Frequently Asked Questions About Private Investigations
All you need to know before hiring a Private Investigator in Los Angeles
- Can a Private Investigator carry a concealed weapon?
Yes. A Private Investigator may carry a concealed weapon on duty if he/she has a current and clear BSIS exposed firearms permit and possesses a concealed weapons to permit issued by a local law enforcement agency.
- Does Kinsey Investigations perform Social Media background checks?
Yes, we do Social Media background checks. We do background screening on people in several instances for various cases.
We do Social Media Background when someone is considering employment. The employer can have us check the potential employee. If you want to do business with potential business partners, you can have us check them before going into business with them. We also do premarital Social Media background checks. We even do regular Social Media background checks for online profiles to see if their online presence is authentic and legit. (You wouldn’t believe the number of “imposters” we find!)
We do these social media backgrounds for employment and business-to-business reasons as well as personal.
Find out more about our Social Media Investigation services
- Can Kinsey Investigations help you become a Private Investigator in Los Angeles?
The short answer is YES.
At Kinsey Investigations, we helped several people become PIs. We can teach you and train you to become a PI by working under one of our QMs, “Qualified Managers”. You must accumulate 6000 hours (that’s equivalent to 3 solid years working full time under a QM) to become your own independent PI.
A QM is not common, maybe 1 in 75 PI’s are QM’s, but we have the knowledge to train someone all that they need to know and how to get your license and become a successful PI.
If you are serious about becoming a PI and can work the long hours needed, then give us a call. We know how to get you there.
Read more about how to become a private investigator in Los Angeles.
- Who can hire a Private Investigator?
Just about anyone but the usual people that hire PI’s are attorneys, businesses, family members for domestic investigations …all of them can hire private investigators to help solve their problems and get the evidence they need.
- How Much Does a PI Cost to Follow Someone?
When the question is one of cheating spouse, what we call infidelity or adultery, for example, a partner who is in another relationship can potentially be confirmed in a couple of hours. Some cases are not so easy and it might take several days. Some investigators won’t handle domestic assignments so make sure they will.
If you are connected with a compassionate PI they would want to provide results as soon as possible because they understand a person with these types of concerns are living with a lot of stress. Look for someone who wants to give you that peace of mind.
When looking for a private investigator, it is only natural for you to want to know how much it is likely to cost you. As Kinsey Investigations knows all too well, there is no such thing as a “typical” investigation, which means that sadly there is in most circumstances no so-called ‘flat-rate’ for these types of services.
Every private investigator is unique, and whilst many of the techniques and processes they carry out are similar, every case is ultimately different.
With adultery, it usually takes surveillance. You would have to try to think of the other person’s patterns, know their schedule or time of suspected activity. Obviously, home and work addresses are the best. If you know where he SHOULD be on a particular day, like he says he’s unavailable on Tues nights–poker with the guys. We see if he really goes to poker that night.
Private Investigator fees can vary depending on the company, and it’s important to find one that you trust, not just one that offers the cheapest rates. You are paying for time and expertise, and more than often, an experienced investigator will t It can run about $85-150 an hour with a minimum of 4 or 5 hours per assignment. You can usually negotiate the hourly rate if you do long hours. We charge for a minimum of 4 hours at $125/hour. So 4 hours would be $400. We can stay as long as you like, but there is a minimum of 4 hours.
Women are best at this. Our female investigators are never suspected as surveilling.
We have both men and women. The ladies know how to blend. Our men look like someone you’d meet at the gym or at a coffee shop. Not obvious.
We provide you with date/time-stamped video of what we find after our surveillance. Text message updates during the event. And a timeline of what occurred. If they go somewhere public, say a restaurant, we also go in and try to spot them. IE, they may have dinner. My person might be at the bar.
We get the film.
It is also likely that extra fees incurred such as mileage and other job expenses will be added on to the original asking price, however, at Kinsey Investigations, our fees are fully inclusive of all job expenses.
- How to hire a private investigator?
Finding a trustworthy and qualified private investigator can be an intimidating task so here are some tips to help you know how to hire a private investigator.
Get a referral. It is likely that you will be sharing personal information with this person and so it important to find someone reliable. Do as much research on the investigator as possible.
Check their license. A professional private investigator will be able to give you their license number immediately and you can check it with the state licensing board to make sure it’s valid, has a matching name to your private investigator and if any complaints have been filed against them.
Ask about their experience and education. To make sure your job gets done right, find a detective who specializes in the task you need. Ask about how much work they have done similar to what you want in the past and how those jobs worked out.
Talk about confidentiality. You are very likely dealing with sensitive information when you are working with a private investigator and you need to be sure your PI will be discreet and respectful of information shared between the two of you.
Feel comfortable with the private investigator. If you don’t feel like the private investigator communicates well with you or if they pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable in any way, you should probably choose a different private investigator to work with.
Get a retainer agreement. Your initial consultation with a private detective should be free and from there, they should be able to outline anticipated cost. If you choose to follow through with the work, make sure all fees and expectations are clearly outlined in a contract.
