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Private Investigation is fast becoming a respectable and regular industry serving many purposes, gradually casting off the dark veil that previously clouded the profession. The profession is being increasingly legalized by state laws. Private Investigators even serve some important procedures required for the functioning of the legislation and the constitution. For example they often carry out the task of serving summons.

The first private investigation agency was set up by a Frenchman who was an ex-convict. He hired many ex-convicts to do the job and made a lot of breakthroughs. He created many ground-breaking techniques which are still used in investigation. He is the person who made the first cast of footprints and produced the first indelible ink and unalterable bond paper. The next famous name in the history of investigation is the American agency called the Pinkerton agency. The term private eye is derived from the logo of the agency.

Many private investigators work in agencies though many, about a quarter of all private investigators in US, work individually as freelancers. Private investigators are usually people who had been previously involved in investigation related jobs. They may be people who had served in the police, army, FBI, or as spies. They could also be ex-bodyguards and ex-security agents.

A private investigator may have various functions. One very essential work they do is to verify claims made with insurance companies. Very often false claims are filed with insurance companies in order to claim money inappropriately. Insurance companies use insurance adjustors to verify the authenticity of claims made by their clients. They are assigned to cases after claims are filed. The adjustor visits the site of damage and takes pictures and interviews witnesses. They put together their findings on a report and then start the process of settling the claim with the client. However if the adjustor is unable to reach a conclusion or suspects fraudulent activity then the case is handed higher up to an investigator. The investigator may often work behind the scene and in abnormal hours or round the clock monitoring and if need recording on surveillance cameras people they feel need to checked on.

Another important function investigators serve is in settling divorces and alimony, property and custody disputes. Previously there were no mutually agreed divorces and specific grounds were needed to get a divorce. So people hired investigators to spy on spouses in order to obtain proof of unfaithfulness, affairs and adultery. But these days such proof is not required. But still investigators are hired for such purposes in order to fight alimony, marriage property and custody disputes.

Investigators may also be hired by attorneys to research aspects of the case or to spy on their opponents’ clients and witnesses in order to gain advantage in the case.

The myth created around private investigation by mythical detectives like Sherlock Holmes and Dupin is getting slowly dissolved as private investigation is becoming more and more an organized profession. It is becoming clearer as the industry advances, that this is a regular job involving odd hours and particular skills done by professionally trained people and not by individuals with super hero like acumen.

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