Finding the Best Private Investigator for Your Situation

When you need the services of a private investigator, how do you tell the difference between the good and the bad candidates? Don’t waste your time and money by just blindly picking somebody who might not be able to do the job. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to find the best private investigator for your case, whatever the need may be.

1: Get a referral.

Ask somebody you know and trust, your attorney, a friend or a co-worker, if they have ever hired a private investigator, and what their experience was like. If they had a good experience you still should check them out. If they had a bad experience now you know who not to hire.

2: Check with the Better Business Bureau.

Do a search on the BBB website or call your local BBB office. Look for candidates that have BBB Accredited Business. Even if a Private Investigator doesn’t have an Accredited Business they will have a rating and this should help you decide if it’s someone you want to consider.

3: Do an Internet Search

If you have identified some possible candidates, do internet searches using the name of the company and the names of the principals.

If you now have the name of the principals, do an internet search using their names. Put quotes around their name, run the search, and read any articles that come up. You may find both negative and positive information.

If you still don’t have any good candidates, or you are looking for some more options, do an internet search using the words “Private Investigator”, “Private Detective”, “Private Investigative Agency” or “Private Detective Agency” along with the city in which you need the services, or at least the closest major city.

Check out the websites of the private investigators that come up.

4: Telephone Interview

Call the candidates and make sure you cover all of the considerations listed below.

5: Initial consultation

Set up an initial consultation with your top prospect and determine if they are the best private investigator for the job.

During each step of the process, keep these questions in mind:

First impression?

Do they present themselves professionally on their website, on the phone and in person? How well do they communicate? They need to come across as professional, articulate and credible to others in handling your case, such as witnesses, your attorney, a judge 針孔鏡頭 or a jury. The success of your case is at stake.

Where and who?

Are they actually in or near the geographic area you need services? Who is going to do the work?

Many “national companies” will advertise as if they can provide services anywhere. Actually what they often do is subcontract the work out to someone in the area. Why research a private investigator’s background if they’re just going to pass your case on to someone else?


Do they have experience in the type of case you are seeking their services for?

The best private investigator will be able to get better, more cost-effective results. Even if their rates are higher, you get what you pay for.

Be suspicious of individuals offering services with unusually low prices or no retainer. They may not be qualified for the job, or they might have a history of bad cases.