Posts

We Asked 40 P.I.s “What Camera Is In Your Bag?” Here Are Their Answers

How to Hire a Private Investigator: The 12 Basic Questions You Should Ask

Old School vs. New School

REVISED: You can’t succeed as a private eye if you’re not constantly learning. Ditch some of your old school ways and find the new stuff!

I’m A Private Eye Looking For A Stealthy Ride For $20,000! What Car Should I Buy?

I’m a private investigator and I need a new car.

But, I hate car shopping.

So, I asked my fellow bloggers and auto junkies at Jalopnik, “What Car Should I Buy?”

It’s a weekly segment they do: these dudes (NOT SALESMEN) help REAL people find ACTUAL vehicles for sale.

And then they hilariously write about it.

Check out their advice for me.

“Adam is a private investigator who spends hours behind the wheel getting the scoop and tracking bad guys. He needs a ride that is good for work and family, something that can blend in but still looks professional. What car should he buy?

Unlike Magnum P.I., Adam doesn’t work in Hawaii, and for him to nab the bad guys, stealth, patience, and diligence are key. Therefore, he needs one that he can spend a lot of time in, but won’t be noticed easily.

Here is the scenario:

I’m a private investigator and business owner who needs both a surveillance vehicle for tracking down bad guys out in the field, but one that also doubles as respectable business owner’s ride for when I pull up to sales calls and client meetings. My current SUV (a 2006 GMC Envoy Denali) is at 200,000 miles and like any one at that mileage, needs to be replaced.

I’ve got a budget of about $20,000 and the biggest thing is this car must be unremarkable. It’s got to blend in. No sports cars, nothing weird or funky. Also, in addition to hauling my gear, I use the car to tote my family around to events and such so it needs to be practical as well.”

Tell me which one I should BUY in the COMMENTS below!!

Click here to read the full story: http://jalopnik.com/im-a-private-eye-looking-for-a-stealthy-ride-for-20-00-1793549299

Which one should I buy? Reply in the comments!

  1. 2013 Toyota Siena
  2. 2016 Chrysler Town and County
  3. Toyota Avalon
  4. 2013 Suzuki Kizashi
  5. 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited
  6. Ford Mustang

The 13 Essential Qualities You Want When Hiring a Private Eye

So you Googled “private investigator” and found a handful of web pages that look like they haven’t been updated since 1995. On one site, a guy was even wearing a trenchcoat and fedora. Ugh…NEXT!

You’ve never hired a private eye, so you have no clue what qualities to look for. But some of the bios sound promising. Former law enforcement? Sure, that’s nice. A college degree? Great. Years of experience? Excellent!

But what about the stuff you can’t include in a resume? What intangibles make a good private investigator great?

After working for a decade with some of the world’s best private eyes, I came up with some answers. Read more

What Does Gravitas Mean?

There is a stigma attached to private investigators. Most of it was created by Hollywood, but a few rotten apples continue to give our line of work a bad reputation.

You know them, they’re the ones that toe the line or sometimes cross it. 

That line is the law. That line is ethics. That line is morality.  Read more

100+ Things a Private Investigator Can Do For You

When you get asked what you do for a living, do you answer with an elevator pitch?

Ahhh, the old elevator pitch. You know, that quick spiel describing what you do, for whom you do it, and how it is valuable to others. We’ve all got one, right?

But, when I tell someone what I do, it had better be a long elevator ride. Because, with only 30 seconds, it is nearly impossible to list everything I can do for my clients. Every private investigator has this same problem.

That’s why I put together a list of 100+ things that a private investigator can do for you. Each one is valuable. For now, it’s the best elevator pitch we have. Read more

10 Browser Extensions to Unleash Your Inner Spy

Let’s face it, keeping up with technology is tough. It’s a part-time job just trying to follow the latest iPhone updates let alone browser extensions. Lost in the shuffle of the endless barrage of new gadgets is our anonymity, and sometimes, our privacy. Nowadays, every click or page view is systematically monitored. Worse, we don’t even know it’s happening.

So, what can the average person do?

For starters, you can stay ahead of the game by understanding the array of tools out there and what they do.

We all have a web browser; there are multiple versions available like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc (or god forbid, Internet Explorer) that help you access the internet. Browser extensions are downloadable attachments that increase the functionality of your web browser. Simply put, extensions improve your internet experience. But they can also stop spies from accessing your personal information.

