Do You Know What Private Investigators Really Do?

When you watch television shows and movies, you will get a certain image of private investigators and that image may not be reality. On the shows, the investigators are often dashing, attractive, and extremely rich. They spend less time actually doing the investigative footwork and more time driving around in a hot car and somehow just figuring out the problem without doing a bit of research. However, in reality, private investigators have to do a great deal of legwork in order to get the job done. Do you know what a private investigator will really do when you hire one?

Computer Technology

In today’s world technology plays a very important role in almost every aspect of our lives from the moment we wake up to check email on our smart phones to the moment we finish the family finances on the computer in the evening. This same rule is true of private investigators. The research work that they can do via the Internet provides them with new ground to find more information more quickly.

With a computer, private investigators can do the following:

  • Locate individuals through address finders and even social profiles.
  • Locate information and background information on individuals that they are investigating.
  • Computer forensics to determine if a system has been used for wrongdoing or to locate files and information that could be incriminating.
  • Surveillance can be connected through the Internet to provide information over a longer term without the investigator being located on site.


Private investigative work is not just about staking out possible perpetrators and taking pictures through specialty spy equipment. A great deal of the work also involves talking to people and conducting interviews in order to gather evidence. Private investigators may interview the following people in their work:

  • Friends and acquaintances of the client
  • Friends and acquaintances of the researched individual
  • Coworkers
  • Bystanders who may have been a witness to an event
  • Professional witnesses
  • Other professional parties, including government officials

Researching Public Records

Some of the most tedious work that private investigators will do is researching the public records that may need to be used in order to incriminate individuals. The public records work can involve sifting through a great deal of information and it can take hours and hours of tedious labor. There may be more public records that need to be sifted through than you may realize. Some of the public records that a private investigator may need to research include:

  • Birth and death records
  • Real estate records and transactions
  • Voter registration information
  • Records from the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Business license information
  • Records on taxes and other labor information
  • Records from court cases and petitions

The Analysis

Finally, the private investigator will take all of the information that they have gathered and analyze it. Then, they will determine what information is important evidence and what information can be discarded. When you are provided with details by your private investigator, you will not be presented with everything. That would take too long. Instead, you will be given just the pertinent information, and the investigator has to go through a great deal of work in order to weed through that information.

Now that you know what private investigators really do, you can have a better idea of what you are paying for. You do not have to spend so much time wondering why you are paying so much money and you can quit imagining that the private investigators are leading the life you see on television.

[author ]Sandy Davis is a blogger for, where you can find information on private investigation and digital forensics for individuals and businesses. [/author]

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