How to Spot a Legitimate PI from One Who’s NOT
When hiring a private investigator for a job – any job – the legitimacy of his or her practice should be considered. Performing an investigation is one thing while having the license to do so is another. To spot a legitimate PI from one who’s not, here are some things you need to check:
No private investigator can be considered legitimate if he doesn’t have a license to perform his duties. Licenses are issued by the state where an investigator will be working. To expand their practice and improve their business prospects, most investigators will even hold a license to practice in more than one state.
Always check if he does have the authorization to work in the area where you live. Make sure that the license is current. Licenses are usually valid for only two years. If the PI works with a firm, check the business or corporate license.
Should you require more assistance, you could get in touch with your state police or local association of private investigators. Check for complaints as well. That should give you a good clue as to how the PI works.
In some states, such as New York, for example, PIs are required to have a minimum number of years of experience. Check your local agencies for their requirements and then ask the PI how long he or she has been working.
So why the focus on experience? PIs who have sufficient background are much more familiar with the laws and the intricacies of the practice. These qualities are very important especially in serious cases that need the professionalism, tact and skills of the more experienced private eye.
Experience also determines the rate with which a PI will charge you for his services.
Although PIs are trained to perform many different tasks related to their field, most of them have specializations. If your case requires someone with a background on a specific field, check for relevance. You wouldn’t want to hire a PI specializing in gathering evidence for divorce if your case involves searching for a missing person, right?
Another important thing you should check for if you want to spot a legitimate PI from one who isn’t is insurance or bonding. Only PIs who are legally permitted to operate can carry insurance to cover for liabilities. Although there are others who aren’t bonded or insured, it’s often best to go with the one who offers insurance for extra protection.
Ask your PI for references. Legitimate ones will be more than happy to give them to you.
image credits to nobleIgnoble