The Pinkerton National Detective Agency (formally known as the North-Western Police Agency) was the first detective agency in the United States. If the name seems familiar, we have discussed some of the work of the agency through Kate Warne's life, but for today's fun fact, let's explore further the life of her employer and head of the Pinkerton Agency, Allan Pinkerton.
Allan Pinkerton was born in Glasgow, Scotland on August 25, 1819. Even though he left school at the young age of 10 after his father's death, he was an avid reader and became a barrel maker apprentice. He was a political activist and member of the Chartist movement, which made him a target from law enforcement as a traitor of Great Britian's Crown for speaking for the rights of the working class. Pinkerton escaped by emigrating to the US in 1842 at approximately 23 years old.
He settled with his wife in a small cabin the woods of Dundee, Illinois as a cooper. Continuing his predisposition for political activism, Allan was a slavery abolitionist, using his home as a stop in the Underground Railroad. One day while searching through the woods for materials for his trade, he stumbled upon a suspicious campsite. He returned later that night to find a suspicious group. Sensing these individuals were up to something, Pinkerton began to track their movements from afar over a period of time. Through his observation skills and keen eye for detail, he discovered the group was a ring of counterfeiters. He reported his findings to the police and the group was sequentially arrested. As a result, he was appointed as the deputy sheriff of Kane County and in 1849 the Chicago police hired him as the first police detective. After a year with the police force, he resigned to become the founder of the North-Western Police Agency, which would eventually become the Pinkerton Agency. The agency specialized in train robberies, counterfeiters, and security services for the government, businesses, and the community, during a time when police forces were unwilling to go outside their jurisdiction or corrupt.
Pinkerton Agency worked several notable cases. In 1861, during the investigation of a railway case, Allan discovered a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln at a railstop on his way to the inauguration in DC. He sent Warne to gather intelligence in the Southern sympathizer's ring, and he notified Lincoln of the plot. After Pinkerton and Warne successfully escaped Lincoln from the assassination attempt, the President hired Pinkerton during the Civil War, to take on the pseudonym of Major E. J. Allen and gather intelligence from the South. The agency captured many notable criminals, including the Reno brothers gang, known as the first organized train robbers in the U.S. They also broke up the Molly McGuire gang, who were Irish terrorists, and pursued Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to South America, where the assailants were eventually killed by local officers. After the Civil War, Pinkerton expanded his agency more nationwide, opening offices in New York City and Philadelphia, rebranding his firm as the National Pinkerton Agency.
Pinkerton continued his work until he died on July 1, 1884, and is buried at Graceland Cementary in Chicago. He was described in his obituary as "a bitter foe to the rogues" for his lifetime of work squashing the most notorious of criminals. After his death, his sons took over the agency. Pinkerton Agency grew as they transitioned to security services, accumulating 2,000 active agents and 30,000 reserves. This caused the state of Ohio to ban the agency in fears of becoming a private army or militia. The Agency's guards and agents were hired by prominent industrialists during the 1892 Homestead Strike to break the riots. Their use of violence to contain the riots was controversial, causing congress to ban their agency from being hired by the government, known as the Anti-Pinkerton act. This early use of security services from the Pinkerton Agency was the predecessor for organizing the United States Secret Service.
Allan Pinkerton's legacy and contributions to the field are still prevalent in modern private investigation. His stories still live on in notoriety, providing inspiration for several private detective and mystery novel series. In response to the Chicago fire that destroyed Pinkerton's documentation in 1871, up until his death he began working on a central system of criminal records. This system is still used as the basis of the database for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Pinkerton National Agency still exists today, now named Pinkerton, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, under the Securitas AB parent company. They provide security consulting and services for governments and businesses. Pinkerton is proud of their history, donating over 100 boxes of historical archives to the Library of Congress to preserve Allan Pinkerton's work in private investigation.
