Unknown to most, private investigators have tough jobs. Television shows, like Magnum PI, depict investigators as having glorious jobs that include exotic travel, crimes that end in conveniently in an hour, and attractive men and women who get to don the latest fashions.
Unfortunately, most private detectives will tell you that investigative work is often long, tedious work. Justice shows, like Law & Order glamorize police work when, in reality, the police deal with heinous, unexplainable crimes at some point of their career. There are no Mr. Monks, Magnums, or Blue Moon Detective Agencies (Moonlighting) in the real world; they only exist in the viewers imagination.
Private detective work is never easy. Part of this is due to the variety of cases, each requiring different methods for investigation. Working hours are never normal; investigators tend to work when their subjects aren’t working, often meaning weekend and evening hours. Many hours are spent waiting, and watching, the subject of an investigation perform mundane, normal tasks in the hope that the subject will perform an act for which he/she is being investigated. PI’s get to know the insides of cars, fast food, and long hours spent away from friends and family, all in an effort to gather enough information to solve a case.
There are different types of investigators. PI’s, like police officers and lawyers, often specialize in certain fields. Some investigate infidelity, some work arson investigations, and others track down bail-jumpers and fugitives who have fled from justice.
Popular celebrities, like sports stars, actors, and singers usually hire investigators as part of their security detail. The PI’s job is simple: Protect the client. Not much investigating on these type of jobs.
Retail stores and restaurants hire detectives to monitor employee theft, thwart robbery attempts, and as an effort to fight back against shoplifters. Some PI’s spend their days monitoring surveillance cameras, searching for suspicious activity. While hidden cameras are effective, there’s not a camera in existence that’s able to catch a thief who is fleeing from the scene after pilfering a store. Investigators add an extra measure of security.
Banks, insurance companies, and law firms use investigators for a myriad of reasons, from tracking identity theft to investigating insurance claims that don’t quite seem right. Videos obtained by investigators often show workers who are being paid disability for back or leg injuries working out at the gym or lifting heavy loads. Insurance fraud hurts normal people by paying unnecessary dividends to people who do not need them, causing premiums to increase. At times, investigators use their skills to scrutinize doctor’s billing practices. Lawyers use investigators to secure evidence for court hearings used in criminal investigations that range from theft to murder, and infidelity to child abuse. Identity theft is one of th fastest growing crimes, leaving victims without finances and banks or financial institutions holding the tab. Lawyers also use PI’s to locate and secure witnesses, serve papers, and interview people involved with ongoing investigations.
White collar, or corporate PI’s perform background checks, drug screenings, investigate information leaks, and deter corporate crime.
As cyber-crime continues to grow, a lot of detectives find themselves behind a computer, tracing data or delving into complex online bugs, viruses, and holes in computer network security platforms.
Technology, growing exponentially, has also increased the need for electronic countermeasures and office debugging. Corporations, as witnessed in the past year and a half, are less honest than the sum of their employees. Stealing trade secrets by bugging offices, activating hidden cameras, and otherwise taking information from corporations is a cheap way to beat your competitors without blowing the entire marketing budget.
Investigators obviously perform numerous duties, and are even called in on tough cases once police departments move cases into the cold file. PI’s need to be licensed, and each state has different programs and means of certifying private investigators.
We’re happy to answer any of your questions on the life of a private investigator. Or, if you feel that you need our services, please contact us , or give us a call at MSI Detective Services; our number is (888)338-4545.