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So you think you’re being followed?

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How to Tell if You are Being Followed By a Private Investigator

 From insurance companies that suspect a fraud to doubtful spouses who suspect an affair, private investigators are hired for numerous reasons. If you have a hunch that you are being followed by a private investigator, then one of the first things that you want to do is to evaluate what may have prompted someone to have you tailed. Is there a court litigation that you are involved in? Could someone be conducting a check on the insurance claims that you filed? If it rings a bell, then chances are that you are being followed.


Signs that you should watch out for

 One of the main principles that private investigators use, is to carry out a physical surveillance of the subject, and this is where your alertness and observational skills can come in handy. As a part of the surveillance, private eyes will usually hover around in areas that you frequent, typically the workplace or home. So you want to look out for any vehicles or people whom you seem to find in these places often, by either noting down the license plate number or registering their face to see if it occurs again. Sometimes private eyes may follow you while you’re walking or taking a ride on the subway. If you have a hunch that you’re being followed, keep an eye out behind you, if you think someone may be following you then take a detour, if the person continues to follow you, then you may have a private eye on your back. Private investigators may also tag your vehicle with surveillance devices, so it’s good to look for one of those tracking devices on/in your vehicle. Also, if your friends, family and acquaintances have been receiving calls from people asking about you, then yes, it may be possible that you are being tailed by a private eye.


What to do if you are being followed?

So it’s great that you have figured out that a private investigator was tailing you, but what now? There are many ways you can react to the situation. Some choose to confront the P.I while others choose to covertly avoid them. Some others even choose to follow the P.I to let them know that they know that they are being watched. Of course, most trained private investigators will discontinue surveillance when they realise that the subject may be  aware of what they are doing. It is entirely left up to you as to how you take this situation forward and take a safe decision. It’s crucial to understand that a P.I is just doing what he/she is asked to do by a client. However, if you feel that person who is following you around is not a P.I or is an inexperienced P.I who is following you around even after you let them know that you’re aware of it and causing an inconvenience, then you may decide to get in touch with the Police.

If you need to be 100% then let the experts decide for you, here at X Three Surveillance our surveillance skills are second to none and we will be able to see if there is a team following you even if you might not. If the team on you is a professional one then they may be able to follow you for months without you noticing however with our background, training and knowledge of how we work then we will easily find a surveillance team.

Contact X Three Surveillance and ask to speak about our counter surveillance packages.

Information Gathering

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Information Gathering Methods that Private Investigators Use

 If you’re intrigued by how Private Investigators gather information on assignments, let’s first clear the air- it’s certainly not as easy or as straight-forward as they make it seem in the movies. Also, while the PI may have some set methods to gather basic information, they also heavily rely on their instinct to see what may be the best-suited method to gather information. Here are some information gathering techniques that are used by PIs.

Public records

 Public records and records in other open-source databases are the easiest way to gather information about a subject. From property liens to divorce settlements, any information found on public records is valuable. This is not just because the Private investigator gets a lead on the subject, but also because the authenticity of the information is confirmed due to its nature. Private investigators also research in court records to see if there are any civil lawsuits, criminal records or other prosecutions that can shed some light on the past of the subject.

 Online trail

Today, most people are active on online media, and it does not take a lot of work for Private Investigators to sketch out a profile of the subject after checking out their various social media avatars. Most people have so much of information out about their everyday lives out on online media today, whether it is about the restaurants that they frequent or their everyday routine, that it becomes easy for private eyes to gather information easily. The difficult bit is filtering through the pages upon pages of data to see what is reliable and credible.

 Human interaction

 Private investigators usually gather information through human intel once they already know basic information regarding the subject- whether it is regarding the place that they reside or work, or whom them interact with. Falsities and discrepancies are some downsides of human intel, although they can be helpful when the Private Investigator needs answers to specific questions that may not be available elsewhere. Sometime, private eyes may also discretely plant audio devices so they can gather information on the subject.

