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Real and Licensed Private Investigative Agencies

My name is Daniel L. Maya, owner of Maya & Maya Inc, and until recently, I have stayed out of a controversy among my colleagues. However, I do, in my opinion, have a valid argument that I would like to make now. There is a big difference between real licensed investigative agencies and PI Dispatchers.

Most investigators, like myself, join the investigative industry to help people. They, like us, are licensed by their state’s regulatory board and go through all the requirements to be able to call themselves a licensed private investigator.   Why is all this important? Because it safeguards the public’s welfare and the integrity of the profession. Lately, I have seen a trend via “Google Ad Words” where certain investigators “Pirates,”  I will call them – because they are not licensed to do complete the tasks they are advertising – pitch investigative services in states where they are unlicensed.

Let me explain.

When you hire a doctor based on their qualifications, education, certifications, and experience – would you feel comfortable with that doctor subcontracting out his services to a different doctor who lacks the experience you were seeking? Would you be okay with that same doctor invoicing you a premium rate because of his experience while his – novice – doctor performed the procedure? Would you be okay in knowing that the doctor you hired is unlicensed and unregulated in your state? Most of us wouldn’t. Unfortunately, this is exactly what’s happening in our industry. Currently, there are unlicensed and unregulated companies who act like so called “dispatchers” by sub-contracting the work to other investigators. They take your case, manage the investigation, accept fees from you, and in turn, submit evidence to you. They handle the entire case and investigation – remember, these companies are unregulated and unlicensed in the state.

How do these “Pirates” get away with this? By hiring a local private investigator at a fraction of the cost. An investigator who you did NOT hire to begin with and may lack the experience and certification you were seeking.

In the three states where I am licensed, Florida, California, and New York, I was required to go through regulatory testing, a background screening run by the FBI, supply verification of education and, finally, had to show documented experience. All of this was done so I could get licensed and offer investigative services in those states. Furthermore, in Florida and California, it is a criminal offense to work as a private investigator without an active and valid license.

Why is this pirating trend so problematic? Very simply, you are being sold services that are regulated in that state by a company that is not licensed nor authorized to perform such service or, even, follow the state-imposed regulations.  So, the argument is they hire a local private investigator that they have supposedly vetted. Really? You can do that yourself.  At the end of this article, I will put links where you can verify licenses in the states of Florida, New York, and California.

When you’re sick, you call you friends and family and ask for a referral and look for reviews. You call the doctor and make an appointment, and go to a physical office for that visit. Private investigations should be approached the same way. You need to screen your investigator the same way you screen your doctor.  If your investigator has a local office, visit them. Look for the required postings, certificates, degrees, and other proof that they are following state regulations.  Why would you pay for a doctor through a referral service and then accept service from a contractor being paid less than half of what you paid? That doesn’t make sense, logically or economically.

I will empower you to do your own research and hire a local private investigative agency that is properly licensed in the state you are seeking private investigation services from.  Many of us in this amazing field and career are former military, law enforcement officers, paralegals, federal law enforcement, or journalists.  We come from many different walks of life and try to help our clients, whether the have a corporate, insurance, or personal / domestic issue, to the best of our ability with integrity and honesty.

It is a requirement in the state of Florida, if you’re advertising in print or digitally, to post your license number on the advertisement.  In Florida, that license starts with an ‘A’ and is followed by numbers.  My agency’s number is A2300340, which means ‘A’ is the term for a private investigative agency and 23 means 2003, the year my agency license was issued.  The rest of the numbers are assigned randomly, perhaps indicating the number of licenses issued in that year.

With all of this information in mind, I hope you are empowered to make an informed decision on who you are hiring. Do not be afraid to ask questions, to visit a local office whenever possible, to meet the professional in person, to request a contract, and to ask to see a state-issued Private Investigator License within your state.

God Speed and Good Luck.

The following links are for your assistance to verify licenses and the two professional associations in Florida that you could verify if someone is a member of that organization as well:

 

PI 101: Surveillance Techniques Used in a Private Investigation

TYPES OF SURVEILLANCE IN A PRIVATE INVESTIGATION

 

Surveillance is the stealthy observation of a person, place, or thing and is one of the methods used by private investigators and law enforcement agencies to confirm or deny allegations of illegal or suspicious behavior. Surveillance can be done in person or with the use of electrical devices to monitor conversations. It is also carries some risk. If a private investigator (PI) is detected in an area, his ability to return there will be compromised. Different types of surveillance can be used in a private investigation, and the best private investigators know which method is best suited to the individual cases.

 

Surveillance Used in a Private Investigation

  1. Mechanical Surveillance

This is the usage of electronic/ technological devices to conduct surveillance. The benefit here is that unlike people, equipment doesn’t get bored, hungry, or tired. Equipment can be used in more than one location at a time and has the ability to obtain information 24/7.

