One may be wondering what do private investigators do exactly? This could be due to just plain curiosity, a show they watch on TV, or maybe they are thinking of becoming an investigator themselves. Well it’s not like the movies, and there is lot less excitement. Having said that, it can be a very rewarding career. This article explores many of the things that an investigator may do during the course of a working week, although we cannot list everything an investigator does, it will give you some idea of what the job entails.
Many investigators are generalists, taking any job worthwhile that will pay, this is mainly due to the fact when you specialize in just one, or two areas you tend to get less work, or there are slow periods between jobs. Much of the work is done from the office on a computer, running background checks, or locating addresses and so forth, even locating people for specific reasons like an inheritance, or even a long lost friend wanting to find an old buddy. There will also be field work, which involves surveillance, but surprisingly doesn’t usually take up more time than spent in the office.
Being a generalist investigator means you will take on most jobs offered, these will also include working for attorney’s preparing court cases. Most criminal cases are handled by an investigator, who will work for the defense due to the fact that the police generally have their own investigators, but in civil cases they will work for either side. When working court cases this will generally include interviewing witnesses, documenting crime scenes, or locating witnesses or other individuals relating to a particular case.
Fraud is another common job investigators take on, this can be anything from big business fraud to someone defrauding the government. A popular case that is often acquired by many investigators is disability fraud, this is where someone is claiming disability due to an accident at work, or other place that prevents them from working. However, when investigated it turns out they can walk, run, climb trees, and skate with no problem. It is the investigators job to provide proof of fraud, and deliver it to the appropriate party.
Investigating the workplace is another popular job as there are many internal theft operations going on whereby an employee is stealing goods, or merchandise from their boss. This is where an investigator is called in to go through surveillance tapes, or use other methods to catch the person in question, and bring the proof to the company. Investigators may also pose as buyers to thieves selling merchandise in order to gain physical evidence, sometimes this requires more than one investigator, especially if pictures are taken of the transaction from a distance.
In addition, another popular job is marital affairs, which can cover several different areas, the most popular being one partner trying to find out if the other is cheating, more often than not the partner is not cheating. Other areas include divorce, when a couple is going through a divorce one, or the other may be suspecting the other of hiding assets, so they hire someone to find out if this is true, or not, and if so to get proof. Much of this work has to be done from a distance as investigators are not allowed to trespass, or break into anyone’s home, like you see in the movies.
Missing persons is not such a common case, but they do come up from time to time. This may be when a person has gone missing in unusual circumstances, or seems out of character, and the police have done all they can, but have had to call the investigation off. Sometimes, the relatives may hire an investigator to continue searching for the missing person, this can work out well at times as an investigator can continue tracking down the missing person when police have had to leave it alone for more pressing cases. Furthermore, this can also lead to a mutual information exchange between the police, and the investigator, and can lead to positive results.
When thinking about what do private investigators do you may have not realized how unexciting it can be, or how much it entails. There are literally hundreds of different tasks, and jobs that an investigator will take on during a working year, most of it will be boring, occasionally it can be exciting, but mostly it’s run of the mill stuff done on computers. It can be a very rewarding career if your dedicated, are good at your job, and you can get to meet some colorful characters along the way. Finally, some jobs do not turn up the results that were wanted, but usually they end up with someone smiling.