What does a Private Detective and Investigator do?

Gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.

Jobs Roles

  • Write reports or case summaries to document investigations.
  • Search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax or legal filings, or other resources to locate persons or to compile information for investigations.
  • Obtain and analyze information on suspects, crimes, or disturbances to solve cases, to identify criminal activity, or to gather information for court cases.
  • Conduct private investigations on a paid basis.
  • Testify at hearings or court trials to present evidence.
  • Question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons or information about individuals' character or financial status.
  • Observe and document activities of individuals to detect unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases, using binoculars and still or video cameras.
  • Alert appropriate personnel to suspects' locations.
  • Perform undercover operations, such as evaluating the performance or honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees.
  • Investigate companies' financial standings or locate funds stolen by embezzlers, using accounting skills.
  • Expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds.
  • Confer with establishment officials, security departments, police, or postal officials to identify problems, provide information, or receive instructions.
  • Apprehend suspects and release them to law enforcement authorities or security personnel.
  • Count cash and review transactions, sales checks, or register tapes to verify amounts or to identify shortages.
  • Warn troublemakers causing problems on establishment premises and eject them from premises when necessary.
  • Monitor industrial or commercial properties to enforce conformance to establishment rules and to protect people or property.
  • Conduct personal background investigations, such as pre-employment checks, to obtain information about an individual's character, financial status, or personal history.
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