  • Electronic Monitoring. This involves surveillance of telephone, internet, fax, and email communications. However, in order for a private investigator to proceed, he will require a court order
  • Stationary Device Surveillance. This is when a PI uses recording equipment and a hidden camera in a parked vehicle. The car is normally stationed in an area that won’t draw too much attention, such as a parking lot. The device can sometimes be unmanned, while still recording images at any time. The fact that it does not require the PI’s presence helps decrease the chance of discovery, and the PI is also able to come and go as he pleases.

 

  1. Human Surveillance

This is when the private investigator himself is the main source of information. In other words, the PI is physically there observing and tailing targets in person.

  • The Stakeout. Also known as fixed surveillance. With this type of surveillance, the PI observes people or places from a distance. The PI can either be alone or with another investigator. Having two PIs on a stakeout is generally preferable, as one can rest while the other watches. Additionally, they are able to alternate positions, thereby reducing their chances of being spotted.
  • Three-Person Surveillance. According to Chron, this is also called the ABC method, referring to the PIs’ assigned roles. Person A remains behind the suspect, with person B following close by. Private investigator C generally stays across the street, constantly staying slightly ahead of or behind the suspect.

 

  1. Overt vs Covert Surveillance

This is in effect when people in a public place are aware that there is surveillance equipment. For example, people in a casino are aware that there are cameras recording to ensure there is no cheating or stealing.

Covert surveillance is the method generally used by private investigators. They tail or observe the individual without her knowledge, as long as the private investigator does not violate any state laws.

 

What Private Investigators Have to Keep in Mind

When using surveillance in a private investigation, PIs have to use all their skills and have to have certain qualities. Most PIs need a good memory, an outgoing personality, attention to detail, and great communication skills. They also have to have patience and be observant and resourceful.

  • Ethics and Laws. Information obtained from surveillance is often very sensitive. A good PI has to be fully aware of the laws in their state, particularly regarding trespassing, audio recording, and invasion of privacy. It is therefore the PI’s duty to know his legal limits and conduct the private investigation accordingly.
  • Involving the Authorities. Depending on state laws, a private investigator may not be obliged to inform the authorities of the nature of the investigation, or the individual the PI is investigating.

 

Professionals for Your Private Investigation

If you require a private investigator, Maya and Maya offer a wide range of private investigation services from missing persons to online dating investigations and everything in between. Our operatives are professional and have 10 years of experience in civil and domestic investigations. They are experts at surveillance and other methods of private investigating, but operate within the confines of the law while keeping our clients’ best interests in mind. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how you can benefit from our professional services.

 

What You Need to Find Out Before Deciding to Forgive a Cheating Spouse

CHEATING SPOUSE INVESTIGATOR: QUESTIONS TO ASK A CHEATING SPOUSE AND YOURSELF BEFORE FORGIVING THEM

 

So you’ve hired a cheating spouse investigator, and you’ve discovered that your significant other is cheating. This news can be devastating. Why did he or she cheat? How do you go on from there? Do you stay with the cheater or leave? Will you ever trust your significant other again? Do you forgive a cheater, and if you do, how will your relationship change? These are just some of the questions that may pop into your head. However, before you make a decision on what to do, there are some questions you should ask your loved one, as well as yourself, to help determine your next step and begin the recovery process.

 

Questions to Ask Your Cheating Spouse

  1. Are You Still Seeing the Other Person?

If your loved one cheated on you with someone in their workplace, it may be difficult for them to completely avoid that coworker. However, the question here is whether the cheating spouse is choosing to still see this person when it’s not necessary. If they are still seeing each other, it means the cheater continues to betray you, and you should probably leave.

 

  1. Are You in Love with Him/ Her?

This can be a difficult question for both you and the cheating spouse. He or she may not even be sure of the answer, and so getting an honest answer may be difficult. For you, hearing the answer, “yes” could deal a devastating blow, and it may be time to move on after that answer.

 

  1. How did this Happen? Is Something Missing in our Relationship?

Finding out what led them astray could help when you are trying to decide whether to forgive your loved one and stay, or move on. If something is missing in your relationship, is he or she willing to do whatever it takes to work on it?

 

  1. Do You Want Us to Work this Out?

Some spouses purposefully cheat in order to get caught and get out of a relationship. Find out if the cheater intends to leave or wants to work this out. You may also want to find out if the cheater feels guilt or remorse. However, that can be a tricky question to ask, because that’s an easy lie for the cheater to tell. You would probably have to feel that the loved one is remorseful, regardless of the answer.

 

  1. What if this Happens Again?

This is where your loved one needs to convince you what steps he or she is going to take to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Apologies are nice, but if he or she just keeps begging for your trust without some kind of solid plan, that should be a warning sign for you.

