We all have a connection to a private investigator featured in movies, television or books. Sherlock Holmes, Magnum PI, Jessica Jones and countless others are cultural icons that have provided many hours of entertainment. But despite our affinity for these fictional private eyes, the value of real private investigators is often overlooked. Many private investigators provide important services that benefit businesses and society—such as catching bad actors who are defrauding the insurance industry, and making certain that people who are put in positions of influence do not have criminal or unethical activities in their past.
Private investigators are typically licensed and highly skilled in key areas, including:
Surveillance – Investigators can provide important, legal surveillance of subjects that are suspected of either not being truthful or of making exaggerated claims. Using the latest technology and time-tested techniques, investigators can provide essential evidence that will inform key decisions and serve as credible evidence in a case.
Witness location and interviews – Investigators are often experts at locating hard to find or difficult to reach individuals. Many are trained in witness handling and interview techniques that will facilitate critical discovery processes.
Background checks – Private investigators leverage a wide range of sources to check the criminal, financial, and educational backgrounds of potential employees, partners, or investment targets. They often have access to databases and use advanced methods not typically deployed by standard background check firms.
Expert testimony – Investigators can provide expert testimony to help establish a solid case in a legal dispute.
Fraud discovery – Investigators are trained to go beyond the obvious and not just check boxes when reviewing claims. They can establish motivation, history, and patterns that can reveal potential fraud.
These are just a few of the ways private investigators can add value to law firms, insurance agencies, self-insured companies and other organizations. The real business of private investigator work is often not as glamorous as it is in books and movies, but it can be just as important.