For many people, the term, ‘Private Investigator’ is enough to leave them thinking about awkward meetings in a seedy neighborhood, or run down office. Others might envision losing their hard-earned money to a private investigator that is more interested in getting paid than uncovering the truth.
The modern day private investigator is nothing like the private eyes of the past. In fact, these days, if a private investigator in Canada wants to be successful and taken seriously, they need to act with integrity for every case that comes their way.
For example, if a business wants to work with a private investigator to uncover fraudulent activity, they want to know that the money they spend on the investigation is going to good use. They also want to know that the private investigator isn’t making up reports or results.
Integrity = Trust
When hiring a private investigator, people want to hire someone they can trust, and trust starts with integrity. The reality is, sometimes a private investigator shows their true colors only after money exchanges hands.
To save yourself the headache, any private investigator worth their salt will have no trouble producing proof that you can trust them. Verifying that the person has a valid private investigator license is a great place to start.
Conducting research on a private investigation firm is also a great way to determine if a private investigator is trustworthy or not. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, finding reviews, or checking out Better Business Bureau ratings can identify the level of integrity a private investigation company strives to maintain.
What a Private Investigator Can and Can’t Do
Even if a license is granted to a private investigator, it doesn’t give them the liberty to develop their own set of rules. Remember, a private investigator isn’t a police officer or FBI agent (despite what a few Hollywood screenwriters might think).
Licensed private investigators are required to follow a code of ethics. For the most part, this code of ethics is pretty straightforward. However private investigators that lack integrity might not hesitate to step outside their boundaries.
Private investigators are not allowed to:
- Tap phone wires without the individual’s consent or knowledge
- Access private property
- Break into email or social media accounts
- Open a suspect’s standard delivered mail
- Enter a business or home without consent
- Record or film an individual through a window of a private residence
- Arrest a suspect or individual
In addition, provinces and cities within those provinces all have different rules and regulations regarding proper practices for a private investigator. It is up to the private investigator to abide by those laws at all times.
The following is a list of actions or techniques a private investigator can use to solve a case.
- Run a license plate
- Film a suspect in public location
- Look into bank, phone and other financial records, but only for legal purpose or with consent
- Conduct interviews to gather witness statements
- Gather information on a suspect using:
- Employment History
- Family History
- Social Security Number
- Birth Date
- Property Holdings
- . . . And more
- Set-up surveillance
- Monitor a suspect’s daily habits and actions
Again, some of these items do depend on the area or location in which the private investigator operating.
Want more information from a private investigation firm you can trust? Reach out to the Smith Investigation Agency today!