Ok, so you need to hire a private investigator in Atlanta, but it’s a minefield out there. You’ve heard tales from a friend of friend of how they got ripped off by a dodgy PI and you want to make sure your Detective is more trustworthy, so I’m going to give you a few tips.private detectives desktop
- Ask around! Yes you’ve heard the details of the dodgy detectives from asking around, ask your friends and colleagues if they can recommend someone. It’s a bit like getting a builder or electrician, you’re going to get the best one from word of mouth referrals. If you need to keep the fact you’re looking for a PI quiet, obviously this step isn’t going to work for you, so go to Step 2.
- Due Diligence! Use search engines, the Internet, see what the rest of the world say about them, see if there is any negative comments and make an informed choice.
- See if they are members of any professional organisations, don’t however assume that just because they have a logo on their website that means you are safe. Visit the professional bodies website, check out their criteria for joining.
- Ask them if they are registered with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) and that they have liability insurance, you can be sure that the dodgy detective won’t have thought it necessary to do those things. Any legitimate private investigator will be more than happy to confirm these.
- Look at their testimonials – have they had feedback from their clients? This one is often quite difficult as with the very nature of the job, most people don’t want others to know they’ve hired one but any experienced investigator should have a couple they can show you.
- Make the same enquiry with a few different investigators, this will help give you an insight in to what their customer service skills are like. Is their fee structure clear? Can you put a cap on the amount you are willing to spend and if yes, what exactly will you get for those services?
In conclusion, do your research, trust your instincts and apply some common sense.
If you live in the states, make sure the private investigator is licensed. There are some pretty severe criminal penalties for persons acting as an unlicensed investigator. If the person is licensed, then a great way to deal with a dishonest investigator is to report them to the Board. The Board has their own investigators and will follow-up on complaints.
Having made a bad choice of PI and found myself the subject of a scam whether they have exploited my ignorance of the industry and the vulnerable situation which led me to contact them, They have taken unauthorised funds from my account and are aggressively demanding more money for work I didn’t commission or authorise, in fact I knew nothing of it until I was contacted my by credit card for unusual activity – they were trying to debit £6k in 5 seperate payments in one day!
There are two bodies that I would suggest, there are some more but as I know nothing about them it wouldn’t be fair of me to comment, but WAPI (World Association of Professional Investigators) http://www.wapi.com/ and ABI (Association of British Investigators) http://www.theabi.org.uk/