By Justin D. Hodson, CPI
When one searches the internet for a private investigator, they will see a lot of private detective agencies out there. One of the things I have noticed is that there are two kind of private investigators advertising. One like me; advertising the person and the company, letting people know WHO we are. The other is one that hides behind a company name with little information about WHO they are. When you research online for a private investigation make sure you know WHO you are hiring. Private detectives are not cheap and the ones that are cheap, are more expensive then you will ever know.
When researching online for a private investigator do the following:
- Research the investigator online – Don’t trust a private investigators website. Search the private detectives names to see where and how there are mentioned through other online resources. Are there online reviews of the investigator? Is there even any other information about the investigator online? Do your research, investigate the investigator!
- Contact the State – Private investigators must be licensed in the State of California. Check with the Department of Consumer Affairs – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services; their website is http://www.bsis.ca.gov/online_services/verify_license.shtml. On this site you can verify their information and licensed and check to see if they have been disciplined.
- Check with the city they headquartered – You can check with the business registration office at the city they claimed to be located; find out are they a licensed business. Check with the Chamber of Commerce; are they a member. This will give you an idea if they are a legitimate company or not.
- Take it a step farther – Check with the county court and see if they have a civil filings against them. Often unprofessional and shady investigators have been sued and will show up in the local civil court index.
So, you may ask, what exactly are you getting at? Or, you may simply opine, “this is a marketing strategy article!”. No, my job…. MY CAREER if to make sure to strangle and weed out unprofessional private investigators. I feel that these unprofessional investigators are very few, but make up the majority of the perception of our industry. Look, most of the investigators out there are professionals, who will handle your investigation properly, but please beware of the ones who will not. Thank you for your time and as always, humble regards.
Fell free to call or email me directly anytime with your investigation questions. 714-646-4545 or Justin@HodsonPI.com