54 Questions to Ask a Private Investigator

You might be wondering if you need to hire a private investigator. After all, you can find out a lot on your own these days with the help of the Internet, social media, and public records. However, some things are better left to the professionals.

Private investigators are experienced professionals who can help you get the answers you need. Whether you’re trying to track down a long-lost relative or catching a cheating spouse, here are the questions you can ask a private investigator before hiring one.

54 Questions you can ask a private investigator:

  1. What are your qualifications?
  2. How much experience do you have?
  3. What is your success rate?
  4. What are your fees?
  5. How many cases have you worked on?
  6. Do you offer a free consultation?
  7. What services do you offer?
  8. Do you specialize in any particular type of case?
  9. Can you provide references?
  10. What is the process for working with you?
  11. How do you conduct your investigations?
  12. Do you use surveillance equipment?
  13. Do you work with informants or undercover operatives?
  14. How do you gather evidence?
  15. Do you conduct background checks?
  16. Can you locate missing persons?
  17. Can you find out if someone is being unfaithful?
  18. Can you help me clear my name if I’ve been falsely accused of something?
  19. Can you help me gather evidence for a civil or criminal court case?
  20. What are your confidentiality policies?
  21. What is the scope of your services?
  22. What are your rates for surveillance?
  23. What are your rates for interviews?
  24. What are your rates for background checks?
  25. How long will this take?
  26. What kind of results can I expect?
  27. How will you keep me updated on the investigation?
  28. What are the risks and potential costs associated with this investigation?
  29. What are your ethical boundaries?
  30. What methods do you use to gather information?
  31. Are you licensed and insured?
  32. Do you have liability insurance?
  33. Do you have a contract that I can review?
  34. How often will I be updated on the status of the investigation?
  35. How long do you think the investigation will take?
  36. What are your payment terms?
  37. When do I need to pay you?
  38. What happens if I am not satisfied with the results of the investigation?
  39. Can I cancel the investigation at any time?
  40. Do you have any references I can contact?
  41. Are you a member of any professional associations?
  42. Do you offer discounts for repeat clients?
  43. Do you offer package deals?
  44. Can you give me an estimate for the cost of the investigation?
  45. What forms of payment do you accept?
  46. When can you start working on my case?
  47. Can you give me a timeline for the investigation?
  48. What other expenses should I expect to pay?
  49. What are your terms and conditions?
  50. How do you plan on conducting the investigation?
  51. Have you ever worked on a case like mine before?
  52. What are the legal implications of the investigation?
  53. Are there any ethical considerations to be aware of?
  54. What are the confidentiality and privacy concerns that need to be considered?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are private investigations legal?

Private investigation is a legal profession in most countries. However, specific regulations for private investigators vary from country to country. In the United States, for example, private investigators are licensed at the state level and must abide by the regulations of the state in which they are working.

Can private investigators hack?

Private investigators are often thought of as people who can gain access to any account, but that is not the case. Private investigators are not allowed to hack into other people’s accounts, including phones, emails, social media, and bank accounts. If they do, they are breaking the law. 

What is the difference between a private investigator and a detective?

Private investigators are usually hired by individuals or businesses to conduct certain investigations, while detectives are employed by law enforcement agencies and work on criminal cases. 

Private investigators also have more freedom in choosing the cases they take on, while detectives are often limited to investigating specific crimes within their jurisdiction. 

Do private investigators work with the police?

Private investigators often work with police officers to help solve crimes. They may collect evidence, conduct surveillance, or search records that can be used in court. This collaboration can be beneficial in solving cases and bringing criminals to justice.

Can a private investigator find out if someone is cheating?

Yes, a private investigator can find out if someone is cheating. To do this, he can use various methods, such as surveillance or interviewing friends and family members of the suspected cheater. If the investigator has a good lead, they can likely obtain evidence that will confirm or disprove the suspicion.


Hiring a private investigator can be a big decision, but it does not have to be difficult. By asking these important questions up front, you can get all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not hiring an investigator is right for you.

Also, you can ensure that you are comfortable with the private investigator you hire and that they understand your goals for the investigation. So do not hesitate to ask around—a little research now could save you a lot of time and hassle down the road.

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