Sources: Smithsonian: Outlaw Hunters
The cost of hiring a private investigator varies
A common question we encounter is how much a private investigator costs. The cost can vary greatly depending on
1. the location of the investigation,
2. the type of investigation,
3. the depth of services required for the case,
4. the private investigator's level of quality and expertise.
While it is important to have a budget in mind, don't use it as an excuse to cut corners: Just because a private investigator is cheap, doesn't mean they are good. Otherwise, you may need to spend even more money hiring another private investigator, who is more expensive and better quality, to finish the job the first cheap investigator couldn't do.
Like many service based industries, this mantra is all the more true in private investigation:
Private Investigators work on a retainer
Similar to an attorney or legal professional, private investigators typically work on a retainer. They will quote you an estimate that becomes the retainer amount. Keep in mind that retainers are non-refundable, so any amount left will not be refunded back after the service you hired them for is complete. However, that amount can be applied towards further services.
Payment is up front
Just like you wouldn't walk out of the store without paying for your groceries, private investigators are not going to perform a service without upfront payment. This is for two reasons: 1. It establishes a business transaction between you and the investigator and 2., what may seem like "a simple search" or service, actually requires hours of work, research, and fees for using the resources and databases accessible to a private investigator. (After all, you wouldn't consider hiring a P.I. if the job was easy enough to do yourself!)
You will need to sign a contract
Any legitimate private investigators that provides services that require a retainer will draw up a contract for you to sign. A typical contract outlines the services requested by the client, the retaining cost, and a signed statement from you verifying that you are not using the information gathered by the private investigator for malicious or criminal intent.
In the last decade, bug sweeps are now one of our most requested services. With the rise in technology becoming more affordable, compact, and adaptable, it is more accessible for those with nefarious intent to eavesdrop on a victim to steal valuable intelligence. A victim of being bugged could be blackmailed by the suspect or have their information sold to a competitor.
Common reasons a client is susceptible to being bugged include:
- Involved in a lawsuit
- About to or have downsized
- In a competitive industry that relies on insider knowledge (marketing, fashion, automotive, product development, medical, technology, advertising, etc.)
- Is involved in government affairs or politics
Personal affairs: Is filing or in the middle of a divorce
- Involved in a custody battle (it is common for the children to have devices hidden in their things or during visits)
- In the process of getting married
- Filed an insurance claim
- Is or previously was in a position of power or influence, in business or politics
- Is a minister or religious leader
- Suspects the person eavesdropping is someone close to them who work in law enforcement, security, or the judicial system.
While you should always conduct due diligence beyond the face value of what a client tells you, if a client doesn’t disclose any of these warning signs and are not a high-risk client, there is a very high chance they are not being tracked or eavesdropped through devices.
However, when you do an intake with your client, if they note any of the warning signs below, it is advised to gather more information and move forward with a bug sweep or TCSM inspection:
People have found out about personal matters or confidential business secrets, or just seem to know too much about their activities.
This is the most telling sign that they may have been bugged: The client has noticed people they have never disclosed to know about their personal and business affairs. If it is a business, there are signs that a competitor or vendor has obtained the business’s internal information.
In the Home and Office
Evidence of a break-in, but nothing was stolen
Even if there is no overt evidence, the client may notice that something “seems off,” such as furniture or objects have been moved slightly, closets and drawers seem to have been rummaged through, or dusty areas have been disturbed. Additionally, a client may note that suddenly a new object was added to the home after the break-in, such as clocks, signage, picture frames, tissue boxes, lamps, and radios.
Wall fixtures have been shifted slightly
Some of the most popular hidden surveillance devices are designed to go inside or behind electrical outlets, light switches, smoke alarms, and lighting. Hidden camera lenses can be as small as the head of a screw, making them ideal to conceal in common wall fixtures.
Notice a strange vehicle parked near the home or office frequently with no one inside
Devices that transmit the recordings via wifi or RF may require the eavesdropper to be stationed nearby. Service or delivery trucks are commonly used: If you see the same or similar vehicle more than three times, there may be an eavesdropper. Vehicles with black or tinted windows allow the perpetrator to conceal them in the back of the vehicle to monitor the devices. Ladders or pipe racks on a vehicle can help conceal and antenna or beacon.
