Private Investigation

Find a private investigator near Forest Glen, IL

Find a private investigator near Forest Glen, IL

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What does a private investigator do?

First and foremost, good private investigators follow laws. Unlike on TV, they don’t break in windows or hack into hospital computer systems to get you intel. When you hire a private investigator, you’re hiring a professional to gather facts and find information for you. Although they can’t obtain certain information (such as health records), they do have access to information that most civilians do not. Often private investigators are hired to perform surveillance or background checks or investigate cases such as adultery, child custody, missing persons, hidden assets, or debugging, and theft or other crimes.

Private investigators can be hired to interview people and provide that information to the client, perform photo or video surveillance, monitor activity at a location where you suspect criminal activities or questionable behavior, track a person’s movements, find missing people, do deep-dive background checks, and more. Private investigation can be helpful if you’re trying to get a court order but need evidence. Private investigators can also help find birth parents. Nationally, the average price range for private investigation is $70-$210 per hour.

What does a private investigator cost?

Private investigation isn’t just for blockbuster action movies. Hiring a private investigator can help in all kinds of situations ranging from finding a birth parent to improving personal security. Nationally, the average price range for private investigation is $70-$210, although pricing often hovers between $40 and $100 depending on the complexity of the services you need. Where you live in the country will affect your costs for private investigation; larger cities have higher business overhead and a higher cost of living, which in turn means higher service rates. The complexity of your case can also affect cost. A basic background check may have a flat rate, while hiring a private investigator to help with your child custody case may require more legwork and research, and therefore cost more. Some private investigators work on retainer. A retainer is essentially a nonrefundable deposit you pay to the professional — meaning you have retained their services — who then works against that amount. Here are some examples of average private investigation costs:

  • Hourly rate: $60-$70; costs can vary based on current fuel prices.
  • Flat rate: $100 for comprehensive background investigation services.
  • Retainer: $1,500 minimum retainer required by some pros before starting work.

Why do people hire private investigators?

Not sure if you should hire a private investigator (PI) for your situation? Here are some common reasons why people hire PIs:

  • To perform background checks
  • To conduct surveillance
  • To investigate and confirm infidelity 
  • To locate assets
  • To gather evidence for trials
  • And more

To find out if hiring a private investigator is the right route to take, contact a few local PIs. Ask them about the services they offer (and how much they charge).

How do you find a private investigator?

You can find a private investigator on Thumbtack. Use the filtering tool to identify a PI who offers the services you need (e.g., background checks, surveillance, etc.), and you’ll see a list of top-rated PIs in your area.

Reviews for Forest Glen private investigators
Zack P.
According to Lewis Brown, who I spoke with, private investigation is busy work so he has something to do rather than rely on money from running his security business. He charged me $1k to find 4 people, but he only really worked on finding 1 person. I found out that normally the price to find someone is $300-500. He charged me more to find one person. The communication was terrible. I send him emails. I leave voicemails numerous times. I get no response. He doesn't call back. I hired him in Dec 2017. It's now Aug 2018. He spent more than 7 months finding one person. This isn't normal. I found out from talking to other people. Also, Lewis is part of the army so he was gone for a month. I didn't have a way to find out what was going on. My case was not a priority to him. If you want to hire him for security that's fine. However, ADP is not the right choice if you want private investigative services. What's funny is that in May 2018 I get a text from him that he doesn't like to waste my money. He offers to refund me half my money because I have no results, no information, nothing. Well surprise, surprise. I can't get a hold of him towards the end to find out what's going on. If I can leave zero stars I would. One star is the lowest I can give. There are other PIs who can give better services for less. He pretty much told me that even if he couldn't find the person you were looking for he would be able to find some "information" so you can continue your search with another PI. I was naive and fooled. You're not paying for "information". You're paying for results, and results matter. What I got from him was a waste of money and time. Look elsewhere for private investigative services. Unless you want to go through the same experience I had.
American Public DefenseAmerican Public Defense
Zack P.
When I spoke with Sam Bowden I knew my case would be difficult so I told him up front that I didn't want to waste my money or my time if it's not possible. Well of course he wanted the money so he told me it would be possible. This was back in Dec 2017. More than 7 months later in Aug 2018, I have no information or results. I paid $300 to find a girl I knew in high school before I moved. I told him I didn't know her last name. He had me call the school to get a yearbook for the possible years she was there. I thought it was his job to do all this instead of me. Anyways his communication was terrible. I call, but he doesn't answer. He doesn't call back. I email him, but I get a response days later. I had a terrible experience overall. I just think he's inept and incompetent. If you want to take a gamble with your money on this private investigator go for it. I would not recommend it.
The Bowden Group & Associates LLCThe Bowden Group & Associates LLC
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