More than Fiction  Hiring Private Detectives in the Real World

More than Fiction Hiring Private Detectives in the Real World


How to hire private investigator

Popular culture has given us a number of famous fictional private detectives, including Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Sherlock Holmes, Veronica Mars, and Adrian Monk. But while these characters live out their adventures in novels, short stories, movies, and television shows, it is also possible to find and hire private detectives in the real world. While common cliches often cause people to believe that private investigators are on the wrong side of the law, this is usually not the case. In fact, everyone from the government to private individuals engage private detective firms or licensed private investigators to perform a variety of investigative services.

One of the first private investigation companies in the United States was established in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton. This agency, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, eventually became one of the most famous private investigation services in history. However, today, the industry has changed somewhat: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 25% of private detectives work for the government. One of their most common subjects of investigation is insurance fraud; for this reason, their services are often retained by Sheriff’s departments and other municipalities. Private detective firms will often also work for attorneys defending civil cases.

One of the most common private investigative services sought and offered by private detective firms is surveillance, which is often a necessary part of many different types of cases, including fraud and civil suits. While it may seem simple on the surface, following a target without losing them or being noticed is actually a difficult skill to master. For this reason, if you need private detective services, don’t dismiss private detectives as characters in books, movies, and television shows: instead, avoid potential liability by hiring a professional private investigator.
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