Want to Know How P.I.s Stay Undetected?
Wanna know how private investigators stay undetected?
How can you watch someone’s every move without ever being spotted?
I’ve spent nearly 20 years perfecting the art of remaining unseen. (I also spent four years preparing for this role back in high school, where many people did not even know that I existed. Yeah, that’s right. It was my choice not to be popular.)
Technique #1: Mastering Disguises
You’ve seen an exaggerated version of this in movies, but we’re not all like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, creating realistic masks and changing our voices, yet. (Deepfake A.I. is already here)
A more modest version of disguises are actually a useful skill for real-life private investigators. We use various accessories and clothing items to blend in seamlessly with our surroundings and the people in the area and to help us remain unnoticed while observing our targets.
You’d be surprised at how effective a simple change in appearance can be. You don’t have to go crazy here on the level of your disguise.
It’s better to blend in and be the “gray man,” rather than attempt to go wild, in order to avoid standing out.
Technique #2: Strategic Positioning
Choosing the right spot to observe your subject is essential. We often use our surveillance vehicles for cover. We’re usually sitting in our cars, parking at a distance with a clear view of the subject’s location, if we can get it.
Since the goal of just about any stakeout is to get as much legal video of your target as possible without losing them or getting burned, where you set up your surveillance is a huge factor.
Conducting a pre-surveillance assessment is important. That includes knowing not only the layout of the residence or building you’re working on, but also the vehicles involved, the windows in the house, the owner of the property, and so much more.
Technique #3: Advanced Surveillance
Tools We utilize technology to our advantage, using long-range cameras, hidden cameras, covert cameras, unmanned cameras, night vision, and even drones to gather information without being detected.
These tools allow us to monitor subjects from a distance and when up close and personal, reducing the risk of being spotted. But remember, using these tools comes with a responsibility and caveat to respect people’s privacy and stay within the boundaries of the law.
Lastly, you can get as close to the target as you want, if you just pretend to be one of those people who hands out flyers on the sidewalk. No one ever makes eye contact with them or acknowledges them.
Those are just a few of the secrets we use to stay undetected as private investigators. It’s a fascinating world, and with practice and skill, you can learn to observe without being observed.