Under "Buzzwords" in The Week in Review, Sunday's (9/17/06) New York Times featured an article titled "The Secret Life of Private Investigators." Spawned by the recent Hewlitt Packard scandal over pretexting, the piece briefly touched on what we do as private investigators.
Most private investigators employ pretexting, defined as posing as someone you're not. Usually, this is completely legal. However, when someone poses as the person they're trying to get information on, especially when it's to banks, phone companies, and utility companies, it becomes illegal.
The Times article gave away some of our secrets, but not all of them, fortunately. It also mentioned some of the legitimate reasons that we are hired to locate people, such as finding deadbeat dads, debtors, and runaways. I would add to that, witnesses who could testify in a court action, heirs, and fugitives.
While we do have a lot of tricks up our sleeves, most of our work requires persistence, an active imagination, and patience.
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