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Frequently Asked Questions of Private Investigators

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FAQ’s | private Investigators

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions section, where we address common inquiries from individuals who are new to hiring a private investigator. Many of our callers are navigating this process for the first time, often influenced by depictions in the media. We understand that you may have questions such as: Is hiring a PI legal? Can you track my spouse? Can you hack a cell phone or social media? Explore the answers to these and more below.

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Frequently Asked Questions of Private investigators and their services:

Q: What Can a private Investigator do?

Over the past few months, prospective clients have reached out to us with additional questions – primarily surrounding the legality of certain services and the restrictions of private investigators. While some services can be done, they shouldn’t always be done either due to legal or ethical restrictions. Paramount Investigative Services utilizes every possible resource to quickly and efficiently resolve your case – however, we will not undertake cases that are irresponsible, or that simply do not have a solid enough background to act upon.

Q: Am I being Stalked?

With numerous individuals contacting us thinking they’re being stalked or tracked, the reality is that the majority of Los Angeles residents calling regarding this belief fall under one of two categories:

  • 1: You’re simply not important enough to be stalked and/or have nothing of value for a stalker.
  • 2: You know exactly why you’re being “stalked”, only the stalker is the police and instead of being stalked you’re being investigated.

To determine whether or not Paramount Investigative Services can handle your case, consider the following answers to common questions about private investigators!

Q: What is a private investigator?

A private investigator is a professional hired to gather information and conduct investigations for private individuals, corporations, and attorneys. They use a variety of techniques, such as surveillance, background checks, and data analysis, to uncover information and provide their clients with the answers they seek.

Q: What kind of cases do private investigators take?

Private investigators can handle a wide range of cases, including infidelity investigations, missing person cases, background checks, corporate fraud investigations, and more. They are often hired to gather information and evidence for divorce or child custody cases, and to investigate potential insurance fraud.

Q: I suspect my spouse is cheating and what can I do?

If you suspect your spouse is cheating, it’s important to approach the situation with care and consider all options before taking any action. Talk to your spouse, Gather Evidence with a private investigator, lastly, Consider counseling.

Q: Can private investigators hack phones?

No. Hacking a phone or laptop without the device physically present is not only extremely difficult, but illegal. Even with the device present, hacking into a phone or computer is still an illegal act and breach or privacy. Private investigators can tell you if your phone has been hacked or not, but we cannot actively obtain and hack into a subject’s phone or computer.

Q: Can private detectives track phones?

Yes and no – while private investigators can scour social media and various tracking methods to pinpoint an individual’s location, hacking into a phone for an active GPS location is illegal. However, this doesn’t mean a private investigator can’t find the person you’re looking for – check out our locate services to learn more!

Q: What services do private investigators provide?

Private investigators offer a wide range of services, including but not limited to: background checks, surveillance, locating missing persons, investigation of fraud and white-collar crime, and gathering evidence for legal cases. Some PI’s also specialize in specific areas such as computer forensics, infidelity investigations, or corporate investigations.

Q: How can I hire a private investigator?

Hiring a private investigator starts with researching potential candidates and checking their credentials, such as licensing and insurance. You can ask for referrals from friends, family, or lawyers, or search online for local investigators. Once you have a list of potential investigators, you should schedule a consultation to discuss your specific needs and the investigator’s experience and approach to the case. It is important to have a clear understanding of the costs and services before hiring a PI. This is a video of our most popular question “5 Tips on How to Hire a Private Investigator” or if you prefer see our “Ultimate Guide on how to hire a Private Investigator

It is legal for private investigators to follow someone in many countries, as long as they are conducting their activities within the bounds of the law and do not engage in any illegal actions such as trespassing, illegal surveillance, or harassment. The specific laws regarding private investigators and their activities vary by jurisdictions. It is also worth noting that private investigators may be subject to additional regulations or restrictions if they are working on behalf of a client, such as a private party surveillance (infidelity investigations), business, or law firm.

Q: What should I do if a private investigator is following me?

First, consider why a private investigator may be following you – Insurance Claims? Cheating your business partner? Cheating on your spouse? If not, it’s likely you’re paranoid.

Q: How do private investigators get information?

Private investigators use a variety of methods to gather information, ranging from online database searches to field surveillance. Depending on the case and the client’s budget, a private investigator will determine what resources to use in order to acquire the most clear, concise and efficient evidence possible.

