As a private investigator, people often ask me, “Who hires a PI?”, my response is easy — “Everyone!” I go on to explain that every business needs me, and most individuals will have a need for me at some point.

The majority of people are shocked when they understand that they can perform a background check on virtually anyone without their permission. There is, however, a distinct difference between background checks and pre-employment checks. Employment background checks fall under the legal framework of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a host of other laws. An individual must give their written consent for a potential employer to perform a background check.

Why do individuals hire private investigators? The obvious is to check on cheating spouses. A spin-off of this includes documenting the welfare of their kids while in the company of their ex-spouse with questionable alcohol or drug use. Individuals often need a PI to locate missing family and friends. Recently we located a child kidnapped by her mother who ran off to Costa Rica. We located and got the child safely returned. In another case the client’s wife did not show up for work and we subsequently found her body inside her van that had gone off the road into a pond.

While these are extreme cases, it demonstrates the need for a professional PI. We are often asked to check for tracking devices or listening devices inside of the person’s home or cars. While on the subject, it is illegal to obtain anyone’s (including your spouse) emails or text messages. There are a lot of software programs that enable you to do this, and of course they are based offshore where they can’t be easily prosecuted. Regardless of the ability to do so, you cannot legally obtain this information without a court order or their authorization.

Why do businesses hire private investigators? Employee-related issues. Starting with the hiring process and the need for pre-employment background checks all the way through dealing with termination issues and employees who present threatening characteristics. Additionally, at some point, businesses have internal theft, vendor problems, liability issues with customers, employee or customers who get hurt, no-compete agreement violations, trademark infringements, employees goofing off instead of making marketing calls and a host of other reasons. Fraudulent injuries by employees and customers are a huge concern as well as employees threatening other employees or management upon termination. Over the past several years we have seen a dramatic increase in these types of cases.

The general public should be aware that each state has licensing requirements for private investigators. In Texas, the Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau regulates private investigators and they must have to have 18 hours of continued education every two years.

Many get their CE training through the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators of which I am a former President. This is a good place to locate a PI as well. Private investigators are required to have their license number on their business cards, contracts and advertising materials. Another generally unknown fact is that over 80% of PI agencies are one to two person operations. Kelmar Global has more than 60 licensed PIs in the state of Texas, enabling us to service each individual clients with the right investigator.

Need a PI? Call our private investigators today at (888) 873-1714 to get started.