Frequently Asked Questions
I'm investigating a matter myself. Would it be legal to.....
Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to a licensed attorney. We do not provide legal advice, even in a hypothetical context. You can locate your state's bar association using your favorite search engine.
Why should I hire a private investigator? Can't anyone act as his own investigator and save the money?
In many cases, yes. If you are reasonably capable of critical thinking, researching publicly available information, identifying and locating human sources, and extracting the information you need from them (legally), then you may be able to see your own investigation through to successful completion, save some money, and enjoy the personal satisfaction that comes with every do-it-yourself project. And even if you aren't able to accomplish your final objective, it is very likely that you will uncover valuable information, which can then be given to a professional investigator, reducing the time and cost of any professional assistance.
Is there anything your agency can do that I can't do? I may not be licensed, but I have seen every episode of Magnum, P.I. more than once, and taken comprehensive mental notes.
While it is very likely that your street smarts, motivation, and viewership of television dramas far outweigh your lack of more traditional qualifications, there is always an outside chance that a team of licensed investigators who all have verified experience in military intelligence, special operations, and/or law enforcement criminal investigation could have a slight edge under certain circumstances. Without jumping to any conclusions based solely on qualifications, there still are three key areas in which we'll have an unfair advantage:
Access to restricted information - as a licensed investigative agency, we have access to information databases that the general public is not authorized to view or use. This is an extremely valuable capability that often allows for fast, successful outcomes that would otherwise have
Advanced tactics - some situations require advanced methods of getting the information/evidence you need, and some require a team of two or more agents employing specialized techniques in a coordinated manner.
Professional equipment - There are things that can only be done by means of special tools. Most of these are expensive and require specialized training to use. There is nothing preventing you from spending your time and money to acquire the technical capabilities you'll need, but it's certainly faster and more cost effective to hire someone who already has it and knows how to use it.
Can I rent surveillance equipment?
Yes, as long as you also rent an agent to operate it for you.
Can you conduct a background investigation on my fiance, potential business partner, my spouse's new boyfriend, etc.?
Yes. Having all the facts about someone with whom you are considering entering into a legal association, whether personal or professional, makes a lot of sense. It is normal for people to put their best foot forward when trying to impress a romantic interest, close a deal, or similarly gain another person's trust. But all too often, this leads to serious omissions of important facts. If you plan to be married or enter into a business arrangement in which you could be held liable for the actions / debts / obligations of another person, you owe it to yourself and those who depend on you to base such an important decision on complete and accurate information.
Can you install a GPS tracking device on my spouse's vehicle so that I can see if she is really going where she says she is?
Yes, we can. But whether or not we will depends on whether you own (or co-own) the car and what you intend to do with the information that the device provides. There are some legal grey areas with regard to GPS tracking, and doing things the wrong way can open the door to civil and even criminal proceedings. It doesn't cost anything to pick up the phone and explain your situation to us. So call for a free telephone consultation and find out if GPS tracking is the best way to meet your needs. We'll never try to sell you anything you don't need or want.
Will you conduct investigations overseas / internationally?
Yes. We will conduct investigations in any country with a U.S. Department of State travel advisory level of 1-3. For countries with a level 1 rating, travel will be billed at the federal per diem rate. Due to heightened security requirements and increased risk to our agents, Level 2 and Level 3 countries will be billed at an additional $150/day and $500/day, respectively. Due to a lack of diplomatic support, we do not conduct operations in level 4 countries. For a current by-country list of US Department of State travel advisory levels, see here.
I have a phone number that I suspect belongs to my spouse's paramour. I have tried to do a reverse lookup on some of those websites to find out whom it belongs to, but without any luck. Can you find out whose number it is?
Yes, most likely. If it's a landline (something which is increasingly rare), it will run you about $45. If it's a private mobile number, it can cost you up to $150. A VoIP (voice over internet protocol, like Google Voice or Talkatone) number that was set up using anonymity best practices can be impossible for anyone outside of the DoJ or NSA to break, so unless your spouse's lover is a terrorist or a high-level criminal, they probably won't allocate their resources to your case. Of course, if we can't provide you with the user's information, you pay nothing.
Can you install keystroke logging software onto a computer?
Only under certain circumstances. If the device in question is a family computer and you want to make sure that your child is not engaging in any age-inappropriate online activities, then we'll be happy to help out. If the computer belongs solely to your spouse and you want to use the software to identify his/her Facebook and email passwords, then you're on your own. In addition to this being illegal in almost every jurisdiction, any information obtained from the software would be inadmissible as evidence in court anyway.
I'm pretty sure my teenager is viewing pornographic material, but he always erases his browsing history. Can you tell me for sure whether he is?
Yes. As a matter of fact, we can set up a system that will send a text message to your phone, notifying you every time he visits a website.
I know my spouse is cheating, but I just can't prove it. Can you provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt?
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard in criminal trials, not divorce proceedings.
The bottom line in all infidelity investigations is this: There are only three reasons that you should hire a private investigator to determine whether your spouse / significant other is cheating on you.
1. You need proof of the affair to use as evidence to affect the outcome of divorce proceedings. (What type and how much evidence you'll need can vary. A family law attorney in your area should be the first person you consult if you are party to a contested divorce.)
2. You suspect your spouse is cheating, and you are certain you will file for divorce if they are.
3.You need proof for the simple satisfaction of being on the moral high ground, and you feel that alone justifies the cost.
If none of these three situations applies to you, then save your money. If you are sure enough that you are being cheated on, then it might make sense to end the relationship and move on with your life without necessarily getting the "win" that proof of the affair might provide. Your money would be better spent elsewhere- a singles' cruise, for example. But if you've already considered all of this and decided that you need proof in order to move on, give us a call.
Can your agents speak any foreign languages?
Yes. Our current roster is proficient in English, German, Russian, Spanish, and Hindi. We have access to Mandarin (Chinese) and Persian Farsi linguists as well, available with 48 hours advance notice.