 

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Does He or She Deserve to be Forgiven?

If you found out they were cheating because of evidence obtained from a cheating spouse investigator, chances are your spouse did not confess until he or she was caught. There is a lot to be said about a person’s morals if that individual never came forth with the information, and if you forgive him or her now, how do you know it won’t happen again?

 

  1. Did this Come as a Shock, or am I Not Surprised?

Are you still in love with the cheater, or had the relationship already run its course? You’d really need to evaluate the relationship.

 

  1. Has He or She Been Deceitful Before?

Perhaps this may be the first time he or she was cheating, but there could have been red flags throughout the relationship. Is your spouse generally an honest person, or has your spouse displayed dishonest behavior before?

  1. Can I Deal With This and Stay?

Do you still want to be with your spouse? Does the good outweigh the bad? Even if the good does outweigh the bad, one case of infidelity can really mess up the relationship. Are you willing to make things work? Is this something you can forgive, or will you forever be throwing it back in his or her face?

 

There is no right or wrong answer when going through these questions. It is a very personal process. The only person you should have to justify your answers to is yourself, even if friends and family disagree.

 

Miami Cheating Spouse Investigator

Do you suspect that your spouse is cheating but need to prove it for sure? Maya and Maya offer a wide range of private investigation services, including cheating spouse investigations. Our operatives have 10 years experience in both domestic and civil investigations, and always keep our client’s best interest at the heart of their investigations. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

Cheating Spouse Investigator: Learn how to Bust Your Cheating Spouse

CHEATING SPOUSE INVESTIGATOR: CATCH A CHEATING SPOUSE

 

Catching a cheating spouse can be difficult. How so? Because the cheater is at an advantage. They are able to take advantage of the trust their spouses have in them. However, your suspicions have become too big to ignore and it’s now time to get some evidence, but where do you begin?

 

According to Taylor & Francis Online, it is estimated that 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men cheat on their spouses at some point in their marriages. With such statistics, your suspicions about your partner may be well founded. Of course, you might be wrong, but you might be right. Here’s how you can become a mini cheating spouse investigator and find out.

 

4 Ways You Can Catch a Cheating Spouse

 

  1. Your Spouse’s Cell Phone

Try to gain access to your spouse’s phone when they leave it unattended. Be prepared for what you may find (or may not find). Other than going through texts, emails and photos, you may want to take advantage of the time you have with your partner’s phone and go through the following:

  • Google Maps. Some apps show app history, and Google Maps is one of them. Use it to find out where your spouse has been lately.
  • Auto-complete. Begin typing in a search term on Facebook, email or even Google, and the phone will guess what you’re looking for based on previous searches. This works on a laptop too. You may just be able to come across all the emails that have been sent to your spouse’s cute new coworker.

 

  1. Home Security Cameras

Your home security system is not only used to catch thieves, but can be used to catch unfaithful spouses as well. Nanny cams, and even baby monitor cameras can be of use.

 

  1. Follow Them

Some partners purposefully pick fights so they have an excuse to leave. Following your spouse, particularly after a fight, might lead you to discover who and where their secret lover is. If you get caught following them, you can always use the excuse that you were trying to apologize.

 

  1. Monitor Their Spending

Keep track of their credit card statements, ATM withdrawals, receipts and phone records. You may be able to uncover some spending habits that don’t quite make sense. In other words, your spouse could be buying items for their lover, which will need some explaining.

 

Sounds like too Much Work? Hire a Cheating Spouse Investigator

If all this sounds like too much work for you, or you’re worried you may get caught, hire a cheating spouse investigator to do the dirty work for you. Some advantages of getting professional help include:

  • While you may not have the time to follow your spouse around all day, a private investigator has the time to dedicate to your case.
  • Experience and Access to Resources. Many private investigators have backgrounds in criminal justice or law enforcement, which can give them access to contacts such as technology experts, as well as access to equipment used in private investigations. A professional private investigator will be able to conduct surveillance while keeping within the confines of the law. You, on the other hand, may find yourself with a lawsuit if you do it on your own.
  • The best private investigators know how to efficiently extract information. Their experience in the field means they have most likely acquired some skill along the way. They’ll know how to navigate the sensitive world of exposing infidelity.
  • Guaranteed Evidence. The job of a private investigator is essentially to provide facts and evidence. This may be evidence of an affair or the absence of one. Either way, you’ll get the facts.

 

Miami Cheating Spouse Investigator

If you’re considering hiring a cheating spouse investigator, Maya and Maya offer many private investigation services, including exposing cheating spouses. Our operatives have several years of experience in civil and domestic cases, and are fully aware of how sensitive such investigations are. If you’re looking for the evidence you need to catch your spouse, contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll set you on the path to peace of mind.