There are several pervasive myths associated with private investigators, most of which stem from the imagination of Hollywood writers. However, the reality is more nuanced, as private investigators work to gather information in a variety of scenarios beyond the typical “cheating spouse” scenario.
People from all walks of life call upon private investigators when a problem in their professional or personal lives seems to be out of their control.
This post aims to debunk a few of the most common myths perpetuated by popular depictions of private investigators.
They Are Immune To The Law
Since private investigators are licensed, they may have certain additional liberties or privileges; however, when it comes to abiding by the law, the same rules are applicable to private investigators. Because of their years of experience, extensive training and connections they may be called upon to handle some legal issues but this doesn’t make them immune to anything.
There’s a toxic misconception that private investigators can tap phones, yet this is an illegal activity that is a federal crime, if practiced without consent. In the case of bugging telephone communication, both state and federal laws apply to private investigators as much as they do to any individual. Private investigators do not have access to confidential information like FBI, CIA, or police records. However, they may have connections with law enforcement officials who may help them get the information they need.
Investigators Are Lone Wolves
In Hollywood depictions of the career, private investigators are frequently shown as lone wolves who keep everyone at an arms length and always do their work solo. Yet the truth of the matter is that showing interest and socializing with people is a critical job skill. In fact, private investigators rarely work alone; they work for an agency or a large company. Bureau of Labor statistics suggest that only 20% of private investigators are self-employed (Source).
Following People & Gathering Information Is a Cake Walk
Private investigators are trained to avoid detection, as it could result in a target straying from their natural activity. Private investigators understand that it’s crucial to maintain a safe distance when following someone; yet, the larger the distance, the more difficult is is to follow and gather evidence. Have you ever tried to purposely follow a friend to an event? If so, you know how easy it is to run into difficulties due to traffic lights, other vehicles, etc. Due to these issues, there are some instances where private investigators will work as a team to help streamline the process.
Private Investigators Live A Life Of Danger and Thrills
While there are certainly some situations when a private investigator might be in danger, the job's lifestyle isn't exactly as thrilling as the depictions in movies. In fact, many private investigators work from an office for the same hours as almost any other office workers. On the other hand, some private investigators work predominately in the field, while others split their time between working in an office and out in the field.
It is important to note that the risk level associated with the job is somewhat dependent on the type of work an investigator does. For example, a forensic investigator that often works on a computer is less likely to be at risk compared to an investigator working in the field doing surveillance or looking for someone who has a strong desire not to be found.
Private Investigators Deal Mostly With Adultery Cases
For many, adultery cases are the first thing to come into mind when considering a private investigator. Television shows and films often show private detectives outside of a motel, waiting for a man and his mistress to emerge from the hotel so the hired investigator can gather evidence for the wronged client. While our investigators certainly handle cases focused on infidelity, this is only one of the many situations where a private investigator can be of use.
Our investigators come from a variety of backgrounds, including military and law enforcement. Private investigators can be useful for a wide range of cases like missing persons, theft, fraud, worker's compensation, employment verification, process serving and child custody arrangements. Private investigators can offer leverage for critical negotiations as well as providing essential information that can affect key decision-making in court cases.
United Security Incorporated | Private Investigators in CT, NY, MA, NJ and PA
While many of us want to see the good in people, the world does have it's fair share of dishonest and fraudulent people. We recognize that there are situations that call for professional guidance and assistance when individuals and companies are concerned about the truth.
Whether our private investigators are working to help an attorney gather evidence, investigate investment scams or follow a suspected unfaithful spouse, our clients rely on us to minimize the risk and gather clear objective evidence. In today's world, it's definitely better to be safe than sorry, and get the facts.