Atlanta private detectives blog

How to catch a private investigator

Private investigator being obvious
When you’re this obvious, you’re going to get caught.

Even the best get cornered, sometimes..

How to catch a private investigator

People looking to hire a private investigator in Atlanta often ask us, “How often do you get caught?”. What they’re referring to is how often the subject of our investigation finds out that we’re investigating them, following them or they’re otherwise in our crosshairs. It does happen but it’s rare for a competent investigator to get caught. If an investigator or agency tells you “We never get caught”  – they’re lying. There are however, certain factors you should consider when you hire a private investigator that will minimize the chances of them being discovered while working on your case.

Signs to look for

  1. Does your private investigator look like a normal, everyday person? Good, then they’ll blend in nicely with everyone else and not get noticed. A private investigator who shows up in army fatigues or a trenchcoat (when it’s not raining) will stand out and will get noticed. A competent private investigator should look like everyone else.
  2. Do they drive a normal vehicle? Magnum P.I. drove a Ferrari but that was a T.V. show and in reality Ferraris turn heads. So do vehicles that are made to look like police cars. The investigator’s vehicle should be an ordinary, everyday vehicle on the outside.
  3. Do they have an ego? Egos are the death-knell for successful investigations. Your private investigator should be empathetic and helpful. If they come across to you as being cocky or “too full of themselves” then you can be sure that’s how they deal with everyone and they’ll be noticed and remembered.
  4. Are they licensed by the State? Seems like an obvious question but we hear horror stories every month how someone hired an unlicensed private investigator and how the rogue P.I. ran off with their money.
  5. Do they have a client list? Rogue private investigators won’t have a client list and won’t have the work experience to help you with your case. They’re also more likely to get caught because they lack the experience necessary.
  6. What does your gut tell you? If you feel like you’re taking a chance with a private investigator then you’re probably making the wrong decision. The same uncertainty you feel will be the same uncertainty someone else will feel when dealing with the investigator. When suspicion is aroused, investigations crumble and investigators get exposed.

Examples of investigators getting caught

We recently had a case where we were hired to follow a client’s wife. The first day we were following her things went great. She had no idea we were there and we followed her to a hotel. All in all, we followed her around Atlanta for over 5 hours. We got excellent evidence for the case and the client wanted us to follow her again the next day. No problem, or so we thought.

The next day we followed her about half a mile from her residence before she did a u-turn and confronted the investigator. How could she have become so wise in 24 hours? The answer is simple – her husband couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He hinted at knowing where she had been and it didn’t take much for her to figure out that someone had to have been following her. Once she started looking for someone our investigator was easy to spot. (We actually followed her the day after this for about 9 hours. How? Call us and we’ll tell you.)

In Canada there’s a very well (over) publicized story about a private investigator getting busted asking an airline employee about another passenger. The airline employee became suspicious and the whole story became national news (in Canada).

Loose lips, sink ships. That’s an old saying that holds so true in cases we work. If you’re going to hire a private investigator don’t run your mouth about it. If your investigator gives you some evidence or information don’t run and tell people about it. You ruin the investigation and you put the investigator at risk. Actually, you put the subject of the investigation at risk because almost all investigators are armed.

What you should look for?

Did you really think we would tell you how to catch a private investigator?

If you think you could use some help from a competent private investigator in Atlanta, feel free to call us or contact us here. A consultation with us is free and confidential, 24 hours a day and even the phone call is free – (800) 867-3930.

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