Ever wonder what a private investigator might not be telling you?
New York investigator Brian Willingham of the Diligentia Group has the scoop.
1) We utilize lots of public records, which are easily accessible by you.
As you might imagine, public records are an incredibly important resource, and anyone can access them. But understanding and navigating the maze of public records in the U.S. is skill that takes years of practice.
2) Our results are going to be mixed.
Our job is to collect facts, but sometimes those facts don’t line up with what the client expects. Investigators can certainly make things up or break the law to get what the client is looking for, but that doesn’t really help anyone.
3) We rarely find that “smoking gun.”
You’ve seen it before: that smoking-gun piece of evidence that cracks the case wide open. It’s usually right after the commercial break and just before the top of the hour. The smoking gun makes for great TV, but it doesn’t come up all that often in real life.
4) We don’t have any special powers.
Years of television may lead you to believe that private investigators drive Ferraris, have law enforcement powers, and have access to secret government records. While some investigators may drive Ferraris, the rest of it is urban myth. In fact, in most cases, a private investigator does not have any more power than the average person—just better gear.
5) We hire subcontractors to do a lot of the work.
There are independent investigators everywhere, many of whom do subcontract work for other firms. It’s the nature of the business, in part because investigators rarely have a steady, normal workload. Hiring subcontractors makes companies nimble, and it allows companies to hire outside experts who they wouldn’t be able to keep on staff or investigators in areas where they don’t have any coverage.
6) Our work is really boring.
Most of the time private investigation is about as exciting as stenography or watching paint dry. Sure, there are times that it’s really exciting, but other times, not so much. Spend a few days staring at years of telephone records and you will see what I mean. Of course, I think I have the best job in the world … but don’t tell anybody.
This article was originally posted on the Diligentia Group blog.