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Private Investigators – Precise Blog – Hiring a Private Investigator 101

Hiring a Private Investigator 101:

Need to catch a corrupt business executive or require evidence to prove your spouse is cheating?

There are a million and one reasons you might need to hire a private investigator! The question is… where do you start? To help ensure you are not being taken for a fool, here’s the low down on a few questions to ask before taking the plunge and hiring a private detective – we like to call this the 101 on hiring a private investigator!

1. Investigate the investigator
Did you know you could be liable for your investigator’s illegal acts? Too right! Which is why our first word of advice is to make sure you investigate the investigator. Uh ha. Do a thorough background check for identification and certification. And no hiring from dodgy websites. Sounds obvious, right? While this might not sound like rocket science, you’d be surprised just how many people go ahead and blurt out their entire life story to a private detective without checking for their credentials first. So make sure you do your homework, otherwise you could end up paying for it in the long run.

2. Sign on the dotted line
Like any agreement it pays to have something in writing. By drawing up a contract with you and your private investigator you both know the terms of the agreement and can be sure you’re both on the same page. Make sure the contract is black and white; outlining what you’re expected to pay and what the PI will (and won’t) do for that sum of cash.

3. Do you have any references?
You wouldn’t hire an employee without checking for references and so hiring a PI should be no exception. Word of mouth and referrals go a long way so make sure you ask for references and follow up on previous jobs that the PI has worked on. Also find out what other people’s experiences have been like working with them… Were they successful? How was their communication? These are some questions you might like to ask when speaking to their referees.

4. Be aware of secret squirrels
While a private detective is paid for their discretion, they still need to make it very clear with you (the client) what they are doing and how. If you smell a rat, trust your instincts as it’s probably for good cause. If a PI refuses to reveal their source or method then it’s likely they may be doing something dodgy and possibly violating the law. This is no good as it will only have you exposed to a big fat liability case if they get caught. Ouch!

5. Who is liable?
Speaking of liability, you need to make sure your investigator has adequate liability insurance. What if they damage someone’s property on the job? Are they covered? If not, it could come back to haunt you. And we’re talking some serious cash. So make sure your PI has the goods so you can rest easy knowing full well that if they break something the repairs are not coming out of your back pocket.

6. Know your stuff!
Before you go and hire a private investigator to sneak around, make sure that you are legally able to do so. A good PI should have a clear understanding on what they can and can’t retrieve legally but we always recommend getting a second opinion from your attorney who can give you clear guidelines as to what is considered admissible in court.

So there you have it… the six commandments to hiring a PI. Well, our version at least. If you only take one thing away from this article it should be – do your homework and trust your instincts… and when you find a quality PI never let them go!

Call Precise Investigation today on 1300 856 011 for a professional, Private Investigation Service

No matter where in Australia you, your business or your subject are based, rest assured that one of our highly trained operatives, or team thereof, are available to assist and help you to overcome any number of domestic, corporate or personal concerns; Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane and even the more remote areas of the country are all within reach, so get in touch with us today.


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