Q: Can a private investigator put a GPS tracker on my car?

Depending on state and local law, it can be legal for a private investigator to place a GPS tracker on your car. In Los Angeles and all of California, it’s completely legal to place a GPS tracker on a car with your name on the title. To catch cheating spouses, we frequently place GPS trackers on shared vehicles.

Q: What can private investigators legally do?

Legally, private investigators can do everything from placing GPS trackers to using drones for surveillance. While there are some “grey areas” and unethical investigators may flirt with services that are less-than-legal, most cases private investigators encounter can be completed with relative ease by staying within the confines of the law. The laws and regulations surrounding private investigators vary by jurisdiction, but most states have laws governing the activities of private investigators, including restrictions on the types of information that can be collected and how it can be obtained. It is important to research the specific laws and regulations in your area before hiring a private investigator.

Q: Can a private investigator get bank account information?

Private investigators can get some banking info: Name, Address, account type and often times balances. Anything else would be illegally obtained; subject’s bank account information. To collect more information you would need a subpoena or direct consent of the account holder.

Q: As an employer, Can I investigate my employees?

Yes. Not only can you legally investigate your employees, but it is often in your best interest to do so in the event of a workers’ compensation claim. With insurance scams, injury scams, and career scammers becoming increasingly commonplace across Los Angeles (and the nation), hiring a private investigator near you to investigate nearly every workers’ compensation claim is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the potential losses your business may face in the event their claim is upheld and undisputed.

Q: Can I dispute my employee’s workers’ compensation claim?

Yes. Not only can you dispute your employee’s workers’ compensation claim, if there’s even a hint of doubt, you absolutely should. Many of these individuals go to great lengths to furnish a believable story, and commit to the act necessary to land them a substantial payday. Ask yourself: how long would you sit in a wheelchair, wear a back brace, grimace, if you knew at the end of case you’d walk away with a payout? While wildly unethical and something many of us would never even consider, there’s thousands out there who wouldn’t hesitate for a second to enact this plan.

Yes, in most cases. If you suspect infidelity, you can legally follow your spouse, or place a GPS tracker on a vehicle that you own (but they’re using). While this method can be useful to gather initial information on whether or not your spouse is cheating on you, we recommend turning to a professional private investigator in Los Angeles to avoid drawing undue attention. We’re usually capable of determining whether or not your spouse is cheating on you quite quickly – sometimes even without any surveillance at all. Give us a call today to speak with an investigator to learn more about the legality of GPS trackers, the approach of our cheating spouse investigations in LA, and whether or not we consider an investigation necessary.

Q: Are private investigator’s findings admissible in court?

This question is the cornerstone of our entire business: will the evidence we gather be enough? Luckily, due to our experience, we know exactly what will and what won’t hold up in court, as well as the limitations of evidence submitted to court. Our gathered evidence, when coupled with a qualified attorney, typically produces favorable results. If you case has any legitimacy, trust us to gather the hard evidence required to prove yourself in court!

Q: Is it worth it to hire a private investigator?

This question requires a more complex answer. Private investigators can be seen as an extension of insurance. We’re capable of providing hard evidence, and standing as an expert witness in court if necessary. At Paramount Investigative Services, we discuss the entirety of your case with you prior to beginning our work – this way, we’re able to tell you whether or not you even need our services to begin with. While we’re happy to work with you to uncover additional information, we’re not interested in taking your money for cases that we know won’t lead anywhere. Honesty is essential when working with a PI, and at PIS, we’re completely committed to upholding our reputation as trustworthy and straightforward.

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Contact Info
Downtown Los Angeles Location:

633 W 5th St 26FL
Los Angeles, CA 90072

Phone: (213) 733-3333

Hours of Operations: 24/7

Sun9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Mon9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Thu9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM-5:00 PM
(Our front office/phone hours are 9-5pm)


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Ken Childs

Author Consultant

Paramount Investigative Services Inc. is a highly reputable private investigation agency based in Los Angeles, boasting over 25 years of experience in the field. Founded and led by expert witness and author Ken Childs, the agency offers a comprehensive range of investigative services to clients, including insurance fraud detection, infidelity investigations, background checks, and legal support for attorneys. With a proven track record and a commitment to professionalism, Paramount Investigative Services Inc. stands out as a trusted choice for individuals, businesses, and legal professionals seeking reliable and discreet investigative solutions in Los Angeles.