A private investigator, private detective or investigation agent, is someone who may be employed by people, organizations or NGOs to undertake investigative surveillance activities. Private detectives are often employed by lawyers in criminal and civil cases. They help the lawyer to present his case by gathering evidence against the target of the investigation. Other uses of private detectives include performing background investigations on potential employees or volunteers, investigating the claims and counter-claims made by business owners against their competitors, and gathering information about the whereabouts of missing children. Private investigators may also serve as a liaison between two or more parties, such as employers and employees, to gather information regarding their respective cases. click to read
Private Investigators can be specialized in a number of different areas. Private investigators may specialise in corporate and employment related private investigation, computer forensic investigation, criminal investigative practices, commercial and financial investigative practices, intellectual property and litigation support, investigative reporting and public records searches. Many investigators specialise in one or a few areas, depending on the type of private investigation that they do. For instance, a corporate private investigator may specialise in corporate and employment related investigative practices, working for a range of different clients. A computer forensic investigator may specialise in computer forensics, performing background checks on individuals that apply for high level positions in the computer industry, assessing the risk of using certain software, and performing investigations that look into alleged security issues with networks, confidential documents etc. Some investigators specialise in all areas of public record search, working with archives to carry out records searches.
Private investigators may also use a combination of techniques to gather evidence. For example, computer forensic experts may examine email evidence, internet history and social media sites for evidence of the suspects’ guilt. Similarly, private investigators may use surveillance tactics such as GPS trackers to follow suspects around, interviewing witnesses and suspects to obtain crucial evidence. Many PI’s also work as bounty hunters, hiring a tracker to follow a suspect, so that if the suspect is not found, the PI can then attempt to recover the reward money. Whatever methods the private investigator uses, the end goal is to find and present solid evidence against the suspected offender.