In a world fraught with deception; scams, hacking, fraudulent Social Media postings, misinformation, identity theft, criminal conduct and infidelity one might find themselves seeking the help of a private investigator also known as a private detective or PI. This blog is intended to enlighten anyone seeking the services of either a Los Angeles Private Investigator or a New York Private Investigator and what they should be aware of before hiring them. Right out of the box, you must be mindful that not all PI’s are qualified, whether they are licensed or not. This blog will hopefully assist you in making the right choice.

Confidentiality Is Imperative

Before discussing your situation with a Private Investigator, it is advisable to ask whether your discussion with them will remain private and confidential. The PI should make it abundantly clear that anything you tell them will be entirely confidential. If they fail to assure you of confidentiality, it’s best to discontinue the discussion.

Verifying a Private Investigator’s Credibility

While searching for a reputable Private Investigator, look for reviews from their clients on the investigator’s website. We found the most legitimate reviews are those written on business letterhead. The Better Business Bureau is another excellent resource to look up a Private Investigator’s BBB rating.

How to Request an Investigation

Most people seeking the services of a Private Investigator have never done so before, and are usually uncomfortable about discussing a personal matter with a stranger. The Private Investigator you speak with should be an intent listener, and also offer suggestions as to how to best obtain your investigative goal. If you sense that the private detective sounds uninterested, then you’re speaking with the wrong PI.

The Retainer Agreement

A professional Private Investigator upon hearing the prospective client say they want to retain their services should prepare an Engagement Letter also known as a Retainer Agreement for the client’s review. The document should state what the investigative services are that you requested and when the Private Investigator will commence the investigation. Should your matter be litigated, it’s best that your attorney confer with the Private Investigator to review investigative objectives, and your attorney should also be named as the client of the PI.

Experience Matters

Before you retain a PI ask them how long they’ve been conducting investigations and what kind of investigations they perform most often. The diversity of a PI’s assignments is a barometer of their overall knowledge and experience.

Some Investigative Specialties are:

Infidelity and Surveillance Investigations
Legal Investigations and Litigation Support
Executive Level Background Investigations
Locate Investigations
Intellectual Property Infringement Investigations

One the Investigation Starts

Usually, you will not receive an hourly report when the investigation is on-going. There are many facets to an investigation, and you should discuss with the private investigator when you should expect to receive an investigative report. Ask if you will receive a written report. Written reports are very important to have especially when you are involved in a litigated matter. Also inquire as to when you should expect to receive the written report. Should your investigation involve, surveillance then you are entitled to receive a video of all that the investigator filmed.