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Dangers of Hiring an ‘Online’ Investigation Service

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If you need to conduct an investigation in advance of litigation, you have options. You may be considering whether to hire a proper professional investigator, or whether you can skate by with hiring an online-only or digital investigative service. While the latter option might be cheaper, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s a better choice. Below, we discuss a few of the drawbacks of hiring a purely online or digital investigative service. For professional, licensed, and comprehensive investigative services, call the experts at Millennium Intelligence Agency (MIA).

Lack of Professional Licensing and Transparency

When you hire a licensed, professional private investigator, you’re getting the benefit of everything that comes with that license. A licensed investigator must have the requisite education, training, and experience.

In order to obtain a PI license in California, applicants must have some combination of an advanced degree and/or thousands of hours of experience. An investigator must have a law degree, a four-year political science or pre-law degree, or a two-year associate’s degree in criminal justice or criminal law, or they must have at least three years of professional investigative experience. Even with a degree, they must have years of investigative experience, such as working in law enforcement, military police, or working under a licensed PI.

With experience and education comes skill. When you hire an online investigative service, you lack the same transparency about the level of education and training your investigator may have. They might not even be licensed within the State of California. They may outsource their work to people in other locations, including out of the country. If you want a proper, comprehensive investigation conducted, you need to hire a true professional.

Lack of Professional Accountability

The benefits of hiring a licensed investigator go beyond experience, training, and skill. One of the most important things you get is accountability. Licensed PIs in California must adhere to the law and other professional rules. They cannot, for example, invade people’s privacy or employ fraud or deception in collecting information. They cannot use unlawfully coercive or harassing tactics to get information. They must act professionally and follow the law.

When you hire a purely digital investigator, and you cannot be sure where they are located or whether they are licensed, you do not have that assurance of accountability. They might use illegal and deceptive practices to get information for your case, such as conducting unlawful surveillance or hacking into private accounts.

If they break the law and they do so as your agent, you could find yourself open to civil or even criminal liability. At a minimum, any information and evidence they gather could be unusable in court because of its illegitimate provenance. If you want lawfully-obtained, admissible evidence as a fruit of your investigation, you need to hire a proper, licensed, professional private investigative service.

A Proper Investigation Still Needs Boots on the Ground

When you are performing due diligence or otherwise in need of comprehensive information and evidence-gathering, online-only is simply not enough. There are certainly online databases that house a variety of information, but in many cases, physical action is necessary. There may be physical archives where old documents are stored, you may need someone to go in person to locate a witness or other key player, or you may need surveillance that simply cannot be conducted online. If you want to make sure that you have all the information you need to pursue your legal matter, you need a thorough, comprehensive investigative service provider.

If you are performing due diligence in advance of a settlement, gathering evidence for pending litigation, working to establish a financial profile, or trying to locate a missing party, Millennium Intelligence Agency is ready to offer you thorough support. Call our professional, experienced legal investigative team today at 213-986-9888 for considered and diligent intelligence-gathering services.

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