When picturing a private investigator, you may imagine a creepy guy in a trench coat or someone who can solve puzzles using amazing deduction skills. Maybe it’s that weird eavesdropping guy listening to sensitive conversations. Although that is how private investigators surveillance a person in the movies, it may not be completely accurate.
The following will cover some of the methods used by private investigators to surveillance a subject.
Both individuals and corporations hire private investigators to collect information for various reasons. This includes evidence that can be used in court cases or to confront the third party. For instance, corporations can get surveillance investigation services to find out if an employee is stealing information, abuse schemes, clarify controversy with customers, or counterintelligence against competitors.
Individuals may hire a private detective to surveillance a spouse to determine if they are cheating or to discover insurance fraud. Because private investigators are often retired police officers who are self-employed, some people will hire them trying to find new evidence on a cold case.
Being a private investigator does not mean they are working for a governmental agency or the police, but in most cases, the private investigator will avoid unlawful, violent, or risky practices and abide by local laws.
Different Types of Surveillance
Depending on the type of situation, the private investigator may use a different type of surveillance or techniques. The following are the different ways private investigators conduct surveillance.
The most common method used by private investigators requires watching and following a subject covertly. This allows them to capture evidence from a distance without suspicion. In some cases, a disguise may be used to approach a subject. This method is often used for spousal investigations and could be a single investigator or a team using mobile and stationary assets.
Digital surveillance focuses on the online behavior of a subject. This can be conducted using non-intrusive methods such as reviewing and following their social media profiles or searching them on other websites. Although, more intrusive methods may be used, including reviewing the subject’s browser history, logging into social media accounts, or possibly finding deleted files, such as on a shared computer.
Often referred to as A/V surveillance, this method is often used for all surveillance investigations to capture evidence that can be replayed later, such as recording devices, including cameras, movement sensors, voice, and video recorders, or microphones.
Remember, a private investigator is a professional in data collection; communicating with clients is important. A client should always be descriptive during the first consultation visit and not leave anything out if possible because knowing what and when to look for something maybe the difference between finding evidence or missing it.