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  Gilbertson Investigations

Private Investigators – The Fundamental Facts
By: Paul MacIver

If you want to find out about someone's life without their notion, be it regarding a case work, about kidnapping, to collect evidence of illegal conduct by your partner, or anything that you need to know, a private investigator can do that for you. A private investigator, or PI, is a person who does investigations for a private citizen or some other entity not involved with a government or police organization.

What do they do?

Private investigators investigate cyber crimes such as identity theft, illegal downloading of copyrighted material, and harassing e-mails. Many insurance companies hire them to resolve claims. They also investigate cases dealing with civil liability and personal injury cases, child custody and protection cases, insurance claims and fraud, premarital screening, and missing person’s cases. They gather information through interviews, investigation and surveillance, and research, including review of public documents.

Many of these private investigators often specialize in a particular field. Some may focus on intellectual property theft, for example, they help clients stop illegal activity, investigate and document acts of piracy, and provide intelligence for prosecution and civil action, where others may deal in developing financial profiles and asset searches.

These investigators are always required to keep detailed notes, and they have to be prepared to testify in court regarding any of the investigations carried out by them. To carry out investigations, they may use various types of surveillance or searches; however they cannot go out of the law, otherwise they can lose their licenses as well as face criminal charges. Private investigators assist attorneys, businesses, and the public, with legal, financial, and personal problems.

Qualifications required:

There are basically no formal education requirements to become a private detective and investigator, though some do have college degrees. Many choose to become a private investigator after their retirement from the military, Federal intelligence jobs, or government auditing and investigative positions. There are many other people who enter this profession from such diverse fields such as accounting, finance, commercial credit, insurance, investigative reporting, and law. Only a few enter the occupation directly after graduation from college, doing a bachelor degree in criminal justice or police science.

Know your Investigator:

There are hundreds of private investigators, so you have to be careful while choosing one for your work. You have to find out from people around you, and it's a good idea to get acquainted with the industry by asking lots of questions. Sometimes you just have to follow your instinct, and also rely upon impressions you get from interviewing the detective as to whether or not you need him, why you need him, and so on.

There are some things that you need to check about the detective before hiring him:

• His license
• His past experience
• His specialties

If he holds a good record and you think you can trust him, then he is the one for you.

About the author: Paul MacIver is a contributing author for - Visit to read more about private investigators and detectives

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