With so many gizmos out there this post is far from comprehensive, but we went ahead and collected a few tools you can install today, for free. Here are ten browser extensions that will heighten your counterespionage awareness:

Online Profile Resources

  1. Rapportive is a browser plugin that allows you to view LinkedIn profiles right in Gmail. It gives you a profile picture, social media info, job title, mutual connections – all alongside your inbox. 

rapportive spy tools extension

Picture Resource Extensions

2. Google Image Search and TinEye are reverse image searching plugins. Crucial for when you need to know if a profile picture is fake, especially if you suspect you’re being Catfished. Simply right-click on a picture to see if it’s been used elsewhere.

tineye plugin screenshot

3. PictureMate helps you find hidden pictures on Facebook (and you don’t even have to be friends). This extension pulls pictures from Facebook friends in which the person you’re viewing has been tagged.

Email Tracking Extensions

There are handfuls of email tracking services out there; some attached to customer relations management (CRM) software and others are simpler. But for the most part, they all do the same thing: track when, where, and with what device you’ve opened an email. Here are several examples:

4. HubSpot Sales (formerly Sidekick) gives you desktop notifications when the emails you send get opened or clicked in real time.

hubspot sales sidekick

5. Bananatag sends notifications to Gmail when a contact opens your email or clicks a link.

bananatag__email_tracking__scheduling__templates___attachment_tracking

6. MailTrack tells you who opens your emails with a double green “read” checkmark.

Mail track plugin

7. Yesware lets you check email open and reply rates, link clicks, attachment opens and presentation pageviews. 

8. Streak notifies you when your emails get read, when, and how many times your email was opened.

Email Tracking Countermeasures

9. UglyEmail is a Gmail extension to check if your email is being tracked. Every tracked email is marked with the “evil eye” so you can easily identify them.

ugly email gmail extension

10. PixelBlock is a Gmail extension that blocks email tracking attempts used to detect when you open/read emails. PixelBlock displays a ‘red eye’ when it finds and blocks a tracking attempt inside of an email you’re reading.

What Next?

Now that you understand what’s out there and how users of tools like these can track your email habits, online profiles, and hidden info – be careful. The next step is to check the privacy settings of your various profiles, better manage your online information, and institute strict email practices.

What tools do you use to stop people from unnecessarily invading your privacy? Share a tip in the comments below.

title ten best private detective films

The Ten Best Private Detective Feature Films of All Time [Infographic]

Do you think you’re a film buff?

How about a private detective film buff??

We’ve done the excruciating research by gathering movies from the private detective genre, watching them diligently (okay, maybe it wasn’t so excruciating), and compiling a list of ten of our favorite private detective films of all time (plus some honorable mentions and modern versions).

Take a look at our list and see how it stacks up against yours. Or watch one to escape into another world. Enjoy!

[Click infographic to enlarge.]

The ten best private detective feature films

 

Are You Prepared to Be an Expert Witness? (Podcast)

Whether you are in a court of law, an administrative hearing or a civil deposition, providing testimony is not an easy matter. It requires knowledge of your topic at the very least, but it also requires confidence as well as authenticity.

Depositions are an integral part of the legal discovery process and are not to be taken lightly. It is the “other side’s” opportunity to gather information and do as much damage to the opponent’s case as possible. Often the success of the case for the prevailing party rises or falls on the results of a deposition.

“Take the initiative to get on the same page with your lawyer rather than waiting for them to suggest it.” – Francie Koehler

Francie Koehler, host of PI’s Declassified! radio show and a longtime private investigator and I talk about this important topic in her latest episode. I share my deposition experiences and the key elements I use to make sure my testimony is well received.

Listen to the podcast here:

Francie Koehler, CPI, CCDI (@specialcirz) is the host of PI’s Declassified!, a radio show lets you listen in as authentic private investigators discuss their real-life cases. Every week, private detectives (like me) spill the beans, — discussing investigator specialties that you wouldn’t even imagine exist! You’ll hear stories about lies and false confessions… tracking down missing persons… forensics… workplace violence… innocent people freed from prison… human trafficking… and other tantalizing cases. Tune in every Thursday 12PM Eastern Time and 9 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

How do you prepare for depositions or when giving testimony? Let me know in the comments below.