Private Investigators: Services and Work Limitations


Watching crime movies will give you hint on what can a private investigators do; however, in real life, there are certain limitations to the work that they can do. Just like in the movies or TV shows, private investigators can conduct surveillance on individuals or vehicles. But can they really do all private works? Let’s find out as we know more about private investigators.

What is a private Investigator?

A private investigator, also called a PI or private detective, gathers information to help solve legal, financial, and personal problems. Clients hire PIs when they suspect cheating spouses, theft in the workplace, fraud, missing persons cases, child custody disputes, and more.

Private Investigator Services

Most private investigators offer a variety of services, but some specialize in certain areas. For example, some PIs conduct surveillance to gather evidence of infidelity or theft, while others may specialize in computer forensics or background checks. 

Common services offered by PIs include:


Surveillance is one of the services that PIs are most commonly hired to do. This involves following someone, often a cheating spouse, and documenting their movements and activities.

Background checks

Background checks are another common service offered by PIs. This involves researching someone’s history, including criminal records, employment history, and credit reports.

Computer forensics

Computer forensics is the process of retrieving and analyzing data from computers and other electronic devices. PIs who specialize in computer forensics may be hired to recover data that has been deleted or lost, as well as to investigate cases of cybercrime.

Fraud investigation

Fraud investigation is another area of specialization for some PIs. This may involve investigating insurance fraud, identity theft,

GPS tracking

GPS tracking is a service that PIs can offer to clients who suspect that someone is following them or their vehicle. This involves placing a GPS tracker on a car or person and then monitoring their movements.

Investigation of insurance fraud

PIs can also do investigations of insurance fraud. This may involve looking into suspicious claims or trying to catch people who are committing insurance fraud.

Investigation of missing persons

They can also investigate how people go missing. PIs may be hired to find missing persons, as well as to investigate cases of kidnapping.

Work Limitations

While private investigators can do a lot to help their clients, there are some limitations to the work that they can do. For example, PIs cannot:

Carry a gun

PIs in the United States are not allowed to carry guns. This is because carrying a gun would give them the authority to make an arrest, which they do not have.

Make an arrest

PIs also cannot make arrests. Only law enforcement officers have the authority to make an arrest. If a PI sees someone committing a crime, they would have to call the police.

Hack into someone’s computer

PIs also cannot hack into someone’s computer or phone without their permission. This is a form of cybercrime and would be illegal.

Enter a person’s home without their permission

PIs also cannot enter a person’s home or business without their permission. This would be considered trespassing and would be illegal.

Get information from the IRS

The IRS does not give out information to private citizens, so PIs cannot get information from them.

Work without a license

In most states, PIs must have a license to work. To get a license, PIs must pass a background check and usually have to take a class on investigation techniques.

When to hire a private investigator?

If you think that someone is following you or your car,

If you are considering hiring someone and want to do a background check,

If you are the victim of identity theft or insurance fraud,

If you think that your computer has been hacked,

If you suspect that your spouse is cheating on you,

If you are trying to find a missing person.


Private investigators are a valuable resource for people who need help investigating crimes or gathering evidence. While there are some limitations to what they can do, PIs can provide a wide range of services to their clients. If you think that you need the help of a private investigator, be sure to hire one who is licensed and experienced. Talk to Experts Expert Investigators, they offer wide range of services. Visit their website


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