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 Profile
Hiring 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.
We 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 Safety
Before 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 Cut
During 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:
After you have made the hire, be sure to stay in touch periodically to keep updated about the investigation. If you have an attorney, get advice from your attorney in order to have a better target and goal of the investigation.
- Check to see if the investigator is accredited by an organization or association.
- Ask to see the private investigator’s credentials and insurance information.
- Check to see the licensing registry requirements of the investigator’s work country.
- Ask what the local jurisdictions are and if they abide by them.
- Inquire whether the investigator is familiar with evidence collection to be examined internationally.
- Not all credentials are national, some must be state approved, check for these as well!
- Agree on all terms and payments on a formal contract.
- Ensure the investigator you hire observes national and international laws.
- Revise the contract you would be signing to hire their services.
- Outline a timeline for the investigation to be finished.
- Make sure the private investigator has a website with their current and valid certifications listed.
Where to Find an International Private Investigator
In 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.