PI Industry- In the News! – May 27, 2011

Philippines Private Investigators Battle Dating Scams & Fraud

Recession Has Little Impact on Philippine Romance Scams Philippine dating scams and fraud are booming, despite the global recession. …

Strauss-Kahn’s private detectives to build defence case

In France, an investigation is “inquisitional” – an investigating judge weighs the indictment against the defendant following an investigation by the prosecution and defence, then decides whether the case will go to trial. …

Justice Department, SEC investigations often rely on companies’ internal probes

Washington Post
The private investigators help determine what evidence the government sees. They typically turn over only a small subset of the many documents they collect. Sometimes the lawyers who conduct the investigation are the same ones who represent the company…


Hunt Private Investigations often receives requests to place GPS tracking devices on privately owned vehicles for a wide variety of reasons including; employment verifcation, to establich residency, child custody, marital infidelity and for concerend parents who want to know their child’s activities and wherabouts.  Modern GPS devices can be useful tools for gathering information about where someone is or for establishing a history of where they’ve been and it can be substantially cheaper that hiring an investigatoer by the hour for surveillance depending upon the goal you are trying to achieve. 

What GPS can do: 

There are two types of GPS tracking systems, active systems and passive systems.  An active system is one that provides real time, or very close to real time information via the internet regarding the whereabouts of the GPS unit.  This system is ideal for following someone who might suspect they are under surveillance because you don’t have to be right on top of them. 

Passive systems do not provide real time data.  They are placed on the vehicle for a period of time then the device is recovered and the data is downloaded from the unit.  This system works great if you want general information about where the subject or the subject’s vehicle has been over a period of time.  One application would be determining where someone is working or residing.

GPS Limitations:

If you need to know what someone is actually doing, or who someone is meeting or associating with, GPS technology would not apply and surveillance is probably the better option. 
Legal Ramifications:

The most important consideration for deciding whether or not a GPS device can be used in an investigation is: WHO OWNS THE VEHCILES THAT THE DEVICE IS GOING TO BE PLACED ON. In California, it is a violation of law to place a GPS device on a vehicle without the consent of the registered owner:  
Section 637.7 of the California Penal Code states that “no person or entity in this state shall use an electronic tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person.” Part (a) of this section, however, states that GPS tracking devices may be used if the registered owner, lessor or lessee of the vehicle gives permission for the device to be used. Note that this may not necessarily be the driver of the vehicle at a given time.

Penalties for violating this law can include a fine and up to six months in jail. A licensed private investigator who violates this law may have their license revoked as well.

At the end of the day, GPS tracking systems are just another tool in a good investigator’s tool box.  Like a good camera, digital recorder or your trusty binoculars, sometimes it’s the right tool for the job!

PI Industry- In the news! – May 20, 2011

Malcolm Plummer noting half century as private investigator (blog)

Plummer, a private investigator, is the director of PIB Investigations in Syracuse. He is celebrating 50 years in the business. Editorial assistant Nariman Jiries recently interviewed Mac Plummer, agency director of PIB Investigations, Syracuse, …

Private investigator: Publicity will help solve case of deceased boy

By Deborah Mcdermott Private investigator Don Nason said when the young child’s body found in South Berwick, Maine, is identified, the story behind the death is “probably not going to be good.” Nason, a former police officer who started the nonprofit 

Worker insurance fraud up, but bosses do it, too

Private investigators often use cameras hidden in pens and in remote car-door openers to catch workers. By MARK DOUGLAS | News Channel 8 Even during a troubled economy, and possibly because of it, business has never been better for Paul Colbert. …

PI Industry In the News – May 13, 2011

7 Signs of Lying: Massachusetts Private Investigator, Michael A. Coller … (press release)

Moments later, Massachusetts Private Investigator, Michael Coller gets on the air and his first words are “Good morning gentlemen, for the record…You Are Both Liars!” The next 12 minutes of the interview proved to be entertaining and well as …
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Workforce surveillance: Is your boss keeping a private eye on you?

