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25 Most-Read Articles of 2015

  • December 15, 2015
  • by Kimberly Faber

Some are from the archives. . .
Some were published just this year. . .

Here are the 25 Most-Read Articles of 2015!

1. How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Private Investigator?

If you are thinking of using the services of a private investigator, you may be wondering what the cost of hiring private investigators will be. Around the country, private investigator fees vary by location and type of services. For investigators with extensive experience and training, expect to pay higher fees. The numbers quoted in this article are estimated cost ranges based on average pricing offered by private investigators across the United States.

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2. Top 25 Private Investigator Training and Education Programs

Deciding on a professional private investigation training program can be tricky. Unlike many professions, a degree in investigations is not a requirement to enter into this field. Competing against individuals with extensive backgrounds in law enforcement, security and investigations can be a daunting task, but many industry veterans certainly believe hitting the classroom can help jumpstart a career in investigations. The team at PInow.com reviewed private investigator educational institutions across the nation and ranked them based on a number of criteria: the type of program available, college accreditation, what information is available, application requirements and license qualification.

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3. What a Private Investigator Cannot Do

With so many myths associated with private investigators, there are a lot of misconceptions about what these professionals can legally do, but as private citizens, they have no more rights or privileges than the average citizen. Depending on the state, private investigators generally cannot. . .

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4. Top Private Investigator Training Programs

Completing a private investigation class is usually the first step in beginning a career in the industry. Some states require prospective PIs to take courses and some do not, but no matter where you live, it is important to be prepared for your job. Although nothing can replace real world investigative experience, a course can prepare students for what to expect and educate experienced private investigators on the newest technology and the latest laws.

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5. 10 Tips for Private Investigators to Conduct More Successful Surveillance

Surveillance is an art form, not a science. Unfortunately many of its best lessons are learned through trial and error. Whether you conduct insurance defense or domestic investigations, surveillance is a large part of your day as a private investigator. The following 10 suggestions will help you conduct a more cost-effective and successful surveillance.

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6. Follow that Car: 10 Mobile Surveillance Tips for Private Investigators

Texas private investigator and current TALI President Kelly E. Riddle wrote an excellent surveillance book years ago titled The Art of Surveillance. Mr. Riddle was correct. Mobile surveillance is indeed an art form. There's an exception to every rule. Much of it depends on traffic flow, location and the time of day. The following 10 tips will help you conduct a successful mobile surveillance.

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7. Signs of a Cheating Spouse

When you suspect infidelity in your relationship it can be difficult to determine whether or not your suspicions are valid and if so, what to do next. At PInow, we surveyed our network of trusted infidelity investigators to find out what, in their experience, are the common indications of infidelity in a relationship. The following graphic displays the six major signs of a cheating spouse, what to expect in an infidelity investigation and other statistics on infidelity and marriage.

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8. The 10 Most Common Specialties of Private Investigators

When entering the field of private investigations, many investigators will select one or multiple specialties to focus their company toward. We conducted a survey in which we asked investigators to provide their primary, secondary, and tertiary specialties. By calculating weighted totals for the number of times each specialty was listed as primary, secondary, or tertiary, we were able to establish a list of the most common specialties of private investigators. In addition, we were also able to deduce the percentage of investigators who list a particular investigation type as a service at all, regardless of whether primary, secondary, or tertiary.

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9. The Difference Between Soft and Hard Insurance Fraud

It’s easy to see huge insurance corporations as entities that cannot be hurt. What’s a few thousand dollars to a company that has billions of dollars in assets? That’s how so much insurance fraud begins. It might not be the initial thought when coming up with a plan, but it’s certainly the rationalization behind it. The words “victimless crime” get thrown around, but it’s actually far from true.

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10. Top Private Investigator Blogs

With changing legislation, licensing, laws and crazy stories there's a lot for investigators to keep up with. Many investigators use blogs to share their experiences, provide updates and reviews on products and to discuss experiences with databases. A blog is also a great way to market your business, connect with potential clients and become a leader in your industry. There's a wide array of investigations blogs out there, and since maintaining a blog is no easy feat PInow decided to compile a list of the top investigation blogs.

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11. Private Investigator Basics Part 3: Surveillance

Private investigators need an understanding of three core competencies: records research, interviewing and surveillance. Surveillance is not always a vital part of an investigation but can be helpful and necessary depending on the nature of the investigation.

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12. The Role of Informants

To catch a thief, use a thief. That axiom is especially true in busting drug dealers. Use a drug user to bring down a dealer. Cast a minnow to hook the big fish. Those minnows are confidential informants — CI’s in police talk.Whatever they’re called, they can be a cop’s eyes and ears and calling cards. They can vouch for undercover investigators and get them inside the inner circles of criminal enterprises.

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13. 16 Things You Should Know About Court Records

When it comes to how court records are organized, which search methods work best, and how these records can supplement an investigation, there is a lot of information out there. Nearly every investigation conference we've attended has had a track on court records, and we hear time and time again that the most reliable and helpful information always come from a trained and experienced private investigator.

