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Private Investigator Tips to Snoop Around With Phones

With rumours of the government tracking us through the use of technology and subterfuge, it’s only fair that lay folk should learn a bit about snooping too. A good starting place is to learn the tricks and tools used by private investigators, who are experts at probing and unearthing information from areas that are best left a secret. These tips might help you in an increasingly cut-throat world.

One of the most valuable ways to gather information is the telephone. But how exactly do they do it? Here are some of the hottest tips:


  1. Power Usage of Your SmartphoneResearchers have recently found out that Android phones release information about your location to all the apps that are installed on the device through the power consumption of the phone. Since the permission of the user is not required to know the power usage, any app can access this information. This is called the PowerSpy technique. Even less harmful apps that communicate over the network would be able to relay this information. It basically makes use of the fact that the transmissions of a cellphone utilise more power to get in touch with a given cell tower as the distance increases. They use machine learning techniques to study the phone’s average power consumption over a given period of time irrespective of variables like a phone conversation or an app that consumes a lot of power. The only disadvantage to this technique is that the feature needs to measure beforehand the behaviour of the power usage as it travels along a certain route. This means that you cannot track the person along a route they have never been to before.
  2. Blocking the Caller IDDetectives need to make anonymous calls under a false pretence or name. In UK, you can prefix the number with 141 before dialling the number. That would block your number. However, if the recipient of the call has a caller ID, it will appear as “Blocked Call”, “Unknown Caller”, or some other label. It’s only slightly less suspicious than a call from a detective service. As an alternative, you can call via voice-mail. Since the call will be routed through the voice-mail’s system, your number will be blocked. Other services like pre-paid phone cards, or a VoIP system like Skype filter use a third-party number to filter the call, thereby blocking the number.
  3. Spoofing the Caller IDThis technique essentially involves getting a fake number to be displayed on the recipient’s Caller ID. It is called a “presentation number”. VoIP services are generally used for this purpose. There have been a number of spoofing services that have cropped up recently that allow you to make a number-spoofed call from a PC or smartphone.
  4. Special Phone LinePrivate investigators usually have an unpublished line in their office to receive or make calls under a pretext. A nondescript name, like “Business Office”, is usually used for this line.
  5. Lie DetectorThere are lie detector software that claim to do a live stress analysis on the voice of the speaker and tell you as to whether they are speaking the truth.

Apart from these nifty tips, you have the old barrage of tricks like Voice alteration and Call recording that are used to snoop around better.

Hire a Private Investigator in Manchester

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Reasons for Hiring a Private Investigator

Private investigation can benefit people in their time of need as it is based on a strong knowledge base accompanied by seasoned expertise. There are several people who have already experienced the advantages of hiring a private investigator. When your federal, state or local legal enforcement is not able to or unwilling to provide help, a private investigator is the go-to-person. In this article, we discuss some of the common situations that might indicate the need for employing the services of a private investigator.

At work

It is not uncommon for companies and businesses to hire private investigators for looking into various work situations including workplace harassment, violence, misuse of official information, theft, drug abuse, and staff quality controls.

Dealing with these challenges is difficult for almost all businesses and it is best to involve a third-party, such as a private investigator to do the job and approach the situation from an impartial and objective perspective.

These investigators can offer a substantial amount of help and support as they are trained to interrogate and interview, collect evidence, use legal investigation techniques, and can easily manage confronting the truth when it comes to employee disputes and harassment claims. The necessary evidence produced by private investigators can be utilized by a company to make an informed decision. It also helps in avoiding expensive lawsuits.

Skilled and experienced private investigators are perfect for conducting due-diligence reviews (these are usually done for investors in a company). Private investigators can help in determining if the business owner looking for investors has been involved in any acts of fraud in the past.

Domestic environment

Private investigators have often been featured in films playing the role of the individual who gets hold of the cheating spouse. Even though it might appear unreal, private investigators actually play out these roles in home environments.

There have been instances where families have hired private investigators for investigating wrongful deaths, finding missing children or other family members, looking into child abuse or senior citizen harassment, property damage, and much more.

Mitigating risk

Private investigators have also been hired as experienced consultants who can assess business risks and the exposure to existing or impending fraud or theft. How do they manage risk? Strategies include transfer of risk to a third party, avoidance of risk, minimising the negative impact of risk or accepting all or some outcomes of a specific risk.