Interference in landlines, radios, or televisions
The client has noticed that their radio, landline, or television has been acting “weird.” This includes increased interference, a solid faint tone or high-pitched squeal on the phone, (note that beeping or high pitched noises could just be a result of a fax machine dialing the wrong number) or their radio loses signal in areas it never lost signal before.
Common objects have a small hole or reflective surface
Many spy stores sell a popular common home and office products such as lamps, clocks, tissue boxes, plant boxes, or exit signs, with a camera or microphone pre-installed, containing a small hole or reflective spot to hold the camera lens. A client has noticed that these products “just appeared” or these things have changed slightly in appearance.
In the Office
Ceiling tiles appear disturbed, discolored, or damaged, or have ceiling dust on the floor
A common installation location for hidden listening devices is inside the ceiling tiles: Their accessibility makes them a prime target. The client may have noticed that tiles have shifted, are not properly set in the frame, or recently were damaged. Note any recent maintenance issues in the building: These signs could be a result of a pipe leaking or new construction.
Bump in the vinyl baseboard
The vinyl-style baseboards are more popular in offices than in homes. A small bump or deformity in the vinyl baseboard along the floor may be a sign that someone hides and adhered to a wire or microphone behind the baseboard.
A client recently received gifts from vendors
If the client suspects that a competitor or vendor is spying on them, a common tactic is to place listening bugs inside “gifts”, such as pens, clocks, briefcases, adaptors, etc., Ask the client if any gifts have been given to them, and what specifically.
In Their Vehicle
Their car appears to have been broken into, but nothing was taken
Something inside the vehicle seems “off”, but nothing was taken. The client may have noticed that the seating was moved, (even though they are the primary driver and have not lent the car to anyone or any service technician recently) the car was rummaged through, or there are new items in the vehicle. This may have occurred multiple times, as the eavesdropper may need to retrieve the device to download the data or recharge the battery.
The car seems to be taking longer to start
Some tracking and eavesdropping devices may be connected to the car battery, using the power source when the engine is off. While it may not completely drain the battery, it can cause the car to stutter a bit as the remaining power tries to start the engine. This is not as common now as devices are moving more to use internal batteries and going into an “idle” mode when movement or sound is not detected to conserve power.
Electronics in the car are behaving erratically
The electronics in the car, including the radio and displays, are acting strange, which could result of interference from a covert surveillance device.
Others seem to know the client’s whereabouts
GPS tracking devices can be attached to a car with something as simple and discreet as a strong magnet. Common areas include under the engine bay, rear bumper, inside the dashboard, and behind the wheel well.
Client suspects they are being followed while driving
If there is a hidden microphone or camera in the car, the suspect may need to stay within a certain range of the device to acquire the recordings. The client noticed that the same vehicle was following behind them, or frequently parked near their car.
While this list is not exhaustive or that these are definitive indicators that a client is bugged, it is enough to warrant further investigation. Seeing these signs in our own agency has resulted in finding covert devices approximately 80% of the time. It is imperative that you analyze the context of your client's situation and perform proper due diligence to ensure you offer the best type of services for your client's needs and give them peace of mind.
Whoever said you can't find your career and passion after your 20s either hasn't found it yet, isn't above the age of 30, or a stick in the mud. For me, I found my calling as a private investigator in my late 30s.
I had been working in the private sector for over 20 years. My day job working in sales, dealing with a grind that like many jobs, had a way to suck the life and soul out of you. Even though business was going well, I felt that my work was more for the company than my own success.
After nearly 20 plus years of the daily grind of selling automotive electronic equipment, I found myself burnt out and in need of a change in my professional life.
Since my spirit animal is the lion-the strong protector-I always strive to help and protect people, to ensure their comfort and safety. I began to search how I could protect others in the private sector and found private security. I researched the prerequisites needed to become a registered New York State security guard and got my registration. Shortly after, I began to work for a security agency on Long Island. I quickly moved up the ranks, eventually becoming the manager, overseeing a team of security professionals. While I had gained an immense amount of knowledge and connections during that time, I craved more.
