What is a private investigator?

A private investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters. They can verify people’s backgrounds and statements, find missing persons, investigate computer crimes, corporate fraud, etc.

Typically, private investigators are “problem solvers,”  finding information through a variety of methods, including:

  • Interviewing people to gather information
  • Searching online, public, and court records to uncover clues
  • Conducting surveillance
  • Collecting evidence for clients
  • Checking for civil judgments and criminal history

Private investigators are also described as those who “gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules.”

What are some other titles for private investigators?

Because private investigators cover a wide variety of investigations, they are sometimes referred to specifically as:

  • Field Investigator
  • Investigator
  • Legal investigator
  • Private Detective
  • Special Investigator

Do private investigators have specialties in certain areas?

Yes, some private investigators specialize, for example, in finding missing persons or performing background checks.

Specialty tracks for private investigators include:

  • Civil investigation
  • Criminal investigation
  • Insurance investigation
  • Investigative ethics
  • Security
  • Special victims/child abuse/domestic violence

What does a private investigator do?

Private investigators use a host of skills in order to retrieve the evidence necessary for each case, including:

  • Write reports or case summaries for use in legal proceedings or to be presented to a client at the conclusion of the case.
  • Legally search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax or legal filings, or other resources to locate persons or to compile information for investigations.
  • Conduct background investigations on a person’s character, financial status or personal history for pre-employment checks or tenant vetting.
  • Discover fraudulent insurance claims, stolen funds or investigate companies’ financial standings or locate funds stolen by embezzlers.
  • Obtain and analyse information on suspects to solve cases, to identify criminal activity for court cases.
  • Testify at hearings, court trials, legal or legislative proceedings to present legally obtained evidence.
  • Run a credit check with proper approval
  • Question persons, conduct surveillance and obtain evidence and information about individuals’ character or financial status for cases of divorce, child custody, missing persons.
  • Observe and document activities of individuals to detect unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases.
  • Confer with establishment officials, security departments, police to identify problems, provide information, or receive instructions.
  • Perform undercover operations, such as evaluating the performance or honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees.
  • Alert appropriate personnel to suspects’ locations.

What can a private investigator not do?

  • Operate without a license
  • Impersonate law enforcement
  • Break the law / Participate in unethical practices
  • Obtain protected information without consent or legal purpose
  • Make a legal arrest
  • Present false testimony in court
  • Torture or any kind of physical, mental abuse; murder

What are the requirements to be a private investigator?

Private investigators typically need several years of work experience.

Private investigators have previous work experience, usually in law enforcement, the military, intelligence or as debt collectors, paralegals or process servers.

Others learn through on-the-job training, typically lasting between several months to a year. Additional training depends on the type of firm that hires them.

Some specialized cases, such as accident reconstruction, involve advanced scientific mathematics skills, while financial cases such as embezzlement and employee theft involve accounting and other financial skills. In social media investigations, computer forensic skills are important.

What kind of additional training will a private investigator need?

  • Evidence collection
  • Investigative and legal procedures
  • Pursuit driving
  • Surveillance and surveillance equipment

What kind of tools and equipment do private investigators use?

This list is just some of the tools that private investigators can use to conduct their surveillance to gather evidence:

  • Biological evidence collection kits
  • Desktop, laptop computers and other devices
  • Digital camcorders / video cameras / digital cameras / still cameras
  • Digital audio recorders
  • Fingerprint evidence kits
  • GPS receivers
  • High-powered binoculars, telescopes
  • Night vision goggles
  • Scanners

What kind of resources do private investigators use?

Databases have made researching easier for private investigators. Social media, public records, industry  websites, and even networking are some other resources that private investigators have been known to use.

How much does a private investigator charge?

To know the cost involved, fill out a Request A Quote form.

What is the difference between on location and remote research?

On location means the private investigator is physically on site. Remote research typically involves electronic research and investigation.

A case is considered “on location” when it requires an investigator to be physically on site with the subject of interest, often to get photographs and/or video footage. Remote research is usually done through databases and other online resources and can be conducted from any state or location.

How do you hire a private investigator?

You can reach VDK Private Investigators and Detectives through the following ways to start your case:

How long is a typical case?

It all depends on the case.

Each investigation is unique and cases can vary based on a number of variables. We we ask for some basic information when you first reach out to VDK to give you an estimate of how long the case will take. 

Will anyone know I have hired a private investigator?

No, they will not. While our services are 100% confidential, if an investigator is sumoned by a court of law, he or she is legally bound to appear and testify.

We take your privacy very seriously – no one other than you and your investigator, will know you have hired a private investigator.

Who uses private investigators?

In short, private investigators are utilized if you need access to information that an average individual can’t obtain.

Some common examples of clients and use cases are:

  • Businesses looking for someone to investigate illegal activity, such as fraud or theft of corporate secrets, or even investigating fraudulent workers’ compensation cases.
  • Background checks of candidates for jobs, or potential renters by the leasing office or landlord.
  • Those involved in child custody cases or other family law situations.
  • A victim of an accident or an insurance agent looking to determine the cause of the accident.

Why would I hire a private investigator?

In addition to their experience and expertise, evidence collected by private investigators is much more likely to be admissible in the case than evidence collected by an individual involved with a case. This is attributed to the fact that the evidence has been gathered by someone knowledgeable concerning the rules of evidence.

Private investigators are trained to be unbiased, and not emotionally, financially or personally attached to the case. This is their job and they are objective.

What is the value of using a private investigator?

Experience: private investigators know the ins and outs of locating a person, collecting data/evidence, and following legal procedures. They can help the best case possible and maximize your chance of winning.

Do private investigators have to identify themselves?

Private investigators do not have to identify themselves, although some do if they believe it will help gather evidence and information. Some investigators will give the local police a “heads-up” that they are in the area if they feel it is necessary.

How do I inquire about hiring VDK?

To learn more about how we can help you or to start a case, we begin with a brief consultation to learn more about the problem you’re facing.

We understand that everyone – whether it is a personal or business situation –  has different needs and we’re committed to tailoring our services to best fit you. Once we know what your needs are, we’ll present you with a few options to choose from that meet your needs at different price points. From there, your private investigator will be able to tailor the investigation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us through the following details: 

You can also fill out the online form below:

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