The Guardian

He doesn’t resemble Humphrey Bogart’s Philip Marlowe or Jack Nicholson’s JJ “Jake” Gittes – the iconic Hollywood private eyes – in the slightest. In his short-waisted grey jacket and black denim trousers, Cross, a private investigator with the London …
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Private Investigator Can Help with Employee Absenteeism Problems


Online PR News (press release)

Insight Investigations have a team of experienced private investigators who can help eradicate and uncover cases of unnecessary employee absence. Online PR News – 11-May-2011 –Employee absenteeism is a problem that at some time will almost certainly …

The Lean, Green PI

It’s difficult to read any business related publication without finding something about the benefits of “going green”. Any industry associated with the court system, or one that depends heavily upon public records like the PI industry does, is going to have to deal with large volumes of paper in the form of case reports, deposition transcripts, court room testimony transcripts, database search reports and our own work product, the investigation report. Despite this, there are many things a modern PI agency, making smart use of today’s technological advancements can do to go lean and green by limiting the use of paper, reducing the cost of doing business and helping the environment at the same time. Here are a few things we have done to go lean and green:

On-Line Case Files

When I launched my PI agency almost five years ago, it became obvious that storage of case documents and business records could quickly become a problem. For most of the first four years I was in business, I sub-leased an office limiting the storage space available to me. Even now with my own office suite, I have a limited storage space available. I know many long time PIs that literally have boxes and boxes of old cases stuffed in storage somewhere, making it inconvenient to locate old case files and expensive to warehouse them. From the beginning, we have scanned all relevant case documents for all our cases, from retainer agreements, case reports and investigation reports, to media files such as photographs and video files into an on-line database that are stored on an external hard drive connected to my office computer network. This allows us to purge the paper copies after the case has been closed because anything needed beyond that can be quickly located and easily accessed in our on-line files.

E-mail whenever possible

We are blessed to live in an age where virtually everyone has an e-mail account. Most of the written communication with our clients is done by this medium. Final investigation reports that are delivered to our clients are sent via e-mail whenever possible, along with the final invoice or sales receipt, creating a permanent searchable record delivered if it ever becomes an issue. Most e-mail providers have a search feature that allows you to search your e-mail history by e-mail address, name of recipient, subject, etc., making it easy and efficient to locate, review and re-send messages without having to pull old case files and mail or fax documents the old fashioned way. We use Gmail from Google as our e-mail service provider. Gmail accounts have a feature called “Google Documents” that allows us to upload and share large digital media files like photographs and surveillance video without having to download them to a disc or zip drive and mail them to our clients.


We use a service called E-fax for our business faxing needs. Any faxes we receive come as PDF files that can be quickly stored in our on-line case file without ever having to be printed. Outgoing fax documents can be scanned and faxed if the document is not yet in our data base, killing two birds with one stone. Or they can be attached as a PDF file if it is already in the database.

Going green can put you in the black!

The smart incorporation of todays technology allows us to improve our business systems to help us keep better track of records, decrease redundancy of effort and increase accountability, while providing the added benefit of reducing the cost of doing business. In a tough economy, even small monthly deceases in the cost of paper, stamps and storage fees can add to your profit margin at the end of the year. Going green can make the difference between being in the red or in the black for the smart PI.




PI Industry in the News – May 6, 2011


Private eye nabs rape suspects
Times LIVE
It took just 12 hours for a private investigator to track down two men who allegedly raped a young Durban student last month. The distraught parents of Denise Killian, 24, feared there was no hope of finding the men who attacked their daughter until 


Sony hack: Sony brings in ex-NCIS private eye as Malaysia fingered
Metro Sony has brought in high tech private investigators and online security experts to help it track down the hackers responsible for the massive data theft from its PlayStation Network, Qriosity and Sony Online Entertainment computer gaming services, 

Renewed hope for missing Broome County woman
The family has hired a private investigator to pick up the search for Dougherty and they are hopeful about what a fresh set of eyes can bring to the case. “It just seems like people have shut down to the police or just haven’t been forthcoming. 


Real life Moonlighters!

Congratulations to my wife Debbie who recently passed her PI test and will be a licensed Private Investigator!  Debbie spent 12 years with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, six of those years doing background checks for new hire employees.  She has been a registered nurse for the last 6 years working in labor & delivery and the nursery.

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