I realized that the lion is more than a protector: He is a leader. I've always been someone who carves my own path, and knew that whatever direction I took next, I needed to be the person at the helm. I was tired of working for someone else's profits.
I took a jump: Run my own security agency. Many thought I was insane: I had only been in private security for three years. Do I really have the chops to run a security business? In the years of working in the security industry and establishing professional contacts with other individuals in the business, I called upon many of my highly skilled security colleagues to work with me in developing a network of trained security operators. This strategy worked out very well: When a contract came in, I was able to deploy myself and other professionals, to ensure the clients' needs and expectations were beyond satisfied.
In the years of working in the security industry, by fate I had the fortunate opportunity to meet an individual who had his Private Investigator license. In discussing my desire and his desires to grow our respective businesses, we chose to open a new business and further or professional footprint in combining both security and investigations under one roof.
Being a Private Investigator
I entered the private investigation field hungry for action: I craved time out performing surveillances, getting into the action. However, as time progressed, I began to learn about the other dimensions of private investigations. It's more than the thrill of following vehicles and taking covert video: Private investigations is about helping others and using every resource you have available.
As I progressed in my career as private investigator, I learned more about the tools of the trade: From online databases, how to verify your findings, conducting interviews, to due diligence. I realized that there was a whole world beyond fieldwork as a PI.
This is when I found my new love in private investigations: digital forensics. I never imagined that my hobby in purchasing and playing with the latest technology, as well as my background in tech sales could be integrated into my private investigator work. Over time, I phased myself away from the field an into the conference room with clients, figuring out the latest perplexing case with the arsenal behind my desk. I found that the satisfaction of cracking a month’s long digital forensic case or piecing together the rabbit hole in a person's social media activity was far more exhilarating.
Like life, private investigations is not all sunshine and roses. It is easy to become overwhelmed in an investigation, especially when you are not as experienced. Working as a private investigator requires organization and discipline to avoid falling into a pitfall of overworking the hours your client paid on the case. You will find yourself working extra hours into the night and weekends to do what it takes to solve it. It's important to learn when to push deeper and when it is time to step back and reevaluate your options. You need to know when it is time to move on, even though you may think the direction you are in is the right path.
Find Your Path
Don't ever think it is too late to change your career. I went from a sales job under someone else's thumb, to running my own successful private investigation agency. Even in my lows, I always remained steadfast and moved forward. I took some risks, but you must when you want to start running your own business. It hasn't always been easy, but I wouldn't trade this for anything.
All in all, this career continues to be a ride like no other. The best part of my job is the feeling I get when a client says, "Thank you." Not in the "obligatory social cues" kind of way, but the thank you where they look you in the eye with a deep, heartfelt, genuine gaze.
I am proud to be a private investigator.
ABOUT INVESTIGATOR MATTHEW D. SEIFER, LPI, NYS DCJS Cert.
Matthew Seifer is the Lead Licensed Private Investigator at Radius Investigations, Registered Armed Guard, and NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Certified Instructor. Seifer is a US Army veteran with over 26 years experience in the private sector. Matthew specializes in corporate due diligence, TSCM bug sweeps, security services and assessments, and digital forensics. He has been featured on News 12 Long Island and Inside Edition for his work in active shooter training and drills.
Image Source: Wikipedia Commons, Portrait by Achille Devéria
Eugène François Vidocq, (July 1775-May 1857) a french criminal mastermind, is regarded as the first private detective in the world and the father of modern criminology. After decades of a life of crime, Eugene turned and became an informant for the police, eventually founding his own private detective agency, and discovered and patented forensic techniques still used to this day.