 Bin Grabs

Gathering information from the rubbish may sound a little off at first, but you will surprised how much information can be got from your harmless black bags, even if it may not result in digging up some dirt on the subject. Whether it is your debit card or medical prescription bills, once they leave your bins they are easily up for access by anyone. So without a shredder, you are throwing away quite a few sensitive pieces of information for anyone to see, and something that a clever Private Investigator may not turn blind eye to.

Background Checks

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Types of Commercial Background Checks

 Background checks can help obtain information about an individual or organization for whatever is the reason. Professional background checks carried out by private investigators are not as same as background checks that any layman would perform, which would typically involve snooping around the person’s social media profiles. Private eyes know how to expertly gather information from online activity and friends and acquaintances of the individual to chalk out a personality profile that is apter, so clients can make better decisions. Background checks are classified into different types based on the nature of the assignment. Let’s take a look at common types of background checks in commercial assignments.


Employee background checks

 The most common background checks are carried out by employers while hiring potential candidates. This could involve verifying information provided by the candidate whether it is with regard to references, job history or academic qualification. Vehicle license and credit checks are also carried out as part of background checks by employers. Government job positions are usually filled after thorough background checks due to the nature of the job at hand. For instance, a potential government job employee may have to wield firearms as a part of the job, in which case it becomes crucial to check for the candidate’s criminal records, training certifications and such, before going forward with the hiring process. This is where a private investigator can help. Also, a family that is hiring a caretaker or a nanny may be keen on running a background check on the same, before they trust them to take care of their loved one.


Corporate background checks

 Background checks do not just stop there, sometimes they can help you save hundreds upon thousands of dollars by allowing you to make a well-informed decision. For instance, say you were planning on signing the deal for a business partnership. It seems like a no-brainer that you would not want to partner with someone who does not have a great history and what better way to do it than trust the professionals to unearth any such troubled-past signs that would do you good to steer clear from. Businesses also carry out background checks before investments and acquisitions.


Insurance fraud background checks

Background checks are very common in the insurance industry that is prone to fraudulent acts. For instance, an individual may have filed for insurance after being disabled due to an accident or such. The insurance company may lose thousands of dollars if they are not careful to investigate the case and see if the claims made by the individual are legitimate. A P.I can step in and do a background check and carry out a surveillance of the individual to see if they are being honest about their claims or are just putting on an act.

Qualities of a Private Investigator

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Qualities that All Good Private Investigators Have

Every individual is made for a certain career, depending on the aptitude and skills that they have. Same goes with a private investigation career, making some more suited for the job than a few others. So if you have been wondering if a private investigation career is for you, here is a list of traits that you want to make a tally with, to get a better picture.



 Do you have the natural instinct to find out the why, how, who, where, when and what of things? Then a private investigation career may certainly be worth consideration. Private investigation assignments are all about finding answers, and if you have the curiosity to keep you driven, you are well on your way to becoming a good private eye.



 As a private eye, you cannot just blow the horn and let everyone around know why you are there, you have got to be smooth and tactful. If you have a knack to converse easily with people, it becomes easier to get possible helpful information from them so you can progress forward in the case. Someone who easily breaks into sweat or gets nervous at the thought of such encounters may not really be up for the job, as it may lead to suspicion.



 Not giving up on an assignment even when a trail ends in cold leads or dead-ends after weeks and weeks of pursuit is something that private investigators have to get used to, if they want to survive in the industry. Let’s face it, you are not going to have a eureka moment on your first try every single time, but with the persistence to carry on, you have a good chance of getting there, even if it means that there are scores of tries that keep you from it. They key is to just keep at it, it’s only the amateurs who give up.



 Private investigators are not whistle-blowers. Given the sensitivity of the information that they handle on a day to day basis, it becomes crucial that they can respect the confidentiality of the information and keep it with themselves. Of course, some private eye assignments do require professional to legally agree to the same as part of the contract, but even otherwise confidentiality is an indispensable trait of a good private investigator.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you have a police background or a similar experience in the past, you are better-disposed to take up a private investigation career. Then again, there are various trainings that can equip you with the essential skills that any private investigator needs- whether it is static surveillance or tailing someone.

