Just what can a private investigator do?

FAQ: Just what can a private investigator do?

Just what can a private investigator do? You’ve seen them in movies, on the TV and many even make the news, often for the wrong reasons. Given that private investigators are making the news more often these days, you might find yourself asking, “Just what can a private investigator do?” 

Frequently asked questions about PIs

1. Can a private investigator read text messages?

Private investigators are limited by laws when it comes to reading text messages but there are some scenarios that allow them to read text messages. These include: 

  • Having the permission of the owner of the phone
  • When directed by a court 
  • When conducting legal forensic analysis

2. Can private investigators follow you?

A large part of most private investigator’s workload includes surveillance of people, places or things. When it comes to following people can private investigators follow you? Only in the following scenarios: 

  • They are hired to conduct a legal investigation to follow you
  • They are ordered by the court to follow you
  • You are committing some type of fraud 
Private investigators need to be conducting a legal investigation in order to follow you. Otherwise, it might be considered stalking. 

3. Can a private investigator bug your house?

Can a PI bug your house? Installing bugs, or wiretaps, is generally considered to be illegal but the following scenarios might allow exemptions for private investigators (and is some cases regular people) so they can bug your house: 

  • If there is a suspicion of a crime being committed 
  • If there is a suspicion of a fraud being perpetrated
  • If the owner of the house gives the private investigator permission
  • If ordered by a court
Private investigators are not likely to bug your house because in most cases it might be considered a crime which would cause them to lose their license. 

4. How long do private investigators follow you?

Can a private investigator follow you forever? There are generally two rules governing how long a private investigator will follow you: 

  1. Until they’ve gotten enough evidence
  2. Until the client decides to stop the surveillance
There are clients with unlimited resources that hire private investigators to follow a subject for months on end. They are rare, but they do exist. 

5. What apps do private investigators use?

Can private investigators use apps to follow you? Sure! There are GPS tracking apps that allow a private investigator to monitor your movements right from their smartphone. 

Private investigators can also use camera apps to remotely monitor a location. With plentiful wifi locations available a private investigators can be anywhere and use a camera app to either take a picture, or to log in to a remote camera. 

6. Can you become a PI without being a cop?

Yes! In fact, in some scenarios a retired cop makes for a bad private investigator. It’s a common thing for a retired cop to become a PI but it’s not necessary to have been a cop to get licensed as a private investigator. 

7. Is a PI a detective?

A private investigator and a private detective are the same thing. Can a private investigator say he’s a detective without indicating that they’re a private detective? A private investigator has to be careful not to lead someone to believe they are law enforcement. Most private investigators will state they are a private detective if asked. 

8. Do private investigators make good money?

Professional, ethical and effective private investigators make good money. Just like any other profession, you have to excel to make good money. In most markets, there are only a handful of private investigators that make “good money”. 

If you want to to have a no-obligation discussion with a professional, caring private investigator who can share the answer to “Just what can a private investigator do?”, then just call (800) 867-3930 and speak to someone who will be happy to answer any questions you have. There’s no obligation. If you are looking for an affordable licensed private investigator in Atlanta with 20 years of experience assisting individuals, attorneys and corporations feel free to contact us here. You can also view a portion of our extensive client list here, and see here what actual clients say about Eagle Investigative Services a private investigator in Atlanta, Georgia.


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