in court.
By following these 10 tips you will be ready to get started in the surveillance field. Remember to stay safe while you’re out on a case and put your safety and well-being before anyone else’s so that you can continue to help those in need of your services.
The private investigation sector is a rewarding field that allows people with an eye for detail and intuitive personality to develop their skills in a career that helps people discover the truth. However, this career path is not for everyone, as it requires a great deal of skills, intelligence and intuition without the benefits of consistency of a 9-to-5 type of job. Although, if this is a person’s true calling, there is undoubtedly a lot of satisfaction that comes with the job after a case has been closed. To help you continue exploring if you should become a private investigator, we have compiled the top 5 reasons why you should become a private investigator.
Unlike other professions, you don’t necessarily have to have a university degree to become a private investigator. There are different organizations that provide training and certification for newcomers. Some courses can even be done completely online while you hold on to your current job as you prepare to make the change of career. You will find that most private investigators have a lot of previous field experience as they normally have a background in law order and are former police officers or worked in the law enforcement field, so you can lean on a fellow colleague for advice to get the field practice you need while you get started.
Becoming a private investigator doesn’t mean you will have an open field to dip your toes into anything and everything, as there are different sectors of private investigation and you will have to work in the field that suits you best or interests you the most.
Some of the most relevant fields of work in the private investigation field are:
Legal defense investigation
Cyber crime investigation
Hospitality field investigation
As you can see, there are so many different paths you can take to work in a career you enjoy with a field that uses your skills for a specialty.
Putting in the work as a private investigator certainly does pay off. As of September 2020, according to a study done by Indeed.com, the average salary for a private investigator is $18.15 per hour in the United States. The states of Indiana and New York held the first and second places respectively with an average salary of $24.59 per hour in Indianapolis, IN and $24.32 in New York, NY. However, these are just regional USA examples, working as a private investigator in any part of the world is a profitable business that continues to grow.
Working as a private investigator is one of the most rewarding careers you can work in, as you are helping people discover the truth and helping for justice to take its due course.
Many different court cases would be won by the guilty party if it was not because evidence was collected by a private investigator. It’s common for people to want to take an investigation into their own hands, where they can find valuable evidence, but due to the lack of legal experience, the evidence is collected wrongfully, making it invalid in court. Private investigators help to do this in a legal way so that all evidence counts in a legal case.
The field of private investigation is one of those fields where age is not significant. It really is never too late to join the field and to get started. Of course, one of the biggest issues with getting started working in any field is the lack of experience.
The good news about the field of private investigation is that you don’t need previous experience as you will get due experience through your education in the field. This is why regional certifications are so important, because they are valid due to the fact that they ensure their pupils have the theory and field experience they need to get started once they finish their course.
All legal cases are sensitive, however, when it comes to child custody, parents do anything in their power to win the case whether it’s the best thing for a child or not. In order to get the upper hand, private investigators take an important role collecting evidence to sway the case more towards one direction, helping a parent prove the necessary claims to obtain custody successfully.
Oftentimes people take it into their own hands to try to take on their own investigations. What many don’t know is that if evidence is obtained or collected erroneously, not only would the evidence be inadmissible in a court of law, but it could also result in legal action by those involved.
To avoid falling into deeper trouble while trying to gain way on a child custody case, it’s better to leave this part to a professional investigator who has the necessary credentials, knowledge and expertise to do a thorough investigation that will be valid in court.
Furthermore, private investigators collect evidence by different means, which you may not be able to do. Some of the things private investigators do to collect evidence are:
In order to safeguard a child’s integrity and well-being, it’s always best to not gamble with trying to do such an important task of doing an investigation when there are already so many other things to worry about during a legal dispute.
Hiring a private investigator will always be more efficient, safer and smarter than trying to do things alone. It could make the difference between a child’s happiness and positive development, as well as allowing for the wrong parent to gain custody by a means of false claims. So, when it comes to child custody, consider the role that an experienced private investigator will play in your custody battle.
// This article was first published on ACM Investigations LLC website //
LINK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE
In order to ensure all of the PI/Alliance members are in good standing, we go through a verification process for all new members that takes several steps to make sure all members hold the corresponding credentials.
This verification process is done with the finality to help other users who are prospective clients, to know that the PIs that are on our site are legitimate and count with the necessary licenses and permissions by their local authorities to go through with the investigation they need.
A member will form part of PI/Alliance officially once we have verified:
a PI’s license expiration date to make sure all members have an active license.
that a private investigation company complies with their local government’s state requirements and regulations.
that a private investigation company’s investigators are licensed.
that a private investigation company’s managing director’s name matches the application with public information and that they also hold an active license.
that a business has provided us with a legitimate mailing and physical address that matches with the corresponding government authorities
that the social media information that a company provided exists and is legitimate.
that the website, physical address, email and phone number a business has provided upon registry are legitimate and up to date.
that a business or investigator does not hold any open claims or follows a pattern of issues. We do this by checking BBB or other third party consumer’s protection websites.
If a PI is in a country with little or no regulations, PI/Alliance will take the extra step to verify an investigator’s personal verification from the managing directors that correspond.
