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The Private Investigators Guide to Tracking People

The Private Investigators Guide to Tracking People

The Private Investigators Guide to Tracking People covers many important topics, from Principles of surveillance to Methods and Legal Requirements. It also covers resources and the use of surveillance in legal matters. This ebook has been designed to help private investigators prepare for the mandatory Private Investigator Test. However, it is not a complete training manual and should not replace formal training.

Principles of surveillance

As a private investigator, you must adhere to certain principles regarding surveillance. The first principle involves being discreet. You cannot reveal your presence or be too close to the subject. In addition, you must avoid trespassing on private property. You must also keep a vigilant eye on changing situations, like rush hour traffic or congested areas. Different situations require different techniques and methods. By practicing this principle, you will be able to increase the quality of surveillance.

The use of surveillance is a highly sought-after service in the private investigation industry today, and investigators should be skilled in various forms of surveillance. Here are a few different types of surveillance: passive surveillance, active surveillance, and digital surveillance. The first two are a good way to gather valuable information. The latter includes checking social media accounts and digital devices for public activity.

Surveillance methods used by private investigators vary depending on the type of investigation. A worker’s compensation investigation may be different than surveillance used for a spouse’s custody dispute. During surveillance, the investigator records photographic and video evidence. This documentation serves as tangible evidence in court. However, the investigator must ensure that the subject is unaware that they are being observed. The investigator may also employ GPS tracking methods to track a subject’s movement.

Surveillance techniques include interviewing individuals, including suspects and witnesses. It may also involve using a camera or concealed vehicle to capture the action. Video footage should be time-stamped for court use. The video should be shot in high resolution for a clear picture. This is important for evidence.

A private investigator should be familiar with the laws governing surveillance and report writing. This means that the investigator must know how to properly collect, preserve, and present admissible evidence. It is important for private investigators to be knowledgeable about the Ontario Evidence Act. After all, they will be asked to testify in court as witnesses in some instances.


Private Investigators can perform a comprehensive investigation involving all sorts of methods, from canvassing neighborhoods to talking to those who may have relevant information. They can also conduct background checks on their target individuals, and even use surveillance. Although their methods are often invasive, they must follow the law and do not violate privacy laws. Otherwise, they would be conducting the same type of activity as government agencies.

Private Investigators are able to track down people who do not want to be found. By putting together the bits of information obtained through extensive background research, they can piece together clues and locate their targets. Once they have obtained enough information, they will begin surveillance to find their target. There are many different reasons a person might not want to be tracked down.

The use of GPS tracking units has changed the way private investigators operate. These GPS devices allow PIs to follow the movements of a subject without leaving their car or office. The GPS devices are tiny and can be attached to nearly anything. They then transmit data back to the investigator’s computer, which generates real-time location insights. The GPS devices use information from satellites orbiting the earth and a scientific process called trilateration to pinpoint a location. This technology was originally used by the military but has now become commonplace.

Another method used by private investigators to track people is surveillance. Surveillance is the bread and butter work of private investigators. By following a person without them knowing, they can report their findings to their clients. In addition to surveillance, they can use GPS trackers to monitor a target’s activities from their office.

Whether you’re conducting a private investigation for personal reasons or for a business, you must follow certain legal and ethical guidelines. These rules govern the types of data that private investigators may collect. For example, investigators may not harass the subject or trespass on their property. They also cannot hack or impersonate records. They may also not use unethical practices, such as obtaining information for personal use or non-investigation purposes.

A private investigator may also carry firearms, if the law permits it. They are also legally required to present their findings to their clients and to the court. This may involve collecting evidence to validate their findings. They may also need to track down a person’s whereabouts, which can be a tedious task. A professional investigator will have the knowledge and expertise to obtain the necessary information about the subject.

In addition, private investigators cannot enter private property illegally, and may need consent to do so. While there are some exceptions, such as process servers in Illinois, private investigators may not enter a residence or business without permission. They may also not trespass by breaking a lock or forcing entry. Likewise, they cannot tamper with mail.

Other legal responsibilities of private investigators include checking public records and databases and performing background inquiries. Some private investigators are also capable of doing undercover work, which is an investigative technique that involves working undetected. This is sometimes necessary when other investigative techniques have failed. Undercover techniques include surveillance and electronic surveillance. Physical surveillance can involve collecting discarded items and personal observation.

Private investigators are not allowed to monitor or wiretap phone conversations without the consent of the subject. While they are legally permitted to monitor a person’s location, they must obtain permission before using the information. This is especially true if the subject is unattended. Additionally, they cannot access the suspect’s home unless they have given them their permission.

Private investigators must be licensed in their province to operate. The application process involves rigorous training and a criminal background check. In addition, private investigators must work through an investigative agency that is registered under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005. They must also have liability insurance and bonding.


PIs spend considerable amounts of time searching databases, compiling data, and creating reports for their clients. In today’s digitally-fueled world, there are hundreds of free and paid resources available. The best private investigator resources are authoritative, reliable, and user-friendly. Google searches are a great place to start, but they rarely yield the most accurate information. Professional investigators need to go above and beyond the general search information to provide their clients with a complete and accurate report.

Digital research databases, including databases maintained by TransUnion, contain billions of records on people across the world. They are often invaluable for private investigators conducting missing person or corporate investigations. Some databases, such as Tracers Info, also offer free searches of court and criminal records. Regardless of which resource you choose, make sure to plan your investigation well before you begin.

A GPS tracker is a fantastic way to follow people or track their movements. A GPS device can easily be mounted on a vehicle and will send its location to a host server, which allows you to get details of where the person is traveling. If you need to follow a person without being seen, you can also purchase a GPS scanner.

Private investigators also use different methods to track people who don’t want to be found. They can check public and business records and talk to people who may have useful information about the person. They may even use surveillance, which is one of the most effective ways to verify information. This type of surveillance can be done on the phone or even on a moving vehicle. However, it is important to use legal methods and not break any privacy laws. Otherwise, government agencies would be conducting the same kind of activity.

There are two types of databases used for private investigators and public databases. Online databases pull information from public records, but may lack information about a specific person.

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