It might be difficult to decide whether to hire a private investigator in a particular situation or not, especially if somebody is concerned about the costs involved. But, in comparison to various other inexperienced fact collectors and professionals, a credible private investigator might actually be the most cost-effective and smart way of obtaining the required information.

Private Investigator Tips

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Telephone Tips for Private Investigators

To understand the importance of a telephone in the lives of private investigators, all you have to do is watch some James Bond movies. In most of the Bond movies, you can see 007 sweeping for bugs in a phone, or planting one in a phone. If you want information, then listen to a phone conversation. Nowadays people are more careful when it comes to divulging important information over a telephone, but still it remains one of the favorite methods of private investigators to extract information. Below are seven telephone tips for private investigators.


  1. Making and receiving calls anonymously

 It is better to setup two telephone lines in your office. One listed and published, and the other one unlisted and unpublished. When you are undercover, or under pretext, give out the unlisted and unpublished number to receive calls, or when you do not want to reveal your identity. To place a call without revealing caller id, punch in the code that blocks your caller id while making a call, or place the call via operator under some pretense.


  1. Keep your phone lines secured

 There are devices in the market that can detect, and stop, bugs, or wiretaps, or hidden recorders placed on your telephone. Once such device is Safeline. It is simple to operate, and easy to setup. Always sweep your phones while you are undercover. If you are using a wireless phone, use a digital one. It transmits information from the headset to the base digitally, so its difficult to catch. Also, most of the digital ones has scramblers and descramblers.

  1. Telephone lie-detector

A software called Truster will show you whether the person you are talking to on the phone is lying, or not. Install this software in your Laptop, or personal computer, and connect your telephone to the computer. During conversation you will be able to see on the screen whether the subject is lying to you, or trying to outsmart you.


  1. Voice changer

 Sometimes it is necessary to change your voice, and speak to your subject, especially if the person you are talking to is someone you know. In such cases, use a voice changer. Different types of voice changers are available in the market today.


  1. Answering your phone when you are not at your office

 Almost all the calls you receive while you are investigating a case are important, so you really cannot afford missing any. You can make use of the call forwarding option. Forward your calls to your cell phone while in the field, or at home.


  1. Understanding the legality in recording a telephone conversation

 Most of the times it will be necessary to record a phone conversation, either for obtaining a clue by listening to the conversation again and again, or for submitting the piece as an evidence. So it is important to know the laws pertaining to recording phone conversation in your country. Refer to The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.


  1. Portable telephone scrambler

 If you want to impress your client, then give him a portable telephone scrambler, and tell him to use it whenever they communicate. The client will be impressed with the devices you have, and the precautions you are taking to honor the confidentiality agreement. This is a good device for you as well, as it keeps your conversations private. You can use it when your are traveling as well, when you have to use a pay phone.

A telephone is a powerful weapon for an investigator. Making use of it wisely can help to resolve a case successfully.

Where Can a Private Investigator Get Work

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Where Can a Qualified and Licensed Private Investigator Work?

 If you have decided to become a private investigator, the first steps would be to understand the profession, take some courses, decide on your expertise and work on it, work as a trainee and apprentice with experienced investigators and finally becoming a full-fledged private investigator. Where all can you work once you become a private investigator?


Work options for a qualified private investigator

 Here are a few employment options you can consider once you become a qualified and licensed private investigator:


  • Corporate employee background checks – You can work with small and large companies full time, part time or as a freelancer to conduct background checks on potential employees. Employees wishing to work for research organizations, employees being hired for important high level posts and such other people are usually checked out before they are hired, and you can conduct these investigations for the company. It mainly involves digging up records and surveillance.  
  • Insurance investigations – If someone has claimed insurance for an accident, there is always an investigation conducted by the insurance company to ensure the claim is authentic. You can work with an insurance company and conduct these investigations for them. You will need some knowledge of finance and insurance for such work.  
  • Software piracy investigations – If a software development company if facing piracy issues, they may hire your expertise in conducting in-house investigations for them to figure out the leak and ensure piracy is stopped or minimized as much as possible. You will need to have knowledge of computers, hacking and such other skills for this work.
  • Criminal investigations – You might be called in as a consultant by law enforcement agencies to assist them in criminal investigations that demand specific expertise that you possess. You can assist them in various investigations and help solve cases faster. You will need a very specific expertise and lots of experience to be called in as a consultant by law enforcement.  
  • Financial fraud investigations in charities – Charities have sketchy accountability, which means there is a lot of financial fraud committed, especially when there is a lot of money involved. You might be asked to work with them in finding fraudsters within the organization and ensure the money stays safe. You will have to understand how charities work, as well as a bit of finance and accounts for such work.


