In society at large, there’s a rather narrow definition of what a private investigator is. In tandem with that, there are a fair amount of misconceptions about what private investigators do. A lot of this has to do with a lack of information and their prevalent presence in media. Fiction of all sorts often includes protagonists that are private investigators or engage in investigatory activity.
So it is quite common for most people to be unaware of just how many different types of private investigators there are. There are a plethora of different specializations that private investigators can take. That is to say, that their training can be just as varied as the amount of specializations there are. Not to mention, that different backgrounds in different industries would benefit different types of specializations.
For example, working as an attorney could have many transferable skills to private investigation specializing in court procedures. Whereas having worked in insurance or as a detective might lend itself better to someone interested in becoming an insurance fraud investigator.
What types of PIs are there?
As many types of private investigators as there may be, there are a few that are commonly known. For instance, insurance investigators, computer forensics, legal/criminal defence, corporate investigators, financial, civil/domestic, loss prevention/store/hotel investigators and so on.
Below is a more extensive list of lesser-known specializations private investigators can take:
- Wrongful death: In some cases, it can be very difficult to prove fault, these types of investigators can be helpful in discerning what might have happened. They aid in building a case with solid evidence.
- Worker’s compensation: This kind of investigation is strongly related to fraud investigation
- Trial prep: a legal investigator engages in trial preparation with attorneys. They help with preparation for a criminal defense case, compiling and prepping evidence, interviewing witnesses, and so on. They might even perform background checks on witnesses to assure their reliability and to avoid any unwanted surprises.
- Social media: One might think this wouldn’t be a whole specialization of its own. However, there has been a steady increase in catfishing cases which has resulted in a higher demand for this kind of investigation.
- Mystery shopper: These kinds of investigators specialize in helping businesses avoid losses due to theft, fraud, or poor unsupervized employee performance.
Fraud, Family and Accidents
- Fraud: Many cases involving fraud involve insurance, fraud investigators focus on determining whether someone’s insurance claims are legitimate or not. Companies often request these services in order to avoid losses for themselves and by proxy, their clients since cases such as these often result in these companies having to raise their prices. Financial fraud is also a common type of investigatory service that PIs specialize in.
- Child custody: These types of investigators are most often hired by individuals. They may perform this kind of investigation to make sure there is no misconduct on the part of a particular parent. At times they may also come in to discern who might be the best party to leave the child with.
- Accident reconstruction: This kind of work is often performed by crime labs for larger cases. A private investigator on the other hand might look deeper into a specific accident or crime. This could help them ascertain who was truly at fault, if anyone and uncover the further accuracy from the event.
As is evident, the specializations a private investigator can take vary tremendously. We are only scratching the surface here. If you find yourself in need of a licensed private investigator and their particular set of skills, please feel free to call us. Or simply click on this link to get in contact with one of our team members.