The world of private investigation is often shrouded in mystery and intrigue, thanks in part to its portrayal in movies, TV shows, and novels. However, the reality of private investigators (PIs) is quite different from the fictional versions we often encounter. In this post, we’re going to debunk some of the most common misconceptions and myths about private investigators and shed light on the real work we do.

#1: Private Investigators are Former Law Enforcement Officers

One of the most common myths is that all private investigators are former police officers or detectives. While it’s true that some PIs do come from a law enforcement background (like EyesOn PI), many others bring diverse skill sets to the profession. EyesOn PI employs investigators and other support staff from very diverse backgrounds. Although EyesOn PI is one of the exceptions to this myth with numerous retired/active duty police officers on our team, we also have many investigators and other staff who come from other (often unexpected) backgrounds. To name a few, the EyesOn PI team comes from fields such as accounting, animal welfare, information technology, power companies and retail services. An exceptional PI does not have to have any law enforcement experience at all, but this knowledge and experience can be highly beneficial for their clientele. A PI firm that is intimately familiar with applicable laws, criminal and civil procedure, and the rules of evidence is often able to produce unmatched results in their cases… Results that were obtained lawfully and ethically with expert-level documentation.

#2: Private Investigators Have Unlimited Access to Information and/or Law Enforcement Authority

Contrary to popular belief, private investigators do not have unrestricted access to confidential databases or classified information and we do not enforce the law. We must adhere to strict legal and ethical guidelines when conducting research and gathering information, and must never represent ourselves to have any form of law enforcement authority. PIs must obtain information through legal means and follow all laws, just like anyone else. We use things like public records, online research, surveillance, technology, and our investigative skills to uncover facts relevant to our cases.

#3: Private Investigators Always Wear Disguises

While disguises might make for exciting scenes in movies, they are not an integral part of a private investigator’s toolkit. Chances are, you will never see a real-life PI wearing a trench coat and a top hat. In fact, you’ve probably seen (and failed to notice) dozens of PIs throughout your life. Most of our work involves blending in and remaining inconspicuous. Disguises can attract unwanted attention and compromise the investigation. Instead, private investigators focus on adapting to different environments and using our observational skills to gather information discreetly.

#4: Private Investigators Only Investigate Criminal Cases

Another common misconception is that private investigators exclusively handle criminal cases. In reality, private investigators are hired to investigate a wide range of matters, including infidelity suspicions, corporate fraud, insurance claims, missing persons, and more. Our versatility allows us to assist individuals, businesses, and legal professionals in various situations.

#5: Private Investigators Work Alone

While movies often depict lone wolf private investigators, the truth is that many investigations require a collaborative approach. Depending on the complexity of the case, we often work alongside other investigators, legal experts, and technology specialists to gather and analyze information effectively. Teamwork enables us to pool their skills and resources for a more comprehensive investigation. EyesOn PI’s current team consists of over a dozen investigators that all specialize in something different. Some are insurance experts, others conduct amazing surveillance operations. Some are cyber investigators and digital forensics experts, others specialize in death investigations. Our diverse team creates a unique PI firm – one that is able to handle any case confidently and properly.

#6: Private Investigators Always Engage in Covert Operations

Surveillance and covert operations are just one aspect of a private investigator’s work. In reality, a significant portion of our job involves research, analysis, and documentation. We spend hours reviewing documents, records, and digital data to build a coherent picture of the situation. These behind-the-scenes activities are crucial for constructing accurate and actionable insights.

In conclusion, the world of private investigation is far more complex than the Hollywood portrayal we often encounter. Private investigators come from diverse backgrounds, rely on legal and ethical practices, and perform a wide range of tasks beyond the dramatic action sequences depicted on screen. By dispelling these common misconceptions, we hope you may gain a deeper appreciation for the vital role private investigators play in uncovering the truth and helping individuals and businesses find closure.