  • Investigations with private investigative agencies – You can work with a private investigative agency and take up cases that come to the company. You can become one of their investigators and choose cases based on your expertise and experience.


If none of these options interest you, you can always start off on your own and be a self-employed private eye. That way, you can pick and choose individual cases, and work on a greater variety of cases.


Kit and Equipment of a Private Investigator

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Equipment that a Private Investigator Must Have

 Imagine that you want to be a professional photographer, but insist on using a very basic, low quality camera for your photography. You will never be considered a serious photographer, right? In many professions, the equipment you use is as important as your skills and knowledge. Private investigation is one such field, where you need to be technologically updated to be able to work well.


Equipment essential for every professional private investigator


  • A GPS device or a device with detailed street maps help in knowing where you are exactly headed while trailing your subject. You get an idea of stores, intersections and dead ends beforehand, so you can prepare accordingly.
  • A pair of good binoculars, preferably with night vision, so that you can track your subject without difficulty from a distance, be it day or night. Being able to maintain distance means you can be more discreet without missing out on any important information and details.
  • A quality camera with tripod and monopod to be able to get steady, clear photos and videos of the subject and the surroundings when required. Monopods are good while on the move, while tripods are a better idea when you have to stay in one place for long and have the space to set up a tripod.
  • Chargers and charging points for electronics in your car so that you can ensure important equipment does not die on you in the middle of an assignment or surveillance.
  • Flashlight to help you find your way in unknown and dark areas, as well as to fix equipment or problems with your car, even at night. It will also help you see details in your surroundings more clearly in the dark so you do not miss out on something vital.
  • Storage and backup for all video and audio files, as well as for photographs from the investigation is a must. You do not want to run out of space on your memory card in the middle of a surveillance, or lose footage because your card was corrupted.
  • Window shades for your car are important if you plan to do a lot of surveillance and trailing work while sitting in your car. Having shades help you stay discreet while trailing your subject, and stops prying eyes on the road from peeking in and asking what you are doing.
  • Electronic bug and spy cam detectors are essential to ensure that you and your clients are not being spied upon discreetly. Ideally, you should do a bug sweep in every new place you go to, even in the car you rent and every new client you meet for your safety and their security.


It is important to not skimp and buy low quality equipment for your investigative work. Most of the equipment are one time investments, so spending a bit more is justified and worthwhile.

Private Investigators Are Not Above The Law

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What not to do as a Private Investigator

 Private investigators, or private eyes as they are popularly known, are investigators who work independent of law enforcement agencies. They may work on their own or with a private investigation company. If you work as a private investigator, or are thinking of becoming one, there are few things you need to know about the limitations and restrictions of the job.


6 things a private investigator should avoid

 Here are six things that you should avoid doing as a private investigator to obtain information or solve cases for a client.


  • Arrest a civilian – As a private investigator, you may not arrest any civilian or other individual even if you find incriminating evidence against them for a crime that you are investigating. Instead, you are expected to take such evidence to law enforcement officials so they can act on it.

  • Use surveillance in private spaces – You cannot record audio or visual data when someone is in their private space, like their home. You must also avoid installing spy cameras, listening devices and such other surveillance equipment in someone’s personal space.


  • Trespass on private property – You cannot enter someone’s private property unauthorised. It is a crime by law and you can be arrested and tried for the same. If a property is marked as private, enter it only with the permission of the owner or with a legal document that gives you the right to enter the property.

  • Impersonate police or other law enforcement officials – You should not falsely impersonate law enforcement officials, like police, to collect evidence for any cases you might be investigating. It is a crime and you can be punished for it.

  • Obtain sensitive and protected personal information without a court order – Sensitive and protected information, like bank records or other personal information, should not be obtained without the permission of the person whose records you wish to access or without a legal document giving you the right to access such records.


  • Act unethically to obtain information – You should not indulge in unethical and immoral activities to collect evidence for your investigations. You should ensure that you stay with legal, ethical and moral limits while you work.