First Private Detective in the World: From Convict to Private Eye
Even as a child, Vidocq could not resist the excitement of finding trouble. Throughout his teenage years, he found himself in and out of military, fleeing after killing two officers in a duel, joining another regiment, only to run again to avoid the noose after striking a superior officer in the head. As a young adult, he spent years committing fraud, forgery, assault on some soldiers, privateering, and accused of murder. (which was dropped once the victim admitted her stab wounds were self inflicted) He was imprisoned multiple times, yet always found ways to escape: Whether it was through the help of fellow inmates or through various disguises to escape apprehension. (Including dressing as a sailor under the name Auguste Duval, stealing a nun's habit to escape a prison hospital, and working as a cattle driver.)
After a life on the run and numerous escapes, his past transgressions finally caught up with him in 1809 and was arrested. Vidocq had been running for four years after the last escape, and despite his best efforts to try to live a normal life, he kept being recognized by people from the past. Turning a new leaf, Vidocq offered his services as an informant to the Parisian police, which they approved. He worked within the prisons, gathering intel from inmates on forged identities and unsolved crimes, which he forwarded the information to the police chief of Paris. The inmates were unaware that he was a spy: They were blinded by their infatuation with his infamy as a master criminal, which Vidocq used to his advantage. After his release from prison, Vidocq continued to work for the police chief, Jean Henry. He blended into the criminal underbelly to gather intelligence, changing identities and disguises to thwart their suspicions.
Vidocq's work did not only include his insight into the criminal mind, but his discoveries in the forensic science field. Eugene's contributions include fingerprinting, ballistics, (which one of the first cases to use his technology was in identifying the person who murdered Abraham Lincoln) plaster of Paris for imprints, holds patents on indelible ink and unalterable bond paper, and forensic anthropometrics.
In 1833, Vidocq founded the first known detective agency, Le bureau des renseignments, (Office of Information) which was a mixture of a detective agency and private police force. Similar to his plain-clothes Brigade de la Sûreté, (Security Brigade) he hired ex-convicts for his force. After several lawsuits and an unsuccessful attempt to expel him from the city, he transitioned into a private life, taking on occasional cases through his later life. Vidocq died in 1857 in his home in Paris from illness.
Eugène François Vidocq's legacy has been depicted in literature, theater, film, and even video games. Modern police and detective work methods and techniques are indebted to Vidocq's contributions and legacy. He, rightfully so, is considered to be the father of modern criminology, the first private detective, and the leader in forensic science.
Sources: Eugene Vidocq: The Convict Who Became the Father of Modern Criminal Investigation
Eugène François Vidocq Wiki
Kate Warne-First Female P.I. in the United States
Kate Warne, first female private investigator hired in the US. This image has been debated on whether or not it is Kate Warne dressed as a male. Unfortunately, there are few portraits of Warne, let alone confirmed: However, that only adds to her legacy as a master of disguise and covert detective.
Kate Warne: First Female PI and Master of Disguise
In 1856, the now famous Pinkerton detective agency in Chicago, had a woman walk in inquiring on what Alan Pinkerton first thought to be for the secretary position. He described her as a "commanding person, with clear cut, expressive features...a slender, brown-haired woman, graceful in her movements and self-possessed. Her features, although not what could be called handsome, were decidedly of an intellectual cast... her face was honest, which would cause one in distress instinctly [sic] to select her as a confidante."
Kate Warne, a widow from New York, came in to the Pinkerton Agency to respond to the detective position that was advertised in the local paper. Alan Pinkerton was surprised at her inquiry; It was not custom for women to work as private eyes, but he was impressed by her argument: "[Women are] most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective." She argued that women can befriend the wives and girlfriends of suspected criminals, since men love to brag when they are around women who encourage them. Warne added that women are observant and have an eye for detail. Pinkerton hired her as a private eye and despite protests from his brother who was also his business partner, Alan never regretted his decision.
