7 Most Common Private Investigator Methods

 Simply referred to a PI, a private investigator is hired by a company or an individual to research on a matter and try to discover the guilty persons in it. The private investigator must have enough knowledge and experience on how to find the needed information in the easiest way possible. They are trained to investigate using various methods that will lead them to the truth. That said, here is a look at some of the common methods used by private investigators.

Private Investigator

1. Interviewing

This is one of the common techniques that PIs use to get information. The client can call the PI to carry out an interview and take statements from witnesses. They can get information from various sources like relatives, former spouses, employees, business partners, and competitors, employers, neighbours, among others. The PI will have a specific purpose of performing the interview, and they will know how to explain to the person being interviewed. Usually, the private investigator will need to be fully prepared for the particular interview. They will need to review the specific information that they have obtained, and determine if it can be helpful in the interview. As the PI is interviewing the person, they must inform them whenever they want to record that conversation. According to the witness protection rights, the PI must get the consent of the person being interviewed before they can record their conversation. Recording without the permission of the individual being interviewed is a crime.

2. Dictionary Mining

This is a method that the PI use when conducting an online investigation. It is a method that is also used by spam bots to generate correct email addresses randomly. The PI use it to establish their investigation, and it has proved to be effective. In this method, the PI will use a similar nickname that the subject is using. They will guess the extension like,, or Once they have the nickname or username of the subject, they will use it along with a random extension, for instance, or The main aim of using this method is to find the necessary information that is needed in the investigation. The PI can also use the social media to find the exact username of their subject, such as Twitter. They can also use other tolls that help them find every possible username used on the social media.

Private Investigator

3. Report Writing

The PI will complete various written reports of duties performed, occurrence, and detailed descriptions of their observance or tasks. The reports created by the PI must be standardized and objective enough. The private investigator must be conversant with the various situational reports and basic report writing protocols. The types of situational reports include insurance and legal, while the basic report writing protocols include the time, date, observations, location, behaviors, completion time, among others. The observations and notes must be recorded as soon as they are made.

4. Researching

The PI is also expected to conduct a detailed research that will help with their investigation. It is required that the PI should have the necessary research methods. They should know how to carry out a detailed background check and also how to conduct a cross reference. Experienced PIs will know how to utilize the sources of information that are at hand, as well as any relevant research tool. One place to conduct the research is the internet, which has a great chunk of information that is found in multiple online databases. Other than the internet, the PI can also use public libraries to conduct their research. They will use such things like telephone books, trade magazines, yearbooks, business indexes, among other resources.

5. Surveillance

The PI can also establish a covet surveillance with an aim of observing a person, place or something without being noticed. They aim at observing the subject in their true and natural state so that they can get the raw information about them. As the PI is investigating the subject, they will document every necessary detail that will be needed. Also, they can capture videos or photos that will be used as descriptive evidence when they interrogate the subject. During the surveillance, the PI will observe the subject in the placed that they frequently go or the people that they associate with more often.

Private Investigator

6. Undercover operations

This is another method that the PI will use when they need to establish their investigation. It is usually the last resort, especially if the investigator has tried various ways that are not working out. In this case, the PI will act like a regular person in a specific place just to obtain the necessary information. If they need to inspect a work-related matter, they can pose as a new employee and carry out their work undercover. The undercover PI will need to understand clearly the environment, the supervisors of the workplace, the specific suspects, target infraction, what is expected of them as a they are working undercover, among others. They must look forward to getting the right information without causing any suspicion or breaching the understanding. Usually, the undercover investigator is not allowed to let anyone know their real identity. Ideally, they should study and understand the environment clearly before they can commence their investigation. This helps to avoid any suspicion, especially by the subjects.

7. Reverse Image Tracking

This is done using specific tools on the internet. Here, the PI can find the website that the subject constantly visits. After that, they carry out a reverse lookup on various images, which helps them to know other sites that the subject normally visits. These tools can also help the PI to discover the exact location of the subject. They can use a profile picture to learn other sites that have been visited by the subject. This is done by looking for other sites that have a similar profile picture. Such tools and methods are used to carry out investigations on cheating spouses on dating sites.

The private investigator will use all the necessary methods that will help them find the truth. The method they apply will depend on the requirements of the client, as well as the nature of the case. If it is complex, they might use methods that will take them closer to the answers, like an undercover investigation.

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