Here are some common questions about investigations.
I think my partner is having an affair; are there certain red flags that I should look out for?
Although there are often common warning signs exhibited by many cheaters, nothing is ever full proof. Some will exhibit no warning signs, while others may exhibit many; Generally, the more red flags your spouse exhibits, the more likely it is that they are cheating.
Can you get started on my case right away?
In most situations, this is determined by our current caseload. In order to maintain a certain level of excellence in our investigations, we only handle so many cases at any given time. Although not the norm, if the circumstances are that we do have an open slot for an investigation, we can usually get started that very day.
You won’t say anything about this to anyone, will you?
Every conversation between anyone in our office and any prospect or client, regarding any case or assignment is totally confidential.
Can I get a copy of the pictures and/or video?
Yes. You will be given the original video along with any photographs we may have taken, as well as a written report of our activities on your case.
Are your videos and reports admissible in court?
Our work product is admissible in court to help you with your case. We will also testify in court, if necessary, to support your case.
Do you give free consultations?
Here is how our process works…When you first call into our office, you will most likely speak to one of our investigators on the phone. We will take 15 to 20 minutes to discuss your case and see if it seems like we could be of any service to you. For some folks, that is enough for them to make up their mind whether we are what they are looking for. Additionally, it gives us a chance to determine whether your case is right for us. If we are both comfortable moving forward, we can make arrangements to move forward with an investigation right there on the phone.
In other cases, it makes more sense to meet face to face at our offices. We can set a time for you to come in and meet either myself or one of the lead investigators to further discuss your case. We do charge a $1,000 fee for a 1-hour, face-to-face consultation (This fee is waived if we both decide to move forward with an investigation).
Can you get video inside bars and restaurants?
Yes. We do use state-of-the art covert cameras for getting evidence of people in restaurants, bars, etc., however we do not enter hotel rooms or residences to get video.
What is the benefit to having a private investigator get proof that my spouse is cheating on me?
In some cases, it doesn’t make much sense to pay for an investigation. In others, clients just want concrete proof so that they can gain some peace of mind. Additionally, being able to move forward in a tenuous situation, basing your decisions on facts, rather than “feelings or emotions,” can make decisions easier to make.
In some cases, it doesn’t make much sense to pay for an investigation. In other situations, people just need to know what the facts are. There are several reasons this might be the case. First of all, knowing the truth can give you the confidence to make decisions regarding your family’s future with more peace of mind. Another reason is that some people just need a little reassurance that they aren’t crazy or out of their mind…because that’s how you can feel when you’re going through a situation like this and you don’t know what the truth is.
Many of our clients have told us that the evidence we’ve uncovered in the course of our investigations has given them a lot of “leverage” in their divorce proceedings.
In other cases, concrete proof was the only thing that could force the unfaithful spouse to finally come to terms with the situation and admit the truth so that the healing process could begin to move forward.
Do you handle cases outside of New York City?
Yes. It is not uncommon for our investigators to handle investigations outside of the City. All of our investigators carry passports on them in case they need to follow a subject onto an airplane.
Additionally, current clients will often bring us in on an investigation out of town when they don’t know who they can trust in another geographic area.
We are licensed in both the state of New York and Ohio, two of the most difficult states in which to acquire a P.I. license. Being licensed in both of these states gives us reciprocal jurisdiction across most of the nation.
Do you handle child custody investigations?
Yes. We handle all different aspects of child custody disputes; whether it’s documenting that a parent is either neglecting a child or exposing a him/her to a potentially harmful or dangerous situation. Examples might include situations where alcohol, drugs or physical, mental and/or emotional abuse are involved.
I’m thinking of doing the surveillance myself. Is that legal?
If it is your spouse you are following, it is probably legal. However, if it is an ex-spouse or ex-boy/girlfriend, you are probably criminally stalking that person. The other issues to keep in mind when considering this option, even if you are on solid legal ground, the person you’re trying to surveil probably knows you and/or your vehicle and they might recognize, or become aware of you. And at the point that they discover you, the game is up…hopefully after you got the proof you were after, but you will have shown your hand. It is usually better to keep your cards close to the vest until the right time (or, at least until emotions have cooled down).
Even though I’ve performed countless surveillances, I’d think real hard before trying to do surveillance on someone who knew me. In most cases, when you are the one being wronged, you are just too close to the action to think objectively, rather than emotionally. I guess it all depends on what the stakes are in the situation.
I don’t know where to turn. What is my next step to take?
The very first thing you can do, if you are comfortable with it, is to anonymously and confidentially give one of our offices a call. The main office number is 212-486-3078. In most instances, you will be connected to an experienced investigator who can take a few minutes to get an understanding of your situation and see if we can’t maybe help out. Additionally, any time you see the blue “Help” tab/button on the right side of our web page, you can click on that and have an anonymous “Live Chat” with someone in our offices.
Is it legal to put a GPS tracking device on someone’s vehicle?
I usually hate giving this answer, but, “It depends.” It depends on several factors…such as whose vehicle you’re putting the tracker on, whose putting it on the vehicle, where on the vehicle it’s being installed, where the vehicle is when it is being installed and a host of other dynamics regarding the case.