If a business is in a country with little to no regulations, PI/Alliance will make sure that the business has been registered as a business for at least 12 months, along with it holding hosting and domain for the business’ website for at least 12 months as well.
Once your application has been verified, PI/Alliance will notify you by email to let you know if your application has been approved or denied.
All of these steps are taken to ensure that we hold a database of quality members that are professional, responsible and ethical. We aim for the best of the best at PI/Alliance, therefore to achieve this, we must and we will work the extra mile to achieve greatness and work with the best in the field.
Finding the right international private investigator is not only a matter of looking for a professional in the country you need them to be. There are many factors that should go into consideration while doing the necessary research to find the right private investigator for your case. As hiring a private investigator is not a common thing for everyone, it’s difficult to find an investigator via a referral or a recommendation. The best you can do is take the time to do some research about the things that you need to consider before hiring an international private investigator.
A Private Investigator’s ProfileHiring an investigator does not mean just finding a professional who is reputable and good. Before embarking on the search for the right international private investigator for you, you must first consider that all private investigators, whether they are local or international, have a specialty. The nature of the investigation you require must be done by an investigator that is commonly hired for the type of investigation you require.
The most common specialties among private investigators are background checks, infidelity, surveillance, locating and repatriating stolen goods, preparing foreign affidavits, fraud and civil investigations. However, there are many more other areas of specialty. Due to this array of areas of investigation, you must first make sure that the type of investigation you require fits into one niche. According to that niche, you will be able to find the area of specialty that the private investigator of your choosing should focus on. This must be considered because an investigator can be very good as an infidelity specialist, however, no matter how good they are, you would still not hire them if you are looking for someone who can cover an investigation to find and repatriate stolen goods. Before hiring an international private investigator, inquire about the languages the investigator speaks along with experience with cases similar to yours in the same country where the case will be investigated. Do not be afraid to ask for their credentials, insurance and licensing registry. These are all important things to consider before hiring anyone. If everything is in order, they will understand and provide you with the information you asked for. Otherwise, it’s best to find an investigator who will be open to showing you their credentials. Showing you these things shows preparation and professionalism; look for someone who has everything in order.
Evidence CollectionWe all know from TV shows and series that evidence must be handled carefully and in a very specific manner in order to be admissible in court. Having the knowledge and experience of handling evidence collected in one country that will be examined in another one, requires of specific training to avoid making the evidence inadmissible. That is the difference between an international and local private investigator. An international private investigator will know how to handle evidence accordingly in order to abide by the jurisdictions of different countries, while a local private investigator may only be knowledgeable about his local or state requirements.If you know that your investigation will require evidence collection, or if there is a slight possibility that evidence would arise, then you must make sure the international private investigator you hire has the right credentials to and training to collect the evidence. As mentioned previously, this is especially relevant in cases where that evidence will have to be taken to another country or your country of residence. If the evidence is contaminated, not acquired properly by a licensed investigator, or it does not meet the collection standards of the jurisdiction that will examine the evidence, then you could have a situation where the evidence is inadmissible.Talk about needing to collect evidence with the professional you will hire to make sure the investigator can do this correctly.
Fees & Payment SafetyBefore making a payment and hiring any investigator, you must agree on the fees. Every investigator has their own way of charging for their services. While some may work with a fixed price for the whole of the investigation, others may work on an hourly-based basis. Miles or kilometers traveled, daily fees and travel expenses are some of the things that must be discussed. Once the fees are all agreed to, make sure there is a contract with all of these details.When it comes down to paying for the investigator’s services, make sure you use a secure payment option. In case anything goes awry with the investigator you have hired, you will need to have proof of payment for the exchange of services. Therefore, avoid sending money via mediums such as WesternUnion or MoneyGram, where the only proof of payment is the receipt. As you can’t really verify the identity of the person on the receiving side, this could be easily manipulated.Instead, use reliable sources such as transfers through a bank account, payments via credit or debit cards or even PayPal. All of these options are tied to a bank, therefore the money has the possibility of being reclaimed in case of fraud.The Final CutDuring your investigation, it’s natural to have several candidates. Narrow down your list of prospective investigators down to no more than three to five candidates. Once you have done so, remember to look for the following qualities:
Where to Find an International Private InvestigatorIn order to find the right investigator to lead your case, you can take a look at the directory of international private investigators that can be found on the PI/Alliance International website, where you can be sure to find licensed and accredited international private investigators. Our alliance has taken the time and effort to do a background check on all of our members, to ensure they all abide by their local and international licensing requirements.
A private investigator’s specialty is one thing, but you must also take several other things into consideration. It’s not common for an American citizen to want to hire a private investigator to do an investigation in a city like Madrid. However, even if the investigator is a star back home, he would probably not be so good in Spain. The reason is that you must consider that every country has its own laws and jurisdiction. When considering which investigator to hire, you have to first ask if that particular investigator has experience in that country. The best option is always to hire an investigator who has experience in the country of the investigation, because you will need someone who is familiar with the local jurisdiction, language and is also registered and accredited as a private investigator in that country.
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