Hire A Private Investigator

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How to Hire a Private Investigator

 From tracing a missing person to investigating a possible infidelity in a relationship, there are many reasons why people go to private investigators. Given the wealth of private investigators in the UK today, numbered at 10,000 or more, you certainly have an uphill task at hand when you have to zero-in on just one professional to help your case. Here are some useful pointers that you could use while hiring a private eye.


Experience counts

Experience is a key consideration while hiring a private eye, simply because it increases the odds of you getting more information on the case, as intended. When private investigators take on a case, it does not always accompany with the guarantee that you will get tangible investigative results from the attempt, and understandably so, due to the nature of the work. This is exactly why a private investigator with more experience, who has undergone exclusive training, is in a better position to take on the job. Hiring a private investigator who has had previous experience in the industry in other role such as the military, law enforcement or security professionals is always a plus.


Area of expertise matters

 The skill set that private investigation assignments demand vary vastly based on the field. For instance, matrimonial investigations would require the private eye to be well-versed in vehicle tracking, surveillance, gathering evidence and such. Corporate investigations, on the other hand, would require the private investigator to check for employee theft, misconduct, fraud and such. If you were to look at commercial investigation assignments, it would require someone who is experienced with competitor profiling. The bottom line is that you cannot take a one-fits-all approach when you are hiring a private investigator. It helps when their skills and area of expertise are aligned with your needs.


Get it on paper

 It’s always good to have the expected service and the associated costs spelled out in a contract agreement, it helps protect the interests of both parties in question. Usually, the initial appointment that you make with the private investigator will be free or have a small fee associated with it and the following assignments will have clear-cut costs, which vary on a case-by-case basis that is specified in the contract. The client’s expectations are also outlined in the contact agreement.


Settle the investigation fee

 The fees charged by private investigators vary depending on their experience, area of expertise and the assignment. Then again, some investigators charge fees by the hour and some others have a fixed fee quoted up front. Make sure you settle the investigation fee up front and have it penned down in the contract so there is better clarity on that front.

Basics of Private Investigation

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Basics of Private Investigation – What is it and What Does it Involve?

Private investigation and surveillance have become increasingly common and popular. It is a career that is seen as glamorous, risky, secretive and shady, all at the same time. It may have been shady many years ago, but it is a very respected and profitable professional today. Investigators have high end equipment, professional training and an in-depth know how of the law and order system. What is the professional all about? What does it involve and who can become an investigator? Read on to find out.


What is private investigation and surveillance?

Simply put, private investigation involves collecting information and uncovering secrets for clients. Client may range from individuals to private companies and government entities, which include law enforcement agencies. Private investigators are licensed in the state they operate as their work involves invasion of private space, which could be illegal without a license.

Since they do not belong to any government law enforcement body, it is usually easier for private investigators to gather information and have many local sources helping them out.


What does private investigation involve?

Private investigators have gone from operating out of dingy offices and shady areas to working as licensed investigative professionals in the last few years. The work of a private investigator can be extremely varied, although some choose to specialise in a certain kind of investigation.

Some of the work that private investigators undertake includes:


  • Close circuit camera surveillance on individuals.


  • Solving crimes and helping the police in finding suspects.


  • Helping with missing person complaints.


  • Investigations into individuals to reveal infidelity and collect proof of extra marital affairs.


  • Background check on potential employees of large and sensitive businesses including important government agency recruitment.

There are many more things that a private investigator might undertake as part of their work. Some prefer to choose a specialty like background checks, infidelity cases or such.


Who can become a private investigator?

Since the Private Investigation Industry is still not regulated there is no qualification level set in stone that you have to have be to become an investigator, Anyone can become a private investigator with the right attitude and work ethics, however;

A few things that can help you become a private investigator:


  • A solid background of ex military, police or close protection


  • A short term online or offline course detailing the basics of investigation and surveillance. (Level 3) or Diploma


  • Training in surveillance. (Level 3)


X Three Surveillance are putting together a training package and will be here soon, gaining you a level 3 in Professional Investigation and a Level 3 in Surveillance.

A majority of private investigators are ex law enforcement and military personnel, along with lawyers. However, these are not prerequisites to becoming a private investigator.

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