Being a private investigator gives a lot of rights in terms of surveillance, evidence collection, access to records and such, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. There may be clients who approach private eyes for information about people whom they wish to harm in some way, physically or otherwise. It is always expected that private investigators act morally, do not break laws and do not cause direct or indirect harm to anyone through their work.

Why Hire a Private Investigator in Manchester

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Four Most Common Kinds of Cases for which Private Investigators are Approached

 Private investigators are sometimes also referred to as private eyes. They usually work individually or with private investigative companies, but are sometimes called for help by law enforcement officials to aid investigations of different kinds. The work that such investigators do is interesting, dynamic and requires a great amount of skill, training and experience.

Four most common kinds of cases that private investigators get


  • General surveillance – Surveillance includes tracking people’s movements, watching out for robbers and other criminals, taking photographs and videos legally in public places. Basically following someone’s movements without being identified, tracked or recognised.
  • Cheating spouses – These cases are some of the most common ones that private eyes get. It includes surveillance to find evidence of cheating, which may then be used to confront the spouse, or as material for negotiations during divorce settlements.
  • Background checks on prospective employees – Many companies require very high standards for hiring employees. This is especially common when hiring for important posts where employees may get to know company secrets. Investigators perform background checks for such companies to dig out details of legal, medical and other records in the public domain of prospective employees. It may also include talking to former employers and other people close to the person to get more information about them.
  • Missing persons and runaway, lost or stolen pets – Many missing person complaints are handled by private investigators on behalf of or in conjunction with law enforcement officials. Individuals may also approach investigators to find pets that have been lost, have run away from home, or have been stolen and taken away from them.

 Quick tips on being a good private eye

  • Get certified by a recognised institute and get all the licenses required for practice.
  • Work as an apprentice with an experienced private investigator to learn on the job and hone your investigative skills.
  • Build a network of informants and useful acquaintances to help pry out difficult but legal information for cases.
  • Market yourself well so that you are able to take up more cases, and showcase your abilities to solve them.
  • Have a specialisation instead of dabbling in many different kinds of investigation. Specialization leads to expertise and greater respect for skills.
  • Charge clients according to what you think your skills are worth and how much you have proven your abilities. Do not oversell or undersell your services.


To be a good and well recognized private investigator, it is important to not only have the right skills but to be able to sell them the right way. It also requires you to get the right kind of cases to prove your abilities. It takes efforts to become a good private investigator and earn well. However, if investigation is something that interests you and you are good at, it is very much possible to become a successful private investigator. You will also be highly respected for what you do.


The Truth About Being a Private Investigator in Manchester

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Five Truths about Being a Private Investigator in Manchester  that No One Tells You

 A private investigator is a professional trained to find evidence and information that may be required by individuals and organizations. Private investigators are not law enforcement officials, but may work with various such organisations to help solve crimes and gather vital evidence. Most professionals have an area of expertise, like finding missing people, gathering evidence of cheating partners, Surveillance, doing background checks on potential employees, and such. However, some professionals may take up a variety of cases of different kinds as well. However, is being a private investigator in Manchester as glamorous and fun as fiction depicts? Read on to know the truth.


Five lesser-known truths about being a private investigator


  • There are no set work timings at any point of time. You can never have specific work timings, which means that you cannot have a set routine, meal or sleep schedules, and have to be able to take grueling long work hours.
  • There is some level of danger involved in the work. This depends on the kind of work you do and the kind of people you deal with. Surveillance can sometimes pose dangers if you are spotted and people do not like the invasion of privacy.
  • There is no guarantee when you will get paid next. Generally, you only get paid when you deliver results. If, for any reason, you are not able to crack a case, or satisfy client requirements, you may not get paid in full or at all.
  • You will have a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle because you will be using it to visit clients, for surveillance, and to visit various remote locations for your investigations.
  • It is expensive to get the essential equipment and practice as a private investigator. You will spend a lot of money training, buying equipment, marketing your services and getting the right vehicle you require to get the job done.


Who can become a private investigator?

 Anyone who likes the work that private investigation entails can technically become a private investigator. However, there are certain parameters that could help and make the process of getting into the profession easier.


  • Certification courses teaching the basics of private investigation.
  • Apprenticeship with experienced and expert investigative professionals.
  • Experience as a law enforcement or investigative professional, a lawyer or even military experience.


