What tactics do private investigators use?

A detective (from Latin detegere = to discover, to uncover) or also a private detective or private investigator is a person who documents findings and information through observation, research and questioning in the context of gathering evidence and / or providing emergency evidence; especially for use as evidence in court. The term private detective comes from the translation of the Anglo-Saxon “private investigator” or “private detective”. Since the term "detective" in Anglo-Saxon countries was and is a rank or a functional designation in the police force, private detectives at the time wanted to clarify the difference by adding the word "private".

The detective - like in film and literature?

When the term detective comes up, some people associate it with the clichéd image of a man in a checked cloak, with a detective's cap, pipe in mouth and magnifying glass in hand, as the fictional master detective Sherlock Holmes is often depicted. But the reality looks a little different (luckily).

The real detective is far more than a snoop and puzzle solver. Modern detectives of today's style are an integral part of the legal system.

A good detective has experience, competence and a high level of specialist knowledge, especially of the regulations and laws of the countries in which he works. He works professionally, discreetly, completely transparent, effective and strictly adheres to the legal bases. He is also reliable, discreet, trustworthy, technically savvy and has a lot of stamina to complete his assignment successfully.

What does a detective do?

A private investigator is engaged in so-called detective activities. This includes, among other things, the identification of witnesses, questioning and observing people, researching relevant information about target persons or the facts and meticulously documenting each work step.

Basically, the fields of activity of a detective are divided into the private and business sectors.

This is what a private detective deals with:

  • Custody and maintenance disputes
  • Suspicion of infidelity of the spouse / partner
  • Child repatriation
  • Searching for missing or hiding family members, friends and acquaintances
  • Uncovering marriage frauds
  • Written reports and comparisons
  • Suspected vandalism in the neighborhood
  • Assessment of the creditworthiness of tenants and tenant nomads
  • Threatening letters, stalking and stalking
  • Private mediation
  • Problem teenagers

This is what a business detective deals with:

  • Investigations into suspected eavesdropping in the company
  • IT forensics / computer forensics
  • Due diligence investigations
  • Insurance fraud
  • Mediation / mediation between business partners, service providers or superiors and employees
  • Smuggling detectives into the work environment to uncover theft or shrinkage
  • Suspicion of abuse of continued payment of wages
  • Unauthorized secondary employment by employees
  • Billing or investment fraud
  • Violation of the law against unfair competition (UWG) and competition fraud
  • Vehicle security
  • Industrial / industrial espionage
  • Applicant analyzes / headhunting and applicant screening
  • Brand counterfeiting / product piracy
  • Determination of the creditworthiness of contractual partners or employees

What do you need a detective for?

Detectives have in-depth knowledge in the areas of questioning and obtaining evidence. Only professionally trained detectives know what evidence can stand up in court and how to obtain it. It is therefore not advisable, as a private person, to investigate, conduct shadowing and question witnesses yourself, especially not if you are involved in the conflict yourself.

A detective acts as a neutral observer and witness in court or in out-of-court discussions with lawyers or other persons, who will make a significant contribution to clarifying the matter.

How do you recognize a professional detective?

In order to achieve a satisfactory result, you should definitely contact a reputable detective agency. Our checklist should help you to check the professionalism of the detective agencies and detectives in advance:

  • Is the detective agency certified with a TÜV seal for quality assurance and service quality?
  • Does the detective have the necessary training to become a certified detective (ZAD) or ZAD certified private investigator (IHK)?
  • Does the detective agency only work with permanent detectives? In other words: does the detective agency refrain from using subcontractors or temporary workers?
  • Is the detective agency affiliated with a professional association and have the detectives committed to complying with the professional code of conduct for detectives?
  • Read customer reviews.

How do you become a detective?

Unfortunately, there is currently no legally required training to become a detective in Germany. If you want to become a detective, you have to complete the two-year, recognized basic training at the Central Office for Training in the Detective Trade (ZAD), which is completed with the certificate as a certified detective (ZAD) or ZAD certified private investigator (IHK).

Further education and training take place, for example, through seminars from the IHK or the Federal Association of German Detective e.V. (BDD).



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