- How to Investigate a Cheating Spouse
Signs Your Partner Is Cheating On You
The number one indication that your spouse may be cheating is an sudden need for privacy. If your spouse has always been a “private” person, even with you, this may not indicate an affair. But if your spouse was previously open with you, and suddenly is withdrawn and is keeping things from you that he or she previously shared, this could indicate an affair.
Asks about your schedule more often than usual
Significantly less, or more, or different sex in your relationship
Begins to use new or free e-mail account
Periods where your significant other is unreachable
Cell phone bills contain calls with long duration
Changing previously shared passwords and not sharing the new password
Clearing internet history every time the computer is used
Clothes smell of perfume or cologne
Creating new personal email addresses, or using a secret email address
Deleting call and text history
Deleting e-mail messages
Gets his / her laundry done independently
Has a second phone, especially one he or she didn’t tell you about
Has more cash on hand without accountability
Has unexplained receipts in wallet or purse
Leaving the room to take phone calls
Mileage on car is high yet he/she reports only short distance errands
Minimizing computer screens when you enter the room
Now has a phone card but never used one before
Password protecting phones or computers when they never did before
Unexplained payments on bank statements or credit card bills
Uses computer alone and secretly
Your partner is hostile toward you and your relationship
- What does a Private Investigator do?
Private investigators search for clues to gather evidence for private clients and court cases. Private investigators interview people, verify information, conduct surveillance, find missing persons, and gather vital facts for cases. In today’s technology, some of these clues might even be someone’s digital footprint digital facts. Slander sent via email or even a hate post posted on any of the social media sites. Sure, they might have taken it down….but there are still ways to find it.
Some of a private investigators daily tasks might be but not limited to something like this:
serving legal documents and court citations, performing background checks on people, interviewing people to gather information on a case, collecting evidence to be used in a court of law, investigating crimes,going undercover to find information, researching information related to a case, doing surveillance work,
- Difference between private detective and private investigator
While police detectives are involved only in criminal activity, private investigators are involved in private sector issues like civil litigation, matrimonial matters, civil fraud cases and locating witnesses in in civil suits, etc. Some private investigators also concentrate on criminal cases are usually retained by a criminal attorney or the justice system for specific criminal cases.
- Do Private Investigators work with Police?
Yes, we work with police all the time. We just had a ‘missing persons” case. We made sure the family filed a missing person’s case with the local police. This goes into a nationwide database.
We need the police to take the report. Once the person is found, we need to let the police also know that we found them so they can be taken out of the nationwide system.
Sometimes we find home invasions or criminal activity at people’s workplaces. We encourage the family or the business to get the police involved and in many instances, we show the police what we uncovered. One particular officer actually asked me how I found this one particular vehicle (license plate recognition software).
- Do private investigators have to be licensed?
Given the growing number of private investigators in the U.S., many states have adopted strict regulations and licensing requirements for these professionals. Most states require private investigators to obtain a license to practice; this includes the state of California.
The state of California requires a license through the BSIS, the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) licenses private investigators in the state. A PI license allows the holder to work independently or manage a private investigative firm.
To verify a PI license in the state of CA, go to: https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/online_services/verify_license.shtml
Some cities or counties have even mandatory licensing and other additional requirements for PIs. Feel free to ask about your future private investigator license if you consider hiring him/her, and if you don’t get a crystal clear answer, do yourself a favor and just walk away.
- What does it take to become a licensed private investigator?
In the U.S., each state has its own legislation regarding the practice of private investigative businesses, license requirements and the licensing process varies from state to state. Minimum requirements to obtain a California PI license include, but are not limited to:
Acquire Stipulated Experience/Education in California (3 years work experience under a PI)
Get Fingerprinted in California
Obtain, Complete and Submit California Application Packet
Take and Pass California’s PI Examination
Begin Working as a Licensed PI in California
Fulfilling all these requirements does not make a private investigator a GOOD private investigator. Experience, extreme attention to details, mastering new technologies and knowing the law is extremely important!
Most states also prohibit candidates who have felony or misdemeanor convictions involving crimes of moral turpitude from becoming private investigators.
Do you want to find out how to become a private investigator in Los Angeles?
- Where can Kinsey's Investigators operate?
Kinsey Investigations will help solve any case in all parts of California. For more details, get a free evaluation of your case from one of our experts and let us help you find the truth.
- What are the things a PI cannot do?
That is very broad, but in short, a PI cannot break any law or rule. More specifically, our PI’s cannot make arrests, other than a citizens’ arrest. Our PI’s cannot trespass unless there is a warrant or process serve. Thankfully, Kinsey Investigations keeps pioneering while following all the rules!
- What are the things a PI is allowed to do?
A private investigator will do everything to solve your case within the law. More specifically, some of the everyday things a PI is allowed to do:
• GPS tracking
• Follow someone in public
• Use proprietary databases that go beyond public records where only PI’s and law enforcement can use
• Access banking information, within reason
• Social media screening
- How can a PI help law firms?
