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If there will be an award as to what profession has inspired the most TV shows, movies, and novels, no doubt the runaway winner would be a Private Detective. Peter Falk became famous because of his portrayal of a private detective in the show “Columbo,” and so as Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum of “Magnum P.I.” Perhaps, the most famous fictional private detective is Sherlock Holmes, who exudes brilliant deductive reasoning and sharp observation skills to solve the most difficult cases.
Private Detectives, though, portrayed to solve crimes, which are really the police’s job, are persons who can be commissioned to make investigations. More often, private investigators are hired by lawyers handling mostly civil cases like divorce, custody and alimony case proceedings, and sometimes in criminal cases too. In divorce and child custody cases, private detectives are commissioned to get pictures of either party in a compromising position like the husband or wife getting out of a casino, getting in a motel or hotel with another man or woman or anything that would give the client added weapons in winning the case.
Insurance companies also hire private detectives to investigate suspicious claims. Making sure that reported incidents are double checked is enough to make a private detective busy with so many claims being filed. Usual insurance frauds appear in the form of forged documents. Forged death certificates, forged IDs and forged special power of attorneys are enough to cash in insurance claims. Especially if there is a large amount of money involved, double checking these documents and making sure if the death of the supposed to be dead did really happen would be a cinch for a veteran private detective.
When not in league with lawyers and insurance companies, Private Detectives’ offices are swarmed by husbands and wives who would just like to make sure that their partners are seeing someone else behind their back. Private detectives are also oftentimes asked to track down persons who have gone into hiding due to large amounts of debts.
More often, Private Detective agencies tend to specialize in what kind of surveillance or service they offer. Many agencies are involved only in serving and delivering summons, subpoenas and other legal documents to the different parties involved in a legal case. Some private investigators only work with corporations who have intellectual properties and trade secrets to protect. With crimes also happening in the computer, there are now Private Detectives who specialize in computer forensics. Data retrieval and tracing are now among the skills of specialized private investigators.
Actually, before accepting a job, the private investigator and the commissioning party must understand each other very well. Specifying what needs to be done is the most important thing both parties must agree to because professional fees depend on how hard an assignment is.
Should anyone want to be a Private Detective and live a life of sleuthing courses are now offered specializing on how to become better detectives. Enrolling in Private Detective courses is important because things like what is admissible in court and what are not would be taught.