- Dean Smith
ICU’s Frequently Asked Questions
What is domestic surveillance?
Domestic surveillance is the method used to discover if spouses are cheating on each other. It can involve husbands, wives, boyfriends or girlfriends. Also referred to as “tailing someone,” it is the technique of putting an investigator out in the field that follows the suspected cheater to document their activities without their knowledge. This is accomplished by recording their activities.
I feel embarrassed about even talking to someone about this.
We get calls every day from people in relationships who suspect their spouse or significant others of cheating. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. What you are seeking is peace of mind about something you are not sure of. It is natural to determine if your suspicions are real or imagined. We invest a tremendous part of ourselves in relationships. It is natural to want to determine the strength and integrity of that relationship. Don’t ever feel guilty for protecting yourself.
What if I am wrong?
If there is no evidence the subject is cheating, you will have gained peace of mind about your relationship. Since our investigations are 100% confidential, you will not have risked sacrificing the relationship if you are wrong.
Is domestic surveillance legal?
Surveillance is the process of documenting what is going on in the world of an individual. No laws are broken. It is 100% legal.
I have never hired a private investigator. How do I start?
First, you need to be sure you retain the services of a reputable, honest, licensed detective agency. Make sure they are well established with a track record. Check to be sure they are fully licensed and insured. Do they have actual offices or is it someone working out their home? Do they answer the phone with a live person or do you get voice mail or a cell phone in the field? Check with the Better Business Bureau to be sure there are no complaints about the company. Last of all, do your own “gut check” about the agency you are speaking with. Do they make you feel at ease? Are they using pressure tactics and hard sell techniques?
What are the fees charged for domestic surveillance?
Surveillance is billed on an hourly basis plus a mileage charge. Before the project is started, a strategy is established depending on the circumstances and your needs. Once this plan is in place, a budget can be established. Investigation services are payable in advance of the work being conducted. Payment can be made by credit card (over the phone if you wish), or by cash, check or money order.
How is the surveillance plan established?
You will need to let the investigator know at which times you think the suspected activity is taking place. Will we need to follow the person from home or from work? Does the person have a fixed schedule? Do you know anything about the suspected other party? All these questions and more go into creating an effective surveillance strategy.
What will I need to tell the investigator?
The following are some of the things that help us get the investigation started. You may not have all the information, however, the more you have, the better. The investigator will need a photograph of the person being investigated. If the subject is being followed from home, it can also helpful to have photographs of other members of the household. We will need a complete description of the subject, weight, height, hair color, etc. If you think you know the other party they are cheating with, give us whatever information you know about them.
We will also need to know the make, model and color of the subject’s vehicle, with license plate, if possible. If we are following them from work, we will need to know the type of parking and where they park their vehicle. We will also need to know the driving habits of the subject and the addresses of places you think they may visit.
How many agents are used on a domestic surveillance case?
The number of agents used depends on a number of factors. Basic surveillance on an individual being followed from home or an uncomplicated work situation can be conducted by one agent. More complicated scenarios, such as following someone from a high-rise office building, or airport or hotel require an additional agent. Other factors in which we may recommend a second agent include fast and aggressive drivers and extra alert drivers who always watch the rear view mirror. Of course, an additional agent increases the cost of a surveillance, and this factor is also taken into consideration in arriving at your budget.
How will you contact me without tipping off my spouse?
First, we will ask if the phone number you give is secure. Saying it is secure means that only you or someone you trust answers the phone and that we can safely leave a voice mail message if no one answers. If the number is not secure, we will discuss other strategies. When we contact you, the first thing we will say is, “Is this a good time to talk?” If the subject or someone else is present and you can’t talk, you can say “No” or “You have the wrong number.” We will hang up and you can call us back when it is safe.
What do I do once the surveillance is set up?
Once the surveillance plan is in place, it is important that you do not do anything to tip off the subject to the investigation. Do not change your habits and do not ask too many questions about their activities.
How do you follow someone?
The techniques of tailing someone are an acquired skill. When following someone, we are constantly weighing two factors against each other. First, we want to stay close enough to make sure we do not lose the subject at a traffic light or in heavy traffic. However we are constantly balancing this against staying so close that we run the risk of being observed by the subject. The art of balancing these two factors in a variety of situations can be executed only by having an experienced investigator working the case. In some cases, a second agent is preferable or required, which allows us to keep safer distances while not minimizing the chance of losing the subject.
Will the suspected cheater find out that they are being watched?
Our surveillance investigations are 100% confidential. We do everything necessary to ensure the covert nature of the investigation. If we ever perceive that the security of the investigation is threatened, we pull back and with your input, reconsider the tactics being deployed.
What evidence will I receive at the conclusion?
The evidence collected in domestic surveillance consists of video footage and a surveillance report, which details all the activity in writing. Both are submitted to you, or if you wish, we can maintain them for you.
What sets ICU Investigations apart from other detective agencies?
At ICU, we deliver quality investigations. Every organization is only as good as their staff. At ICU Investigations, we have seasoned professionals in the field working for YOU.
How do I go about getting started? Call ICU Investigations for a free consultation concerning your specific situation. They work with you to devise the best strategy for success. The toll-free line for your free, confidential consultation is (800) 524-9755.