Throughout history, private detectives have been hired to investigate a wide variety of crimes, ranging from potential assassination plots to union activity. These diverse services continue today, with modern licensed private investigators working for municipalities, companies, and individuals on everything from insurance fraud to missing persons cases. However, a recent trend has many private investigation services focusing on an age-old question: is my significant other “the one”, or are they hiding some deal-breaking secrets?
According to the Wall Street Journal, clients across the United States are now hiring a private investigator to conduct background and other research on potential long-term partners. Many investigators believe this trend is connected to some legitimate fears: in recent years, there have been a number of highly-publicized cases of online daters pretending to be someone they are not, or even scamming lonely people out of thousands of dollars. However, others say that the amount of information available through a simple online search can also spur someone’s curiosity.
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that annual revenues from investigation services, such as employee background checks and other private investigation services, increased from $2.6 billion in 2002 to $5.2 billion in 2012. While it is impossible to say how much of this increase is connected to romantic affairs, private detectives say that they are seeing more of these types of cases, often because the person has assets they need to protect or a history that has made them wary. Some even call it the new prenuptial agreement, except the person being investigated does not need to agree, or even know, that they are being checked out by a licensed private detective.
The results of hiring a private investigator, however, can vary. In some cases, private detectives have discovered that their client’s partner was married or had an undisclosed criminal past. However, in others, the investigator will find no secrets or skeletons. Because of this, many people use this type of service for themselves (or even their loved ones) to buy some peace of mind. But both the clients and detectives say that it is important that the investigation is not discovered: whether or not your significant other has a questionable past, explaining why a detective was hired to check their background can be awkward, to say the least. Find more.