Private Investigation, a beginners guide

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A Beginner’s Guide to Private Investigation

 Becoming a good private investigator takes practice just like any other career. However, lack of experience and knowledge should not deter you from giving it a try. Here are some basic tips that private investigators who are just starting out can use.


Plan your surveillance

 Surveillance is a key part of your investigation, and you want to plan it out from the get-go. For instance, if you want to keep an eye on the suspect at his residence, then you need to decide on the surveillance spot even before you move in, so that you don’t have to go around the block looking for a good unnoticeable spot when you have already started your surveillance. You will also want to stock up on some food and other supplies in case you want to keep a keen eye on the suspect and do not want to miss out on anything while you are taking a break.


Keep a checklist and make notes

 Being a private investigator requires for you to be able to think on your feet and make decisions spontaneously, but that does not mean that you get started without a game plan. In many cases, clients just offer basic information about the other party, such as their name and address. You would want to analyze the case at hand before you start your investigation to chalk out possible information that can help take things forward. This way, there will be some direction to the case, and you will know what to do every time you hit a dead-end. You will also have to constantly update the checklist as the case moves forward. Also, maintain professional notes of any factual information that you have obtained in the case throughout for your reference and to present in court, as required.


Know your legal boundaries

 No doubt you’re going to do some eavesdropping and snooping around to gather intelligence for your assignment, but you want to make sure that you do not breach any legal norms in the process. The legalities may differ based on your location of surveillance and operation, so you want to double-check the same before you move forward, or it could land you in trouble with criminal charges or jail time.


Gather evidence that counts

 As a private investigator, you are going to be using any trick that you have up your sleeve to gather information. However, securing solid evidence in a case is just as crucial. For instance, you are casually striking up a conversation with someone close to the suspect with hopes of obtaining some information about them. While this may give you a better direction in the case and offer useful insights, it may not help much if you have to present such conversations as evidence in court or the like. When a case depends greatly on the evidence that you have to offer, you would want to look for photographic, email or textual evidence, that cannot be questioned easily.



Have You Been Bugged?

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How to Tell if You Have Been Bugged

 GPS trackers attached to the vehicle, wire tappers rigged to the phone lines, motion-detection cameras plugged in the living room, these are not just movie stuff. They happen to many people, only you do not hear about it that often. So if you suspect that you are at the receiving end of some electronic surveillance and eavesdropping activities, here are some ways to tell if you have been bugged.


The ‘why’ of getting bugged

 Anyone can get bugged, throw in some suspicion and paranoia into that equation, and the belief that you are bugged grows even stronger. What we’re trying to get at here is that you do not have to get all worked up thinking that you may be bugged just because you can be bugged. The more important question here is why would someone want to bug you? Do you think that someone could be carrying out a surveillance on you for a valid reason, company espionage? Could your competitor be trying to get their hands on some inside information? Does your spouse have a good reason to spy on you? Are you being stalked? If any of these questions prompted a yes, then read on.


How to find bug devices

  • Check your car radio or home television for odd interference, they could be reacting to the signals being transmitted by the eavesdropping device.


  • Look for minor discolorations, bumps or other tell-tale signs in the floorboard and walls, which may have been made to install the surveillance device. Pinholes and cracks in wall or flooring are signs of eavesdropping device being planted by inexperienced investigators, but you would nevertheless do good by looking around for these signs.


  • Have you received one or more electronic devices for free? What may seem like a nice gesture may actually be an electronic device that is planted with surveillance devices without your knowledge.


  • Look for audio or video surveillance recorders that may be planted between the couch cushions, the bedside lamp or that vase in the dining room. The power source or the wiring usually gives away these otherwise small devices.


  • Clips, splices or messy wiring in your telephone line could be indicative of wire tapping.


  • GPS surveillance devices can be planted anywhere in your vehicle, so make sure you check the dashboard, glove compartment, headrest and under the seats aswell as other areas for them.


  • X Three Surveillance are experts in bug detection let us come in and do a bug sweep of your home, office space or vehicle. We will know what to look for and where to look, and can go about it discretely, so that the other party does not find out.


Contact X Three Surveillance with any questions about Bug detection, get rid of the suspicion and paranoia. X Three Surveillance Bug Sweeping.

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