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Can a private investigator stalk you?

Can a private investigator stalk you? Find out!

Can a private investigator stalk you?

Can a private investigator stalk you?

Can a private investigator stalk you? Private investigators are often paid to follow people, take pictures and video of people, and watch people as they go about their daily activities. Often, private investigators follow people for long periods of time – days, weeks, and even months in some cases. There are cases where a private investigator could actually be accused of stalking and we’ll discuss these below. But first, we must examine what stalking actually is. 

What is stalking?

Stalking, in most people’s minds, is when someone has an obsession with another person and follows them around and tries to observe their every move. Stalking can be difficult to define, because in most cases it depends on how the victim perceives the attention being paid to them. In some cases, a victim might say, “Oh, that’s just how they are”, and in other cases the victim might be terrified by the unwanted attention of a stalker. 

Stalking usually involves the following: 

  • Unwanted Attention
  • Harassment
  • Abuse
  • Intimidation
  • Invasion of privacy 
  • Verbal or written threats
  • Threatening behavior 
  • Criminal acts towards the victim
While it can be argued that for most people, being the focus of a private investigator could be seem as “unwanted attention” there are some really important differences between a private investigator and a stalker. 

The key difference between a private investigator and a stalker

Private investigation is a profession that involves gathering evidence for any number of reasons, but most often the evidence being gathered is to support one side of a court case. A client hires a private investigator to gather this evidence and it can include placing someone under surveillance or following them for a long time. The key difference between a private investigator and a stalker is the fact that a private investigator is licensed. 

A license is required to follow someone, in almost ALL cases. 

Private investigators are licensed either by the State Police or by the Secretary of State. You can see what a real private investigation license looks like here. Every private investigator is required to be licensed in some way and they have to go through training and testing to get that license, and to maintain it. 

Other key differences

Let’s examine the generally accepted causes of stalking listed above and describe how a private investigator’s actions differ from these causes, and why: 

  • Unwanted Attention – can a private investigator stalk you by showing you unwanted attention? Only if they make actual contact with you. In most cases a private investigator will never make contact with you and you should never even know they are there – if they’re doing their job properly. 
  • Harassment – can a private investigator stalk you by harassing you?  This is definitely a no-no for a private investigator. Private investigators are trained to be covert and hidden. If a private investigator is harassing you, you should report them to the police immediately. Professional private investigators will never harass you. 
  • Abuse – can a private investigator stalk you by abusing you? Definitely, but again this is not the job, or the goal of a professional private investigator. 
  • Intimidation – can a private investigator stalk you by intimidating you? Once again, a private investigator works behind the scenes and you should never even know they’re there, if they are doing their job properly. As such, they would never intimidate you if they were remaining covert. 
  • Invasion of privacy  – can a private investigator stalk you by invading your privacy? Of course, private investigators are not exempt from invasion of privacy laws, and indeed the law punishes private investigators more harshly in cases where someone’s private was violated. 
  • Verbal or written threats – can a private investigator stalk you by making verbal or written threats? Threatening someone is considered to be illegal and a private investigator who is doing their job properly will never threaten you or attempt to threaten you. 
  • Threatening behavior  – can a private investigator stalk you by behaving towards you in a threatening manner? This again would probably be illegal for a private investigator to do, and would not be the sign of a professional private investigator. 
  • Criminal acts towards the victim – can a private investigator stalk you by committing crimes? Yes. Private investigators are bound by the same laws regular citizens are bound by. If you see a private investigator breaking the law you should report them to the police. 

 

Can a private investigator be tricked into stalking?

This is indeed quite possible. When private investigators deal with clients they don’t meet, they should always take extra steps to ensure that: 

  1. They know exactly who their client is 
  2. They are fully aware of the entire reasons for the investigation
  3. They make sure there are no court orders preventing them from conducting an investigation
Clients aren’t always the most forthcoming when giving information to a private investigator (or their attorney, for that matter) and the responsibility lies with the investigator to make sure no laws are being broken. 

If you want to to have a no-obligation discussion with a professional, caring private investigator who can share what is stalking entails, then just call (800) 867-3930 and speak to someone who will be happy to answer any questions you have. There’s no obligation. If you are looking for affordable licensed private investigators in Atlanta with 20 years of experience assisting individuals, attorneys and corporations feel free to contact us here. You can also view a portion of our extensive client list here, and see here what actual clients say about Eagle Investigative Services a private investigator in Atlanta, Georgia.

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