- July 18
The private investigations industry encompasses a variety of niche investigative work. While images of Sherlock Holmes investigating and solving a murder mystery often pop up in the minds of those outside of the industry, private investigators know that there are a number of things they can investigate outside of that trope. So, what are investigators telling us are the in-demand services? Keep reading to find out.
Individuals and businesses alike have relied on private investigations companies to perform background checks, and PIs have grown accustomed to doing them. While this is a standard service for most investigators, this service can also become more in demand with the changes in political landscape and current events. Private investigators suggest that there may be an uptick in background checks in the future depending on potential new legislation requiring background checks.
Cyber Crimes & Data Recovery
Technology is a part of everyone’s life at this point, in some way, shape, or form. With that comes new pathways to investigate, and proficiency in online/cyber investigations will give PIs a leg up. Additionally, data recovery is another in-demand service. These days, almost everything is online or on a computer. Computer forensics and data recovery require a unique skill set to extract this data. Ultimately, whether the job is related to cell phone data, cryptocurrency, locating missing persons through the aid of social media, miscellaneous data recovery, or another cybercrime like identity theft, having a proficiency in this niche will certainly bring about business, and those that already do are reaping the benefit.
Asset Search/Asset Check
If someone finds that they will have their assets taken as a result of a judgment against them, many go to great lengths to hide their assets. Private investigators are skilled at locating hidden assets, including money, cryptocurrency, or physical items of value. This can start off as simple as looking into what public assets they hold (real estate, vehicles, etc.) to more in-depth searches seeking out other items of value. Investigators report that this is a high-volume niche.
Closely tied with process service, many investigators will perform locates to find a viable address for service of process. In many cases, the courts require personal service, which means that the server must know where the person to be served physically resides. Investigators are able to sleuth out the location. Skip tracing can also be part of an asset check request, as both could be conducted by the investigator.
Another niche that many private detectives find themselves working within is the corporate world. Whether it is to track down potential corporate espionage, get to the bottom of a sexual harassment accusation, or to find out if an employee is embezzling money, corporate investigators will uncover the truth. Corporate investigators can work independently or can be hired as an employee by a corporation. When employed by a corporation, the investigator will likely also perform background checks for new hires, in addition to other related tasks.
General Fraud/Workman’s Comp & Liability
Somewhere, someone is always trying to cheat the system. PIs widely report that there is no shortage of workman’s compensation or general fraud investigative cases. In those cases, the investigator may surveil the target in an effort to gather evidence that contradicts the worker’s claims of injury, potentially uncovering insurance fraud.
Sadly, missing persons cases are always an option for private investigators to investigate, especially when a case has grown cold with local law enforcement. Some investigators even specialize in missing persons or human trafficking cases, which are also becoming more prevalent. With that said, PIs can investigate missing persons for other reasons. Fugitives and debtors also attempt to get lost and not be found, but a good investigator can sniff them out.
In the US, the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” is a right that most Americans know. With that said, good defense attorneys know that having evidence to cast a reasonable doubt is imperative in proving their client’s innocence. That’s where a PI comes in — to help find the evidence that could potentially set an accused client free.
Interested in Learning More?
Overall, private investigator niches vary by investigator (what they are willing to do, what they’re skilled at doing, and what is a popular request locally), but there is absolutely no shortage of work. O*Net reports that the private investigation occupation is growing 10-15% faster than average. If you’re an investigator interested in joining the PINow network of investigators reach out or check out our FAQs to learn more. There is no question that private investigation is an exciting and interesting field in which many entrepreneurs have found success.
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