Warne was a master of disguise: From portraying herself as a fortune teller to lure suspects into telling her their secrets, rich society matrons, to changing her Northern mannerisms into a Southern accent to play the role of a "flirty Southern belle" from Mongomery, Alabama, in the Pinkerton National Detective Agency's paramount case: The Baltimore Plot. Through Warne's disguise and ability to convincingly take on Southern mannerisms, she was able to infiltrate a ring of Southern sympathizers in Maryland and gather the details of a plan to assassinate then president-elect Abraham Lincoln on his way to the inauguration. Through Pinkerton and Warne, she was able to secure Lincoln and safely transport him to the inauguration by smuggling him through a train car, passing through Baltimore undetected. Lincoln continued to use Pinkerton and Warne through the Civil War to gather covert intelligence. In 1860, Pinkerton started a "Female Detective Bureau", hiring more female detectives, led by Kate Warne. This was very progressive at the time, as women were not allowed to join the police force until 1891 nor become investigators until 1903.
She continued to serve until 1868, when she died from a sudden illness. She is buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago in the Pinkerton Family Plot. In March of 1868, a memoriam was written in the Democratic Enquirer on Warne's life as a private detective: "Up to the time of her death, her whole life had been devoted to the service into which she had entered in her younger years. She was undoubtedly the best female detective in America, if not the world."
Sources: Celebrating Women’s History: America’s First Female P.I.
Timothy Webster and Kate Warne
Kate Warne First Female Private-Eye
The 4 Most Common Myths of Working as a Private Investigator
It’s safe to say that many of us have read or watched the likes of Sherlock Holmes, CSI, or Magnum P.I. and become starry-eyed towards the private investigation profession. New investigators enter the field expecting car chases, gun fights, and heart-stopping action. But once they have been in the industry, many become burned out or disheartened to see that it’s not what they thought private investigation would be. As someone who is a licensed private investigator, I’ll try to bring you down slowly.
Myth 1: We're just stalking people's spouses/exes
Surveillance is the most well-known service that private investigators provide, with the stereotype that we’re hiding out behind alleys and street corners in a trench coat, following your cheating partner or spouse. While there are still private investigators who specialize in doing infidelity cases, many private investigators (including myself) have moved away from being “cheater chasers.” Investigations are moving to the digital realm: with services including social media investigations, computer and phone forensics, and data acquisition. With that said, surveillance is still a valuable service and strategy: for example, using surveillance as a method in investigating and verifying a disability claim for a business or insurance company. As for being “stalkers”, keep in mind that a licensed and insured investigator knows how to follow the proper legal procedures that differentiate “surveillance” from “stalking.” (For example, a P.I. cannot illegally enter a property, home, or building, AKA breaking and entering. PINow has an excellent general guide on what private investigators can and cannot do.)
Myth 2: P.I.s only uses Google to find people (AKA: "I could do it myself with a little extra effort!")
I have had countless cases come in with this mentality. When we do background checks or missing person/asset searches, we are not just Googling it. Any Private Investigator worth their salt are licensed professionals who have access to top-quality legal documentation and databases that are not available to the public and restricted to licensed private investigators. Period. We have numerous posts discussing why using online databases not only are not comprehensive, but inaccurate and not kept up-to-date. With that said, even with our databases, getting a full comprehensive report of information on an individual is not going to be achieved just by entering a name and state into a database search. We cross-check information and utilize various resources and strategies, (depending on the case, can include fieldwork such as surveillance and interviewing neighbors) which is not something you can achieve with just a Google search or a cheap online database search service.
Myth 3: Private Investigation is always exciting
Sorry kids, it’s (usually) not like the movies. Don’t get me wrong, I have had cases that have been exciting and taken twists and turns that I never anticipated or could have ever imagined. But to be honest, you will be spending the majority of your time in the office or a surveillance vehicle. To succeed in this field, it’s not just enough to be skilled in the physical work; You need to know how to gather intelligence, assess multiple streams of information, (most of which is digital) write top-notch comprehensive reports, (Reports are no joke and where you will easily spend most of your time. Regardless of what the client does with a report, it must be of a quality that is admissible in court) and conduct intake interviews.
