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Tales from a PI: Don’t Mess with the Best

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Here at the Smith Investigation Agency, we provide quality private investigation services to our clients. Although rare, we recently encountered a situation where we needed to do a bit of private investigation work to protect our reputation and the world-class services we provide across Canada. The moral of this Tales from a PI is: never, ever, mess with some of the best private investigators in the business. 

Keep reading to find out why . . .

The Situation: A Private Investigator we NEVER Hired

A few months ago, we received some strange phone calls. The people calling demanded refunds for services they said we promised to deliver. You want to know the crazy part? These people were never our clients. As the request for refunds came in, we quickly did some investigative work to try and solve this mystery.

It didn’t take us long to discover a very interesting Kijiji post. The individual posted an ad where he claimed to work for The Smith Investigation Agency. Through Kijiji this individual managed to sell private investigation services to unsuspecting clients. The worst part about his whole scam is that he definitely wasn’t delivering on his promises. 

This, of course, did not sit well with The Smith Investigation Agency for several reasons. First, we only hire and work with the best of the best in the industry. The fact that people called us to complain is absolutely not part of our business mandate. Second, due to this individual’s lack of moral compass, he had started to give us a bad reputation. Word of mouth is so important in industries like the private investigation. We truly pride ourselves on being the leading female-owned, private investigation company in Canada. Bad business practices and bad private investigators just make us cringe. 

The Bait: Surveillance Services

We had to do something to stop this criminal in his tracks. To catch this individual in the act, we used our private investigation skills. As a professional private investigation agency, it didn’t take us long to come up with a simple plan. 

One of our private investigators contacted the individual and pretended to want surveillance services. The individual agreed to meet, and our private investigator went in undercover. They met at Tim Horton’s to discuss the details of the “surveillance case”. 

During that meeting, the undercover private investigator recorded the conversation. The individual freely admitted the services he offered were illegal, and that he didn’t actually work for The Smith Investigation Agency. 

Meanwhile, outside, our agency’s founder checked out the individual’s vehicle. She collected make, model, VIN and plates. When the time was right, she entered the Tim Horton’s and slammed her business card face up on the table in front of him. 

The look of surprise on his face made the investigation worth every second. 

Like a deer caught in headlights, the individual had nowhere to run. Our founder got pictures of the individual and demanded to see his private investigation license. As it turned out, the individual did not have one! He only had a valid security guard license. This meant that the individual was never properly trained, and by impersonating a private investigator was operating illegally. And let’s not forget about the fact that the terrible work he did pretending to work for our company. 

There’s nothing worse than someone besmirching a company’s good name. It’s why The Smith Investigation Agency needed to move in fast on this individual. At the end of the day, our good private investigation work prevented any future confusion or loss of business. 

Quality Private Investigation Services

If you aren’t a private investigator, chances are you’re going to operate like this individual. You won’t have the ability to actually solve the case or deliver any information to a client. 

This is the reason why the Ministry of Ontario requires an individual to earn his or her private investigation license. It is to prevent people from getting scammed. A private investigation license is also required because proper training is required. You need to learn about surveillance, communication, research, interviews, report writing, Ontario law and more, just to handle a case.

Private investigators who work for companies like The Smith Investigation Agency strive to provide quality private investigation services. The ones who don’t likely don’t have their license and will ultimately do more harm than good. 

Busted: The Consequences

This individual couldn’t deny his wrongdoing. Since he didn’t have his private investigation license, the Ministry charged him with multiple offences. Some of these offences included, impersonating a private investigator and selling private investigation services without a license. 

This individual now has a criminal record. This will make it extremely challenging for him to find work in any related field. Which begs the question: why didn’t this person just get his private investigation license? The honest answer is that we’ll never know. He’s simply stuck facing the consequences of very poor decisions. 

Lessons Learned . . .

We’ve been in the business for over 20 years, which means we know the world is made up of all kinds of people. However, it does seem a little more personal when an individual thinks he or she can take advantage of another person’s hard work. The good news is, through a little teamwork and actual private investigation; the individual responsible is now paying the price for his bad decision. 

What’s the bottom line? Don’t pretend to be a private investigator that works for the largest female-owned company operating in Canada. You’re not going to get away with it!

Searching for a PI? There’s a Lesson Here for You too . . .

If you’re looking for private investigation services make sure to hire a legit private investigator. For example, The Smith Investigation Agency has a professional website, with tons of information about the industry and best practices. If you do a bit more research, you’ll also see that The Smith Investigation Agency has won multiple awards. Checking out the Better Business Bureau’s website for reviews will reveal even more information about the excellent services provided. You really need to make sure you’re hiring the right person. You also need to make sure that you’re getting what you pay for, which is likely what this individual exploited. 

Which brings us to our next point. Another lesson is to take a look at the quote the private investigator gives you. If it seems to good to be true, it likely is! Quality service is not going to be cheap, and if you’re looking for shortcuts, unfortunately, you’ll likely end up working with someone who doesn’t have a private investigation license. 

Protect yourself by doing your due diligence to make sure you hire the right private investigator the first time around. You will only lose money and time, when you really should have just contacted the best in the business. 

If you have any questions about any of the services we provide, don’t hesitate to contact us directly! You can reach us by phone or email.

Phone: 888-950-4113 or Email:

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