Within the PI business, we call them “locates”; this is our industry jargon for cases where PIs have to find someone who doesn’t want to be found.
In the real world, people simply know they need to find someone and want to have some idea of what it’s going to cost.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to find someone and just as many why they might want to make that difficult. But no matter how badly you want to find them, it may simply be out of your grasp. Most people don’t have the time, much less the resources, experience and know-how to track down people who don’t live in their immediate area.
When people figure this out they usually turn to local, professional investigators like Prudential Associates (link to home page) to help them in their search. For more information about what this process entails and how much it costs, continue reading.
The Internet has made many services instantly available. If you’re looking for a pizza place nearby, the information is only a search away. If you’d like to book a flight, there are a number of websites that will list all your options at once. Even the movie you want to see right this instant is often only a click away.
Beware – you get what you pay for!
However, as many people learn the hard way, instant doesn’t always mean better. This is definitely the case when it comes to trying to locate someone. The Internet is full of “instant” services that prey on people’s desperation and take advantage of their desire for instant-gratification.
Most Internet “instant” finders generally charge around $100. They definitely will not be charging for gas or time, as they don’t travel anywhere.
Although the work they do may be more than an average person would know how to do, it’s not especially difficult either. Most of them simply put in the necessary work to track down someone’s last known address, verified billing information, etc. and then pass it on to their client. However, they never monitor that address to make sure the individual actually shows up. Nonetheless, they’ll pass along the address without any kind of guarantee.
When you hire a qualified professional or service, you can expect to pay a good deal more, but you can also expect higher-quality results. That’s because they’re doing more than simply putting the target’s name through a search engine or perusing public records.
While there’s no way to say for certain how much it will cost to find someone, most professional services will put the price somewhere between $300-$500. This amount covers the hourly rate of the actual work as well as gas money for necessary travel and is based on an hourly rate for investigative work.
There is never a guarantee of results, however. Whatever, if any, results are produced will also depend on the person you’re trying to find. Those who are currently on the run from law enforcement, for example, will most likely take a good deal of time to find, if it’s even possible.
First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re dealing with a Licensed Private Investigator if you want to guarantee that your business will be kept confidential. For most people, this should be considered a prerequisite.
Next, look for experience. Obviously, those who have been in business the longest are more likely to be the effective. However, keep in mind that if you’re paying hourly, they could also turn out to be the cheapest.
Third, find out what you’ll be paying for. Again, while they can’t possibly guarantee specific results, you should be informed how they’ll go about trying to track your person down. This should also be part of their results when they hand them over. So be sure they confirm that they’ll hand over all their source material at the end of their investigation.
If you’ve realized trying to track someone down is simply more than you can handle, it’s best to turn to a seasoned professional. While the Internet is full of cheaper alternatives, you stand to lose money, time and patience by hiring them.
If you would like to learn more, click here to read more about our “Locates” services including pricing, or call us at 1-877-279-6700 to speak to one of our investigators.