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14. Events for Private Investigators in 2015

Every year we put together a list of events for private investigators, so it's no surprise that one of the top articles in 2015 was our regularly updated list of events. With 2015 coming to a close, check out the events to attend in 2016 by clicking the button below.

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15. Guide for Requesting Military Records

Current Status for Active Members: First, what if you need to check the status of a current service member? These questions come up frequently for investigators. Veteran Records: For veteran records, its not so simple, but it has been simplified. For our agency, it has been some time since we've done these regularly. A few things have improved - one area that hasn't is their response. Although frequently recorded with the Clerk & Recorder (or similar) DD214s are considered confidential and available only to the veteran - spouse or other next-of-kin cannot receive a DD214.

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16. 13 Investigators Share What Databases They Prefer to Use

The Investigator Marketing group in LinkedIn is a great place for investigators to share their marketing and business tips, ask for advice from other professionals, and share the latest news relevant to investigations. Over 2,900 members share their tips and questions while navigating investigations and running a business. Recently, Terry Sweet, CEO at Background Information Group, asked the group which databases they use. 13 investigators shared which sites they prefer to use, and why.

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17. Private Investigator Marketing: 13 Innovative Tips

Innovative marketing tactics can go a long way in creating new business opportunities, and as private investigators look for ways to rejuvenate their marketing strategies considering new ideas is a great start. Whether you are a professional with years of experience or an industry newcomer looking for ways to snag your first clients, combine a well-written introduction letter with these creative marketing strategies to help you get your business name out there.

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18. Interesting Private Investigator Facts

Here are some interesting private investigator facts that you may not know. The Founder of Modern Criminal Investigation: Do you know who founded the first modern detective agency? It's not Pinkerton. In 1833, Eugene Francois Vidocq founded the first known private detective agency in France: Le Bureau des Renseignements. A former-criminal-turned-policeman, Vidocq's agency was staffed by detectives who were all former criminals.

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19. Private Investigator Basics Part 1: Records Research

There are three core competencies of private investigation: records research, interviews, and surveillance. Not every investigation is going to involve surveillance, and not every investigation is going to involve interviewing, but every investigation will have some form of records research. In fact, some investigations are just research.

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20. The Question of Suicide Equivocal Death Investigations

From Voltaire, “To the living we owe respect. To the dead we owe only the truth.” That is the purpose of an Equivocal Death Analysis and Investigation (EDA or EDI); collectively referred to as equivocal death case review. This leaves the possibility of closure for the families impossible, particularly if foul play is suspected, or even an accident. The wrong determination can also result in benefits, such as life insurance or workers’ compensation, underpaid - or worse, denied.

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21. How to Find Birth Parents Using a Private Investigator

There are a number of reasons why adopted individuals desire to search for their birth parents. Of the more common ones are to obtain general family information such as names and locations, to uncover familial traits and personalities, to obtain medical information such as genetic conditions which may impact the seekers health, and to understand the circumstances of the adoption. Recently, there has been an increasing trend for birth parents to search for their adult children given up for adoption years ago as well as by adoptive parents looking to get information about their adopted children. Information from the Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov) suggests that nearly half of all adoptive persons will search for their birth parents at some point during their lives.

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22. What is a Private Investigator?

A private investigator (who can also be known as a PI, private eye, or private detective) is a professional who is hired by law firms, corporations, insurance agencies, private individuals, or other entities to gather intelligence and confirm or disprove information. Professional private investigators often have law enforcement backgrounds or other relevant experience and training that has prepared them to investigate and research.

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23. 10 Interview Techniques for Private Investigators That Quickly Build Rapport

One of the most useful skills a private investigator can possess is the ability to quickly build rapport with individuals from all walks of life. Whether you are interviewing a witness or a source or whether the interview is confrontational or not, your ability to gather information rests on the degree to which you can build rapport. To do so you must quickly find something that you and the subject have in common. Such commonalities between you and your subject create a connection or bond of understanding. All of us want to be liked and appreciated. We all want to be helpful. When building rapport, it is wise to remember author and motivational speaker John C. Maxwells famous quote: "People dont care how much you know until they know how much you care."

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24. Top 100 Investigators on Twitter 2014

As a yearly tradition, we've yet again put together our list of Top Private Investigators on Twitter. This year we received an unprecedented number of nominations, so thank you to everyone who took a moment to tweet out nominations for their favorite investigators to follow! The goal of this list is to provide a valuable resource to investigators in profiles they can follow for the latest information on investigations. We are currently ranking the 2015 list, so give us a shoutout on Twitter @Pinow with your nominations using the hashtag #topinvestigatorsontwitter!

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25. 7 Things You Need to Know about Private Investigator Bonds

While this list is certainly not comprehensive on all that could be said of Private Investigator Surety Bonds…it’s probably all you’ll ever care to know. Private investigator surety bonds are considered “License & Permit Bonds”

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