One final advantage to having a professional install and monitor the device is that once we see and know where the problem is, you will have a professional and experienced investigator, armed with professional cameras suited for the situation, whether it be night vision, long-range or covert cameras ready to pounce once the opportunity arises. Our investigators have computers in the vehicles and can zero right in on situations to obtain the concrete proof and evidence that will give you the peace of mind you deserve.
What it comes down to is how important it is to find out what you’re after and how serious you are about getting to the bottom of the issue without taking unnecessary risks.
Can I get access to view the GPS tracker on my own computer?
We grant computer access to clients on a case-by-case basis. For obvious reasons, we can’t give access all of our clients.
For those situations, our clients are given a link to our IntegrityGPS website along with a unique username and password to use for access. We also have a mobile website portal so that clients can get real-time access on their iPhone and Android devices.
How will you get the device on the vehicle?
Every situation is different. We can sometimes do it while the vehicle is parked in the driveway, at work or in the street. In other situations, we will wait until the driver leaves their home or work and parks in a public place. When they leave the vehicle, we will quickly install the device.
I think someone is tracking my vehicle...how do I find out?
Being as experienced as we are at installing GPS trackers on vehicles, we also know where to find and recover them. We also have a GPS detector that is used specifically for “sweeping” vehicles for GPS devices. We have a flat fee we charge for searching a vehicle for GPS trackers.
Can you do a social media search?
Yes. Our office investigators have specialized training and much experience in conducting social media research. We cannot, however, recover deleted posts from social media outlets. This information is sometimes recoverable by an attorney who knows what he’s doing with a subpoena.
Can you do a background investigation on someone without them knowing about it?
Yes. This is usually how we handle our background investigations.
What does a background investigation include?
A background investigation can include everything from just finding out where someone presently lives (what we call “a locate”) to a full-blown background which can include everything including asset research, where someone is banking (“a bank account search”), criminal and civil court records, public records checks, going through someone’s garbage (a very dirty job, but often very productive and informative), GPS tracking and even manned surveillance.
Do you conduct pre-employment background investigations?
In most cases, the answer is “no.” We are not geared to do background “checks” where we would be restricted by the regulations and rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). There are a few exceptions, however. One would be, where the Pre-employment background investigation is for a position where the candidate is going for a job where the annual income will be greater than $75,000. In this case, the FCRA makes an exception. We can also conduct background investigations in connection with “due diligence” of potential business partners, vendors, etc.
What kind of information can you retrieve from a smartphone/computer?
In most cases, we need to have our hands on the actual device, whether it is the computer or the cell phone. In those cases, we can usually recover most, if not all, data that was ever on the device, including deleted materials. All situations are different though, and there are times where our technicians are unable to recover information from a device.
Can you retrieve text messages?
Yes. See above.
Do you need the device to retrieve information?
Yes. In certain circumstances, your attorney should be able to use his subpoena power to get text messages from wireless carriers through the court.
I think someone is listening in on my phone calls. Is this possible? Can you see if it is bugged?
Yes. It is possible that someone could have your phone “bugged” or “tapped,” however, it is very unlikely. If it is bugged or tapped, it is probably either by a federal law enforcement agency with a Title III Wiretap warrant. Which would mean that you are being looked at criminally, or possibly by the CIA or NSA, in either of these cases, we can’t or won’t help you.
I have tried out some of the services and devices that are advertised on-line to “listen in” on phone conversations, to see if they actually work, and so that I could help my clients defend themselves from these types of intrusions, but I haven’t come across anything legitimate yet.
I think that my house is bugged. Can you do a bug sweep to find it?
Yes. We do conduct bug sweeps both for corporations and for individuals. Be forewarned, though…it is expensive. Our technician has over $25,000 worth of electronic equipment and 25 years of professional experience to deal with these types of matters. You should also know if and when we do find a listening device, we are compelled to report it to a law enforcement authority.
Do you handle Criminal Defense cases?
No. We do not work for criminals, criminal suspects, or the lawyers who represent them. I am currently a police officer and to do any type of criminal defense work would be in direct conflict with not only my professional obligations, but also with my personal principles.
This is not to be confused with the fact that we can and will investigate criminal matters from the prosecutor’s side of the table. If you take a look at our “Integrity In the News” webpage, you will see that we have actively investigated, prosecuted and sent to prison, numerous criminal offenders through the private investigation role.
How much can I expect to pay for a cheating spouse investigation?
Each case is different and there is no way of determining how much it will cost without finding out more details regarding the situation. The more upfront and reliable information you can provide us ahead of time, the more directed and efficient we can start out. We provide the best investigative services and there simply is no other agency that will give you the results that we will without getting caught. You will get what you pay for and if the investigator is caught, you probably will not get a second chance. We do not provide the cheapest service, however we guarantee to provide the best service available when it comes to surveillance-types of investigations.
How much is the retainer?
In most cases, we do require a retainer deposit, which ranges from $10,000-$25,000. Investigative services are then billed against the retainer. At any point during the investigation (and at the completion of the case) we will inform you of the balance.
How much do you charge per hour?
How much we charge per hour depends on several factors. Ranging on what kind of investigative work we are doing, to how many hours you are paying for upfront, in your retainer.
Some services, such as asset research, GPS tracking and computer or cell phone forensics are handled as flat fees, whereas any time we have to put a person in the field, an hourly rate will usually apply.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We do accept MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
What other forms of payment do you accept?
We accept check, personal check, business check, money order and cash.