Hiring or using the services provided by a private investigator may sound like something out of the movies, but the truth is that this is a very real profession that is alive and thriving today. Although the actual day to day work looks a lot different for modern day private detectives, their goals are still the same now as they were 50 years ago: they seek to uncover the truth of a situation.
Much of the work that a PI service can provide probably exists more in the cyber world than the real world. Perhaps they are trying to track down a lost person, or trying to verify someone is who they say that they are through a background check. In the past, it was likely that this kind of work would mean that the investigator would have to do a lot of leg work – and today they would still have to do that work as well – but in the past that leg work was more about physical work and travel whereas now many of the small details that they are trying to track down can be done from their office. A lot of it still requires a lot of time and patience and in some cases money, but just because the work that they are doing looks a lot different now than it did before the internet does not mean that they are working any less hard. It also does not mean that they are doing work that any person with a computer and some internet access could do.
Let’s take a look at the example mentioned above about trying to find a lost person. Perhaps this person is a runaway or a conman, or perhaps they are someone that disappeared with no reason. No matter what the reason is that someone is trying to track down another person, it does not matter. What matters is that they are trying to find someone and a private investigator is the person that can help them do that. Before, they might have driven to their home and gone through their mail and correspondence, talked to their neighbors and family members, tried to track down their bank accounts or maybe even attempt to locate their car. Today, a private investigator might still do some of that, but they will do it all online. They will track their car by using their license plate number. If they can they will check with private security cameras and highway cameras to see if the car was spotted anywhere. They would trace all of their credit and debit card transactions to pinpoint their location. They might even be able to use their cell phone to find their location by tracing which cell towers their phone is bouncing off of.
A modern private investigator tries to do many of these things and more in order to find out where a person is at a given time, or at the very least to eliminate where that person absolutely can’t be.