Private Investigator Concerns
Private investigators (PI) play an important role in counter-terrorism investigations, corporate security and corporate safety, intellectual property, business and accounting frauds, tax matters, tracking down missing persons and many more. The term “Private Investigator” is broadly used to describe any person engaged in the investigation and detection of criminal activities. There are many subtypes of private investigators including investigators, surveillance agents, secret agents, contract killers and corporate secret agents. A private investigator, an investigative agent, a private detective or investigation agent, is someone who could legally be employed by people, institutions or NGOs to undertake investigative duties. Private investigators also often work for lawyers in civil and criminal matters.
In the United States, there are many private investigators who have criminal records. They may have past criminal history, drug charges, DUI convictions or even be on parole. But all these are usually irrelevant when hiring them. This is because background checks are the most stringent requirements when it comes to hiring employees. Employers normally want to hire a person with a clean record that has not been involved in any legal cases. The only exception to this general rule is if the candidate is known to have committed crimes such as fraud or scams.
It is no longer sufficient to rely on your neighbor’s son or daughter. Thanks to the Internet and computerization, you can now conduct comprehensive background checks on private investigators from the comfort of your home. The Internet is a good place to find out all about a particular person. You can find information such as the name, age, date of birth, address, employment details, criminal records, financial status, and many more. There are many websites that offer free online background checks.
Most private investigators would rather not reveal their client’s identity but hiring and employing them still poses some risks. There are instances where hiring someone without consent causes unnecessary issues. For example, hiring someone who claims to be a former police officer and is armed with guns and deadly force is definitely not advisable. Such violation could lead to violations of human rights and even charges of illegal business practices.
Cases may involve offenses such as tax evasion, asset forfeiture, fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. In these cases, hiring an investigator would not help you but harm you. Such behaviors of private investigators are not condoned by any governing body. If such behaviors are committed repeatedly, the effect can be far reaching. Criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment may also result if the investigations were not properly conducted.
One major problem with hiring private investigators is the fact that the investigation is not an official act of the state. Therefore, there is no specific protocol or procedure when hiring a private investigator. Also, the investigator is not required to follow any formal guidelines or laws regarding the investigation and enforcement of laws. Therefore, the outcome of the investigation is not legally binding.
Licensing is another concern among private investigators. A private investigator must pass an examination in order to obtain a license. The examination is conducted by an independent agency such as the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI). The exam is to ensure that the private investigators have the skills and knowledge about how to perform investigative work and to know the important laws in their area of expertise.
The last concern among aspiring private investigators is identity theft and fraud. Like any job, there are cases where stolen identities are used by criminal activity. One common scenario is for a criminal activity to have a victim to use a false name and social security number in many transactions. Thus, it is very important that aspiring private investigators make sure that all of their documents and information are secured.