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Requests You Shouldn’t Ask Your Private Investigator

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Requests You Shouldn’t Ask Your Private Investigator

When the average person thinks about a private investigator, an unscrupulous vigilante from a noir film often comes to mind. In reality, private investigation is a law-abiding profession that follows many rules and guidelines in order to stay above board. In fact, when it comes to legal disputes, any information uncovered in an illegal manner will not stand up in court. So before you have a consultation with a private investigator, know that there are a few questions to avoid asking them.


Can You Hack Someone’s Phone, Email or Social Media Account?

This is possibly the most common misconception about private investigations. Hacking into any of these types of accounts is against the law and an investigator who commits this crime is putting their client and themselves at risk of legal repercussions.

There is also a question of ethics. Accessing someone’s personal information without their knowledge breaks so many ethical boundaries that even if it were legal, it’s doubtful many private investigators would go through with it. Finally, many people fail to realize that accessing this information could possibly enable stalkers to victimize others. Private investigators are there to investigate the facts, not harm others.

Can You Track a Cell Phone?

Even though you aren’t accessing private information, tracking a phone is an illegal activity if the owner doesn’t give explicit permission to do so. Even the police need probable cause and a warrant in order to track a cell phone’s GPS. Private investigators can, however, use other means to determine an individual’s location. They utilize databases, social media, and on-location techniques to accomplish this.

How Much Money is in This Person’s Bank Account?

This is a request often made when gathering evidence for a divorce. Married couples going through a divorce often attempt to hide money from their spouse so it isn’t considered when splitting assets. In this situation, a private investigator can’t specifically access a bank account without a legal subpoena, but there are techniques to learn some financial information.

For example, someone may falsely claim they are unable to pay alimony because they have insufficient funds but they recently opened a bank account, have a good job and there is a new sports car in the driveway. A private investigator could use this information to leverage a subpoena, ordering them to disclose all financial information.

Can You Find My Old Crush’s Phone Number?

With this request, you may have some luck but there are boundaries. People often go to private investigators in order to reconnect with a past love or an old friend. However, private investigators typically can’t provide someone’s contact information unless that person gives consent. Everyone has a right to their privacy.


Before looking into such a case, private investigators typically ask questions to find out if the client has a reasonable and harmless motivation for seeking this information. Once the investigator finds out the contact information, they will ask that person if they consent to talk with their client. The reason for this precaution is that people often hide from abusers and freely giving away their contact information could put them in danger.

Experienced Private Investigator

These aren’t the only guidelines that a private investigator must follow, however, it serves as an outline to better understand the process of private investigation. If you are looking for a private investigator who obeys the law but provides the most information and evidence possible, look no further. South & Associates carries out professional investigations as well as provides security counseling and training. Our team is professional, skilled, and highly experienced. For your best chance at a successful investigation, contact us today.


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