Our reputable PI’s will help all attorneys build their case, find evidence, serve legal documents, stay safe, and surveil targets… Many times we get assets on an individual during divorces, or when a judgment is won and the attorney tries to collect (we get calls for this all the time from attorneys and our attorneys also refer us to their clients directly!)
We do our best to get hard-to-obtain information about individuals and businesses to help your law firm build a strong case!
We usually help law firms with the following:
• Backgrounds, including criminal and civil no matter where the person is from in the USA.
• Evidence gathering
• Proof of cohabitation
• Custody investigations
• Again, finding hidden assets are a big portion of what we do
- Can I hire a female private investigator?
Yes! We understand that some people feel more comfortable talking to a female PI or think that a female PI is less noticeable or more thorough… Whatever the reason, our team is talented, reputable, and diverse, and, depending on availability, our female investigators will help you solve your case!
- How do PI’s get information?
Our private investigators are inclined to use great critical thinking abilities and pay attention to the slightest details, which help them follow the correct leads and find hard to obtain information. These are some of the ways we rely on to collect information accurately and always legally:
• Surveillance & GPS tracking
• Proprietary databases only used by PI’s and law enforcement
• Social Media screening and in-depth internet search.
• Public records and any local intelligence resources
• Background checks
- Who are the people that would be the likeliest to stalk me?
▪ Based on our experience and a study conducted by psychologists, here is a list of the people who are most likely to stalk you:
● A former spouse or a former romantic partner
● Serial predators
● Someone with political views strongly opposed to yours
● An acquaintance, neighbor, or co-worker who desires an intimate relationship with you and was rejected (or someone who never had the nerve to approach you!)
● Someone who seeks payback or revenge
▪ For more details, you may contact us. Or you may fill out this form so we can provide you with an obligation-free case evaluation.
- How can I spot an Insta-stalker?
There are a few ways to spot an Insta-stalker:
● You can check who views your stories on Instagram. Most people who aren’t your followers are merely just passing by. However, once if the same person is checking your stories repeatedly, you have a possible stalker.
● Try to post once a day for the next seven days and keep tabs on who is actively checking out your posts.
● Check your list of viewers and see who is on top of the list. Those are the people who view your stories the most.
● You can also use an Instagram analytics app to check your stalkers.
▪ If you suspect something like this is happening to you, please feel free to contact us via the form, or call us at (310) 613 3755 anytime to help you find out who is stalking you.
- I need to recover files from our business computer after our office burned down. Or our system crashed…Can Kinsey Investigations help me?
▪ Yes. With the help of our partners, we may still be able to recover the files on your PC.
▪ However, we need to get the hard drive first. If the hard drive platters (the media where the data is stored) are intact, then the probability of recovering your data is high.
▪ To learn more, please check out our Computer Forensics service page.
- Can I do a process service job myself?
▪ In California, you cannot do this task if you are involved in the case.
▪ A process server should be over 18 years old and have no connection to the case requiring service.
▪ The best way to serve a party is through a Private Investigator or a Registered Process Server, like any one of our employees at Kinsey Investigations. We offer Process Service among our services.
▪ We operate within legal limits, and we have creative ways of making sure the parties are served.
- How will I know if an employee is faking their injury?
▪ An Employee faking their injury can have two sides of the story. Were they injured at work and cannot work at their regular job or were they hurt, say, playing sports and cannot do their job? AOC or COC-(Arising out of Employment or During the Course of Employment?) Aside from unfairly collecting benefits from an injury, they are doing a disservice to their fellow employees who are reasonably entitled to benefits.
▪ You can call on us to do Worker’s Compensation Case Investigations and to find out if an employee is faking or exaggerating an injury. We will use tried and true surveillance techniques that have worked for us and our clients over the years.
Our methods include the following:
● Video Surveillance:
Is the subject following the doctor’s instructions? Do they engage in activities that their purported injuries should limit them from doing? We have the experience and techniques to confirm these activities.
● Online Surveillance:
Are the subjects participating in activities such as hiking, cycling, or athletic activities that they should be unable to do because of their injury? Are they engaging in activities that are in direct violation of the restrictions placed upon them following their injury?
● Direct Contact or Interviews:
We ensure that our investigators are discreet and have an unassuming presence when conducting interviews. The worker may not cooperate if an interview is too obvious.
● Access to Public Records and Comprehensive Information Research
Kinsey Investigations has access to public information to track your suspected employee’s behavior. We also have access to information known within our circles that can help our investigations.
● Interviews with People Closely Associated with the Subjects:
Our investigators have discreet methods to get critical information from people closely associated with the subject. Our investigators can blend in well with the typical people you see in coffee shops or gyms. They can approach and ask questions without revealing their purpose.
● Gathering Evidence and Interviews in Places Where Your Employee May Have Taken a Vacation:
We can follow through with our investigation process by extending our investigations into places where a suspected employee may have taken a vacation. By using leads, we can interview hotel employees or gather evidence from their security cameras to verify their presence and behavior at the location.