What is a private investigator?
A private investigator is an individual well versed in research and investigative techniques that can work independently or in cooperation with law enforcement to help their clients. They are useful for conducting background checks, looking into unlawful activity, locating missing persons, tracking down information for court cases, proving infidelity, identifying fraud, etc. A private investigator can be hired privately or can work for private investigation firm depending on their certifications and training.
Who can hire a PI?
Private investigators are often hired by businesses and attorneys to find answers to a variety of problems, but can also be hired by individuals (i.e. a family member for domestic investigations, a building owner who needs to conduct background checks on tenants).
What can a private investigator help me with?
If you hire a private investigator, they can perform a number of activities for you including conducting background checks, tenant screening, corporate fraud investigations, infidelity and divorce investigations, locate missing persons or property, fraud investigations and custody battles (among others).
How much will it cost me to hire a PI?
The cost to hire a private investigator depends on the type of services you require. If you contact a PI and explain your concerns, they will recommend a course of action that will best deliver the results you are looking for.
What kind of training does a PI go through?
Private investigators go through rigorous schooling and training which varies based on their location. In Ontario, PI’s must take a training course and pass an exam, which allows them to be able to apply for their license. They learn about industry background, provincial and federal law, criminal and civil law, ethics and investigative techniques.
Is a PI basically a police officer?
No. A private investigator is limited to the confines of the law. They are not given special privileges that are afforded to law enforcement; they have to conduct their work being mindful of provincial and federal laws. Private investigators cannot enter private property, cannot perform hacking activities (i.e. social media, financial records), cannot illegally videotape and cannot make arrests.
What kind of techniques can a PI use in their investigations?
A private investigator employs a variety of location techniques, investigative techniques, research techniques, surveillance techniques and interview techniques. They use everything from GPS tracking and social media surveillance to records searching, witness interviewing and dumpster diving.