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The Modern Day Private Investigator

Feb 27, 2008
A PI is trained to be very savvy with their research methods. Despite film noir movie depictions of a PI as a man sporting a fedora and a 5 o' clock shadow in smoky office with a bucksome blonde wanting their husband spied on, they are in actuality men and women who spend a good deal of their time doing the legwork from a computer.

The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services give five points to what a PI does:

- Someone who investigates crimes
- Investigates identity, whether it is a finding the person, finding the true character of the person, their occupation or business
- Investigates the location of property, lost or stolen
- Finds the causes of fires, losses, accidents, damage or injury
- Secures evidence for use in court

Investigators work in various sectors so the work can be very specific according to who they do work for. For instance, detectives who work for insurance agencies will often look into personal claims and the legitimacy therein. If someone is trying to defraud the agency then the detective may do some surveillance on foot with a camera, or do a background check to see if there was any past record of fraud.

There is a great deal of office work that goes into investigation. Aside from making frequent phone calls, an investigator uses a great deal of internet searching, especially for background searches. Investigators use some diverse and available search sites. From Social Networking sites like MySpace to city records posted online, there is little running around as a gumshoe anymore when the info is at the tip of the fingers.

Searching Locally: An Orange County Example

There is quite a good deal of revealing information that is posted on local state or federal government sites. For instance, an Orange County private investigator can visit the county's California Criminal index online to view any citations or criminal court proceedings that have been logged and documented as far back as 1988. This gives great material for background checks or finding patterns in habits or criminal recidivism. Sites like these are often available to anyone online for free.

They are not specific to government workers or licensed private investigators in Orange County by example. There are layers of search levels the investigator can peruse through: federal, state to county records; a private investigator in Newport Beach (within Orange County) can find information specific to that city within a city records search.

Also, with the advent of web 2.0 and social networking sites and blogs, the false sense of privacy is often exhibited by the public at large who daily leave a cyber trail wake that makes investigations less intensive.
About the Author
Art Gib writes for Newport PI (http://www.newportpi.com) who provides a large swath of investigative services for the public ranging from background checks and surveillance to witness management. They have Newport Beach private investigators that cover the Orange County area.
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