Debunking 4 Myths About Private Investigators

There are many stereotypes and myths when it comes to private investigators. Due to the influence of movies and popular culture, people commonly assume that private investigators lead lives of mystery and suspense while possessing legal powers above those of the everyday citizen.

Truthfully, private investigators are far from being mysterious figures. The private investigators at Cowan Investigations are bound by the law just as much as anyone else, and a few of these popular misconceptions could stand to be debunked.

Myth #1. PIs Lead Lives of Adventure and Suspense

In contrast to the film portrayals of PIs engaging in high-speed car chases and holding meetings in dark, deserted garages, the life of a private investigator is just as pedestrian as anyone else. Much of the day is spent doing background checks and research from behind a desk, filling out paperwork, and assisting with clients’ legal cases. Further, surveillance typically involves many hours of quietly waiting and watching.

Myth #2. Private Investigators Can Circumvent the Law

A PI has the same law enforcement authority as any civilian. A private investigator cannot perform activities that police are forbidden from engaging in, cannot trespass, and cannot impersonate individuals to obtain information. The investigators at Cowan Investigations possess deep knowledge of the law, allowing them to conduct surveillance and to collect photographs, video, and audio of their subjects without violating any federal, state, or local laws.

Myth #3. PIs Have Access to Non-Public Information

Private investigators cannot access bank accounts, phone records, or credit checks without permission from either the relevant party or by court order. On the other hand, a good PI will be adept at uncovering information that is already public, and by using private investigator databases, they can often find out new addresses, vehicle locations, asset locations, background check results, court and business records, and information on relatives, all in a legal manner.

Myth #4. PIs Can Hack Phone Calls or Social Media Accounts

Despite the common assumption, private investigators cannot tap phones, hack emails, or search through social media accounts any more than another private citizen. However, as mentioned, a seasoned private investigator such as Bob Cowan will be skilled at collecting a wide range of other information in a legally permissible manner.

Cowan Investigations proudly serves Bergen, Monmouth, Mercer, Middlesex, and Ocean Counties, NJ, as well as any other New Jersey location. To schedule a free 30-minute consultation, contact Cowan Investigations online or call 732-201-8142.