Myth 4: We'll share our war stories with you
As I mentioned in the last myth, our work can get exciting and we do get cases that move in directions we never expected to go from the start. However, don't expect us to share the details with the world. Legitimate private investigators can only succeed by operating on strict confidentiality practices on all cases to protect them and their clients. Failure to maintain confidentiality not only is unethical, but can put our licenses on the line. Which means no, we are not going to hash out the latest cases with you.
Matthew Seifer is the Lead Licensed Private Investigator at Radius Investigations, Registered Armed Guard, and NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Certified Instructor. Seifer is a US Army veteran with over 26 years experience in the private sector. Matthew's specializes in corporate due diligence, TSCM bug sweeps, security services and assessments, and digital forensics
The experience of having a missing friend or a family can be disturbingly distressing. It is understandable to be troubled especially if you shared a close bond with the person that has disappeared. However, panicking in the face of this ordeal will not help the missing person.
Investigating, searching, and tracking down a missing person is not easy. Because of this, it would be wise to get the help of a professional private investigator as they are typically knowledgeable and experienced on the best avenues to follow when searching for a person who has gone missing.
When most people think of a private detective they think of seedy deals in back alleys and someone taking photos of a cheating spouse. But that's the Hollywood version of it. The reality is that a professional private investigator can help with a number of different issues throughout a wide range of areas.
Two perfect examples are vetting and hiring new employees, and assisting in investigating internal employment-related issues.
Turning to a private investigator, especially one skilled in fraud detection and prevention, to help with the hiring and human resources management aspect of running a business could save a business and its customers from being victimized by a "bad" employee.
There are approximately 16 million people living in the New York City/Long Island area. While the majority of them are decent, law-abiding people, some might not be what they appear. As a result, you may need a private investigator to help you protect your business from fraudsters who prey on their employers. Here is a look at how a professional investigator can help:
Employee Background Checks
An employer needs to know that they are hiring the right person for the job because hiring the wrong person for the job can be very costly, especially for smaller businesses. Hiring mistakes have actually led to companies going bankrupt in extreme cases. Every year, a company can lose about 5% of its total revenue to occupational fraud. That's a significant number, and it highlights how important it is to get help. In addition, if a company hires a person without checking their history, and that person later victimizes either employees or customers of the company, the company may well be liable for “negligent hiring.”
- It costs 3 times a position's salary to replace a person hired in that specific position.
- 10% of criminal background checks turn up red flags
- 23% of employment background checks turn up red flags
- 44% of driving records turn up red flags
All of this means that you could be hiring someone who isn't what they say they are. And while, at first, it might seem to be a minor issue, that dishonesty could grow once they're in your employ. Once inside the company, that dishonest employees could access confidential information, systematically steal from the company or its clients, steal trade secrets, and, in the worst cases, cause physical harm to co-workers or customers. A thorough background check can help to lessen those risks by identifying red flags of misconduct or dishonesty before the company, and its employees, are made vulnerable.
Worker's Comp Claims
If a worker is hurt on the job, you're legally required to provide financial assistance to them. However, this is where a tremendous amount of fraud takes place. In fact, a proper background check of a potential employee could reveal repeat instances of worker's comp claims, or a history of filing frivolous lawsuits against previous employers. A private investigator could not only run background checks, but could help determine whether or not a claim is legitimate through surveillance, photographs, social media, and more.
The sad fact is that not everyone is honest, and there is always a chance that one of your employees could take advantage of you. But with the services of a good private detective, you can help protect yourself, your company, your employees, and your customers, and make sure you have the right team working for you.
For any family, the disappearance of a loved one can cause immense emotional and personal turmoil. For missing persons cases, hiring a Private Investigator can be of great benefit in assisting the affected family to find the missing person, or at least develop sufficient information to provide closure.
While it is highly appropriate and necessary for family members to contact the local authorities as soon as there is a suspicion that a person has been abducted or has disappeared under questionable circumstances, individuals do need to remember police response can vary, based on the circumstances and the age of the individual, as well as limited police resources. (more…)