What to do when mistaken for a cop as a private investigator.

I got a question from a follower and he asked, “What do you do when you’re working as a private investigator, but mistaken for a police officer”?

The only time I recall this happening to me was when it didn’t involve any case I was working on, but when I would be in a neighborhood and the kids on the street would call out, “Five-O! Five-O!” to let the corner boys slinging dope know a cop was in the area.

I’ve never had someone I was interviewing or trying to get information from mistake me for a police officer and I think that’s because I’ve always been very clear that I’m a P.I.

Of course, there were times I was “pretexting” for information and posing as a construction worker or flower delivery guy and they had no idea I was working as a private investigator. But it would have been impossible to mistake me for law enforcement then!

Forbidden Pretext

Some pretext are forbidden by law or ethics (or both!) and for one of those reasons or the other I would never pose as…

Law Enforcement
Lawyer
Doctor

Additionally, I would tread lightly on any fake identity where the real thing requires a license form the state.

And here’s a big one… Never use any kind of pretext to get banking information in the United States. Currently that’s a federal offense and the law is written to cover any clever little loophole you think you’ve found in it!

Lastly, I personally would never pose as any kind of clergy. That’s because I think getting to heaven (and taking as many people with you as you can) is the whole purpose of life and I never want to mess with someone trying to reach that end goal!

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – If you are posing as law enforcement, well… that’s kind of a loser move. Why can’t you get the information you need in a legitimate way? You gotta’ work on your private investigator skills!

Let me humbly suggest you start by learning the things in my special report, “If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things”. You can get it right here…

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One way to document evidence of your experience to get your P.I. license!

Sample Affidavit for a Private Investigator
Right click on the above affidavit to “save as” for your own records.

Use an affidavit (a sworn statement) to document your experience to get your private investigator license from the state.

You may ask, “How can I prove my experience to get my private investigator license from the state”?

One way is to use pay stubs from your employer at the time, but here’s an idea that may help if you get stuck… Continue reading

What a private investigator can learn from the movie Caddyshack!

You may remember the classic 1980 movie Caddyshack with greats like Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray and Ted Knight, but do you know what it can teach a private investigator about mobile surveillance?

If you remember the climatic scene at the end of the golf tournament, then you know there’s a series of large explosions that fail to kill the gopher, but do change the end of the golf game.

The explosions are huge, and one explosion in particular is a gigantic fireball, but here’s what you may not know… Continue reading

A warning for any retiring police officer who wants to be a private investigator.

A lot of law enforcement officers think about becoming a P.I. after retiring form the police force and why not?!?

While a patrol officer has a different skill set than a private detective, the experience really translates well into the private sector. Of course a true police detective has a ton of direct experience that he or she can use as a private eye.

So what’s the problem? While most retired cops can meet the experience requirement of just about any state in the U.S., the tricky thing is when the state requires “recent” experience!

The state can define that as 4,000 hours in the last two years. That means if a 20 year police veteran takes six months off after retiring before he applies for his state private investigator’s license, he may find he only have 3,000 hours of experience “in the last two years”!

Don’t let this catch you off guard! If your state has this “recency requirement” make sure you apply for your license soon enough that you still qualify!

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Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye,
Private Investigator