We’ve seen them on TV and in the movies for generations. The private investigator (PI) is always coming up with the answer to the mystery, the perpetrator or the Jane Doe. But in the real world, the problems aren’t always so glamorous and the answers aren’t guaranteed. PIs represent your best method of arriving at the truth, whatever your concerns.
That goes for people, too. Let’s get into why a person might hire a private investigator for a background check, what information they’re likely to find, and exactly what it is a PI does.
Personal Reasons for a PI Background Check
When you’re in a legal disagreement, the responsibilities can be overwhelming. Let your private investigator confirm the facts of the case and get the scoop on your opponent. If your fender-bender threatens to become a serious liability, it’s standard procedure to make sure their concerns, medical or otherwise, are valid. A PI can track down witnesses and video that can prove whether or not someone is pulling a trick.
While nobody likes to talk about it, as with much of family law the reading of wills and probate process can get messy. Make sure you and your family are protected from fraud, confusion and disharmony by letting a PI confirm the facts of the will or estate, and verify the identity of those involved.
There are few things more intimate than allowing a stranger into your home for a visit, much less to live there. You want to be sure that your roomie is free of any nasty habits or history that could come back to haunt them. A private investigator can not only confirm they are who they say they are, using their computer and gumshoe skills, but also make sure you won’t get any surprises.
Identity Theft, “Catfishing” & Cyberbullying
When you’ve been the victim of an online predator, it can strike you to the core. Our identities are everything to us, and you won’t last long in the modern world without a valid and provable one. Likewise, people pretending to be you or someone else to trick you (a “catfish”) are threats that can sometimes only be handled at the street level. The same goes for cyberbullies, who can often escalate their activities to real-world danger. Let your private investigator lead the way to finding out who these people are and how to stay safe, get your money or identity back, or undo their activities.
Divorce & Custody
There are few things more upsetting than the dissolution of a family, and nobody likes to see it happen. But sometimes splits are necessary, and occasionally they become rancorous. A private investigator can help keep you safe by confirming or denying your suspicions about infidelity, hidden assets, or custody fitness.
Professional Reasons for Hiring a Personal Investigator
Employment has never been as tricky, as employees angle for remote jobs and bosses try to pay the least amount possible. A private investigator can validate your future employee’s work history, show proof of moonlighting if that’s not allowed, or confirm a conflict of interest you may be worried about. All, possibly, without leaving their computer.
Alternately, if you feel as an employee that something’s not right with your new job, a private investigator can make sure they’re valid by checking into their resources, other employees and any related businesses or shell companies.
Part of the covenant of employment is that you should take care of your employees, and see that their health is never threatened or sacrificed. When something does go wrong, an employee is entitled to help. But insurance fraud costs both time and money, so let a PI help you confirm your employees are genuine in their claims by investigating the incident, the circumstances, and the witnesses they can track down.
A business lawsuit has its own worries and technicalities, and your private investigator will understand if you need a background check on your competition or opponent. Most law offices employ an investigator or PI firm for just this purpose: By going through paperwork and witness testimony, they can help freshly connect the dots.
Nannies, Babysitters & Other Household Employees
Bringing a person into your home can be a stressful proposition under the best of circumstances, and leaving your children or elderly relative in their care can be even more so. A private investigator can confirm your trust in your household employees and set your mind at ease with a background check that can reveal any criminal history.
Renters come in all shapes, sizes, and credit scores. You want to invite the best possible tenants to live on your property. A background check can help you reach an agreement with an otherwise promising renter when questions remain. If their record is clear and their credit is good, or at least explainable, you have two more reasons to grant the lease. And if you find out something negative, it’s worth a conversation you wouldn’t be having otherwise.
How do private investigators get their information?
There are plenty of tools in your PI’s toolbox. Identity verification, E-Verify (for citizenship), and criminal and fingerprint checks all tell you the applicant is who they say they are and are pretty standard: they reveal citizenship status, and criminal history, and confirm they’re not in any criminal databases. There are also credit background checks for financial health, Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) reports on driving history, and education and licensing checks to make sure they’ve represented themselves accurately.
A lot of private investigations, both personal and professional, start online. Your private investigator can run down and confirm old addresses, employment records, and confirm your subject’s history is crime-free.
Once they’ve used all their digital gumshoe tricks, it’s time for the private investigator to proceed out into the world armed with the information they’ve gleaned. They can speak to witnesses like neighbors and coworkers, and track down video or photos.
What are private investigators most likely to find out?
“Anything with a paper trail” is the simple answer, but it’s incomplete. PIs are experts at uncovering lies and deception, financial crimes, and pulling skeletons out of closets. That means anything you feel you’ve been lied to about, or the situations noted above, can inform your investigator’s approach as they perform their background check on your subject.
You can’t buy the most important resource: trust. But with Arlington’s Alliance Investigations on your side, you can make your critical decisions knowing there’s nothing you don’t know.