Private investigators, a.k.a. private detective, investigator, covert camera, secret agent or covert operative, is someone who may be hired by people, organizations or NGOs to undertake covert investigative activities. Private detectives most often work for lawyers in criminal and civil cases. But in the US, private investigators are employed by government agencies as well.
Most of the time, private investigators work on missing persons’ cases; especially, unidentified bodies that have been unidentified for over several years. In most cases, private investigators specialize in locating missing persons who were most likely stolen, murdered or found dead. In fact, many private investigators also work as missing persons advocates. This is because most people who have been missing for more than a few years are not properly identified and hence, their case files are often inaccessible and/or incomplete.
In addition to locating people who are missing, many private investigators also perform background checks on individuals they find suspicious. Most background checks do not include photographs but are usually based on individual public records such as criminal records, divorce records, marriage records, driving records, membership in social clubs, etc. In addition to conducting background checks on individuals, some private investigators also conduct medical and fingerprint tests on individuals whom they suspect of criminal activity.
Private investigators who are hired to perform background checks or conduct criminal investigation on individuals are referred to as hires. Hiring someone to serve as your personal assistant to search for information about missing persons is called hiring a private eye. Hiring someone to serve as your private eye and conduct a criminal investigation on people is known as hiring an investigator. Private investigators are also hired to locate missing property and assets. For example, in cases where a missing person’s spouse goes missing, the spouse can hire private investigators to look for him or her and recover property that has been stolen.
One of the most important aspects of the job is surveillance. Private investigators must learn how to observe activities of individuals or businesses. The more observations and the more detailed the information, the easier it will be for the investigator to gather information. Some private investigators are specialized in surveillance. They become skilled at gathering intelligence through a variety of surveillance techniques.
Surveillance techniques can be done by video surveillance, GPS tracking, phone taps, secret cameras, hidden cameras, wiretapping and many other techniques. In order to get information from any place in the building, private investigators must know where everyone is located and everything that is going on. This surveillance is sometimes done without the knowledge of the employees. If a private investigator is following a lead and finds no evidence of fraud, then they will document that fact and file paperwork with the proper authorities. If they find evidence of fraud, the investigating agency must follow-up to make sure that they have enough evidence to proceed with an investigation.
Social media is one of the most popular sources of gathering evidence. Private detectives are able to use social media websites to obtain digital evidence from the social networks of people that they suspect of wrongdoing. Social media allows for plenty of anonymity. This means that an investigator may have a date that they are trying to prove their innocence of the crime they are investigating. With digital evidence, private investigators can easily prove a person’s innocence and find people who are not being truthful.
Another important part of working as a private eye is knowing how to take photos of people. There are limits on the type and quality of pictures that private investigators may take. The eye may have to take photos of someone from an extreme angle. Sometimes, the eye may have to take photos of a specific spot. Once a private investigator understands how to take pictures of certain things, they become a valuable component of law enforcement.