One of the most effective methods private investigators use to gather information is surveillance. Through legal surveillance practices, a professional private investigator can gain data and insights regarding the behaviors of individuals who may be involved in unethical business behaviors or criminal acts, such as corporate fraud and insurance fraud.
Surveillance investigations provide attorneys, insurance claims adjusters, business owners, and other professionals with the objective evidence they need to build solid cases, protect their interests, and help prosecute crimes when appropriate.
In the past, surveillance was largely an in-person practice involving interviews, observations, and tracking of the whereabouts of the individual being investigated. In the age of digital transformation, the process is much more complex. If you have made the decision to surveil an individual or group of individuals, here’s what you need to know.
The Four Basic Types of Surveillance
As outlined by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) training academy, there are four basic types of surveillance practices employed by professional private investigators:
- Physical Surveillance
- Digital Monitoring
- Technical Surveillance
Physical surveillance encompasses everything that has traditionally been associated with the practice, including observing the individual in person, tracking the person’s whereabouts on foot or by vehicle, and documenting their actions and interactions with others while they are out in public. Digital monitoring involves the tracking of your subject’s social media profiles and posts, and any other online activities that are in public view.
Depending on the nature of the case, surveillance could also involve interviews with any number of people connected to the individual being investigated, including coworkers, family members, and friends.
Technical surveillance involves the videotaping, photographing, and voice recording of the individual in question to produce records that could later be used as evidence in a court case or settlement.
Credentials, Confidentiality, Compliance
While the different types of surveillance typically work together to build a profile and case around the subject of an investigation, there is more to consider when authorizing investigative surveillance.
First, you need to ensure the surveillance techniques of your private investigator are fully compliant with local, state, and federal privacy laws. To that end, it is important to do your due diligence, including checking references, to make sure you are working with a fully licensed, highly experienced, reputable firm.
You also need to determine whether you want your investigation to be covert, in which the investigator proceeds in an undetected manner, or overt, in which the investigative process is known to the individual under scrutiny. While many investigations are conducted covertly, there are times when it makes sense to perform an overt investigation, such as when interviews with multiple individuals need to be conducted to uncover the facts of the case. Investigations can also be completed in a single setting, such as a workplace, or they can be mobile, in which the investigator tracks the daily travels and activities of the person being surveilled.
Partnering with Subrosa Investigations
Regardless of the type of surveillance you require, Subrosa is here to help. Our full-service private investigative agency offers superior intelligence collection and analyses methods that are practiced with integrity, discretion, and professionalism.
Our services are reliable and responsible, and conducted in accordance with all governing privacy laws. And because our highly trained investigators bring decades of experience to their work, you have peace of mind knowing that you will get the results you need and that the process will be handled in a way that protects your interests – and your reputation.
While the hallmark of our investigative work centers around our code of ethics, we also bring to each case the latest technologies available in our field to ensure that every avenue of discovery is explored and that your confidentiality is always assured.
Let us help you resolve your case discreetly, respectfully, and compliantly – so you can move forward and ultimately put it to rest. Contact us for a free consultation today.