5 private detective clichés: debunked.
1.We sit in bushes all day long spying on you
Thankfully, I don’t find myself outside freezing behind some bush too often… Why? Well, first comes the question of ethics:
To maintain our investigative integrity, we always strive to make sure that all our actions are lawful, necessary and proportionate.
Therefore, why would we invade someone’s personal space without need, especially if we can easily find the required information elsewhere.
That leads me to my second point: that of the power of Open Source Intelligence gathering. You would be surprised and even shocked at just how much information about you is out there ready to be gathered from free public sources and databases. In our digital age, I can obtain way more useful intelligence about you online using OSINT tools and techniques than I would sitting in a bush outside your house all day. And I’m not talking just Google (when googling, you only see around 3% of the internet), but rather the entire underworld of deep web, deleted and outdated webpages, and even breach data that may contain your sensitive information like your IP addresses, passwords and emails that were leaked during a hack.
Only in a select few cases would we deploy our specialist surveillance team after having exhausted alternative means of investigation - and they would use way more sophisticated tactics than blending in with a bush.
2.We rummage through your trash for evidence
Garbage, like any other object, has a rightful owner; therefore, it is still your personal property and not for us to rummage through.
In most of our cases, we are looking for much more sophisticated evidence trails – from money laundering to links to organised crime, to behavioural patterns, to multiple identities. Such complex intelligence in most likely not going to be discovered by searching through the subject’s banana peels anyways. We would much rather go through their digital footprint – their social media, online presence, company structures, adverse media and so on. That’s much more exciting…
3.We wear exclusively trench coats and sunglasses
I would absolutely love to see my business partner, Mark, in a creepy trench coat and a bougie pair of sunglasses; however, when the whole point of your job is to blend in with the crowd if you are out and about, looking like you just stepped out of the Matrix may not be the wisest choice.
When on the job, we tend to opt for discreet almost-mundane colours, such as dark blue or grey, with no obvious labels or memorable features. If you are on the lookout for a private detective or a surveillance operative, they are way more likely to have a backpack (with a potential change of clothing) than a hat and a pipe. Although, a hat does come in very handy!
If you are worried about being followed, there are various counter and anti-surveillance measures that could protect you. Do not hesitate to reach out and we will do our best to help.
4. We hack into your bank accounts
Whilst there most definitely will be companies out there who will promise the world and say they can hack into the subject’s bank account, they will either be lying or breaking the law.
Hacking the bank’s systems is most certainly illegal, so we would not recommend pursuing that avenue. However, if, as part of a legal process, your lawyers have legally obtained the subject’s bank statements, then our forensic accountants would be able to add immense value by being able to spot any discrepancies, suspicious, fraudulent or criminal activity.
We also often find ourselves on the receiving side when helping our clients with a malicious cyberattack, an invoice fraud or even a cryptocurrency theft. Just because it is illegal, does not mean that there aren’t malicious actors out there looking to take advantage of your cyber-vulnerabilities. There are many ways to protect yourself, but by far the most important ones are always using 2-factor authentication and being extra careful with public Wi-Fi.
5. We only investigate infidelity-related cases
We actually choose not to get involved with marital and infidelity-related investigations, as, ethically, we believe that no good can possibly come out of it. If you are thinking of hiring a private investigator to spy on your partner, you may already be answering your own questions on the health of the relationship and the trust involved.
We do work on divorce cases, but mostly from an asset-tracing angle, as we believe that both parties deserve to have access to strategic intelligence about the assets they may be entitled to.
We do also assist if there are suspicions of a tracker or any other intrusive device being used on a client, to allow them their deserved privacy and peace of mind.
Oh, and just using this as an opportunity to answer a question I get asked way too often: no, we do not honey trap.
Watch our humorous visualisation of the 5 clichés here:
Yes, we are on TikTok!