When To Get A Private Investigator

Are you researching private investigations or private detectives? Find out everything you need to know about private investigation in this helpful guide.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation where you need to find someone or find out information about someone, you may need to hire a private investigator. Private investigators can be incredibly helpful in discovering information you may not know or be able to uncover yourself. That said, knowing if you should hire a professional and who to turn to can be unnerving. In this short guide, you will find out everything you need to know about hiring a private investigator including what they do, why you should hire one, how much their services cost, how to hire one, and who the best private investigators are in the United States.

What Do Private Investigators Do? 

Private investigators, often called private detectives, are independent investigators who will research, track, and find people and evidence. They may have a specific area of expertise, or they may be a general private investigator. Typically, they are hired by private individual clients although they may be requested to help agencies, companies, or organizations.

They can help with many different types of ‘cases’ including background checks, bounty hunting, child support and child custody, murders, wrongful deaths, vandalism, cheating spouses, missing persons, fraud, theft, amongst many others. 

In general, their most common services include:

  • Finding persons of interest

  • Following persons of interest to see who they are interacting with or what they are doing 

  • Searching for missing property

  • Finding and gathering clues

  • Interviewing related persons of interest

  • Conducting background checks

  • Viewing video surveillance

  • Taking pictures of persons of interests or evidence

  • Tracing electronic data 

Why Hire a Private Investigator? 

If you are thinking about hiring a private investigator, you most likely have a specific reason in mind. However, you may be curious if your reason fits with a private investigator service or if you should seek our different services. 

There are many reasons individuals hire private investigators. The main reasons include:

  • You need a background check run on an employee, a potential tenant, or a potential partner.

  • You suspect that a client is filing a fraudulent insurance claim, document, or attestation of finances. 

  • You believe your spouse is cheating or lying about their location, assets, or debts.

  • You are currently in a child support or child custody battle and need evidence to prove your case.

  • You are trying to find a missing person.

  • You wish to find out about vandalism, theft, or fraud that has occurred on or to your property.

  • You suspect foul play or negligence in a loved one’s death. 

How Much Do Private Investigators Cost?

When you hire a private investigator, you should expect to pay an hourly rate. It is important to verify what the hourly rate will include, as you want to make sure you will receive the services you are looking for at the rate you are paying.

In general, private investigation rates range from $75 per hour to $200 per hour. The price varies according to their expertise, their experience, and the services you need. If you are hiring a private investigator with a high degree of expertise and extensive experience, or a background in law enforcement or government work, you should expect to pay on the higher end of this range.

The types of services you require will also determine the hourly rate. If your case is particularly complicated or requires substantial, hard evidence, you will likely pay more. Likewise, you may need to pay extra fees for travel costs, photographs, or other special tools required for the job. 

How to Hire a Private Investigator

Although you may have local private investigators, you can also look for a private investigator through well-known service providers. In the following section, you will find the top-rated private investigators in the United States. 

Once you have found a private investor, make sure to interview with them. No matter what type of case you are hiring a private investigator to investigate, it is always important to make sure they are prepared to follow through on the job in an exceptional manner. For this reason, before hiring any private investigator, you should verify:

  • Their license: Always make sure they are verified to be carrying out their services within your state. 

  • Their training or experience: If they do not provide this information readily, you can ask the private investigator what their background is and how it helps them with their job. You can also confirm that they have experience with the type of case you need help with. 

  • Their insurance: Professional Investigation services should always have general liability insurance.

  • Their rates: It is advantageous to make sure that you understand their services and their rates so there are no surprises later.

  • Their references: Most professionals have references, although you may also be able to check their online reviews and ratings. 

  • Their availability to testify in court: If you require evidence for a court case, make sure they can and will testify in court if so necessary. 

Best Private Investigator Services 

There are many private investigation companies across the U.S. including:

ConventBridge Group

Convent Bridge provides investigation services all around the world for businesses. They conduct surveillance, insurance fraud investigation, claims investigation, social media and digital investigation, record, and data retrieval, amongst other services. 

Foglight Investigations

Foglight Investigations also provides private investigation for individuals around the world. They will work for a wide variety of cases from catching a cheating spouse, to insurance fraud, to missing persons, to dating background checks. Furthermore, they are known for their cost-effective rates.

Sherlock Investigations Inc.

Sherlock Investigations is an excellent option if you need high value services on a budget. They are particularly well-known for investigating assets, insurance fraud, and missing persons. 

CPI Investigations 

CPI Investigations is a full-service private investigation agency. Their detectives have a wealth of expertise and experience to help you find the person or information you need.

Gold Shield Security & Investigation Inc.

One of the oldest private investigation companies in the United States, this firm helps large companies, small businesses, and individuals find out everything they need to know.