What Does a Private Investigator Do?

KinseyInvestigations.com What Does a Private Investigator do? - A woman with a laptop speaks on her cell phone while riding in a car.

What do private investigators do? Being a California private investigator means there’s no such thing as a “typical day at work.” On any given day, a Los Angeles private detective may be conducting cell phone forensics in their office, interviewing a parent for a child custody investigation in Orange County or working to locate missing persons in L.A. or the surrounding area. The tools and techniques we use to provide our private investigations services are many, and much has changed in the last few decades. While some of our work takes the form of cooperating with law enforcement or assisting clients and lawyers with legal procedures (process service and testifying in court, for instance), L.A. private investigators are primarily hired to find answers and information and/or gather evidence. All the different ways we go about this fall into three broad categories: research, interviews and observation. Kinsey Investigations is a licensed Los Angeles private detective agency with an experienced team of female private detectives with decades of experience using these techniques to offer private investigations services throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.

What Do Private Detectives Do?

KinseyInvestigations.com What Do Private Detectives do - A woman in front of an office building checks her cellphone.Hollywood loves to depict private investigators in the movies and on TV, but if you find yourself wondering what do private investigators do in real life, you’re not alone. And while it’s not all car chases and looking for clues with a magnifying glass, what makes up a private detective’s day is also pretty different from a typical 9-5 job. First of all, while time in the office is part of it, a fair amount of any California private investigator’s work lands us in the field, whether that’s interviewing a client or another source at their home or place of employment or conducting surveillance in a residential or business setting. We also spend a significant portion of time working in cooperation with law enforcement and providing litigation support to lawyers law offices or others in the justice system. There’s no neat and tidy way to sum up what private investigators do, because every day is different, and with technology changing and improving all the time, some private investigation services and the techniques we use to carry them out look very different than they did a few decades or even a few years ago.

So what does a private investigator do? It all comes down to the information we’re hired to find and the best ways to go about finding it. Though methods and techniques vary, the three primary ways we gather information involve research, interviews, and observation.

How Private Investigators Do What They Do

Research comes into play as part of several different private detective services we offer. Everything from background checks and heir searches to hidden finances and skip-tracing investigations involves research. And though a great deal of research can be conducted online these days, we may also find ourselves searching through old public files and sending requests for copies of dated records unavailable online. While inexperienced private investigators may run into roadblocks and struggle with California’s strict privacy laws, Kinsey Investigations’ seasoned team of female private detectives have had more than 20 years to hone our research skills and come up with innovative ways to get right to the source of the information we need.

California private investigators interview many people throughout their careers. We interview our clients, workers at businesses and other organizations, eyewitnesses, and even the subjects of our investigations, themselves. Sometimes, we conduct these interviews openly, but in other instances, such as fraud investigations or sensitive family law cases, we may need to conceal our identity and our true motives for asking the questions we do. In this way, interviews run the gamut from straightforward information gathering to some of our finest undercover work.

Even in the 21st century, observation remains an important skill for a private detective. Careful observation and attention to detail can make the difference between getting stuck on a case and solving it. Take, for example, our secret shopper services. We offer these employee integrity checks to customer-facing businesses of nearly all types and sizes. Posing as a customer, one of our experienced female private investigators visits a retail or food service location or initiates a phone call or chat to a customer service department. Observing how the employees treat her as well as other aspects of the experience give us the information we need to report back to owners or management who’ve hired us. For corporate security investigations in L.A., depending on the size and type of the organization, we may spend time observing everything from their campus security procedures, to new hire training, and how their employees spend their days. Careful observation is a staple of so many of our investigations services, and not only for corporate clients.

The word investigate has its roots in Latin with the primary meanings to “track” or “trace out,” and while that’s a decent generalization of a Los Angeles private detective’s job, the means we use to carry out our services are quite varied and might land us almost anywhere, whether that’s alone at our office desks or swimming through large crowds. From busy city streets to the most remote locations, Kinsey Investigations will travel wherever we need to go (in both the real and virtual worlds) and use any or all of our investigative techniques to get the information and answers we’re hired to find