The 5 Most Common Specialties of Private Investigators

October 18, 2017
Private Investigators
Private Investigators

There are many areas a private investigator can dip his fingers into. Some private detective services are more common than the rest. Like in any other business a private investigator will also decide on what he should train his eyes on. A survey conducted has revealed some of the five most popular specialty areas of private investigators. The study sought to ask investigators to provide their primary, secondary, and tertiary specialties. On the list were areas like background checks, civil investigations, surveillance and more.

Checking Backgrounds

More than 33% of those surveyed had background checks on their radar of services offered. In fact, it was the third most frequent primary specialty listed and the most frequent secondary specialty listed in the survey. A private investigator scouts a person’s individual and professional history in relation to an ordered investigation.


Civil Investigations

Civil investigations which include gathering information for trials involving two citizens in cases like domestic surveillance, workers compensation, asset searches, missing persons, was listed as a specialty area for 33% of investigators. It ranked as one of the two listed primary specialties investigators ticked most often. It also featured in the top four for secondary specialties and by a large margin, the most recurrently listed tertiary specialty.

Bread and Butter Surveillance

Surveillance is bread and butter work for private investigators working on all kinds of different cases, from missing persons to insurance fraud, to theft and vandalism, to determining if a parent is fit to have child custody or visitation rights to proving marital infidelity. It calls for a close and detailed observation of a person, place, or thing to gather facts that can be used to build a case– whether this means watching a store that has been repeatedly burgled to see if anyone is casing it or trying to break in, or watching a person who has an insurance claim in for a leg injury to see if they miraculously get up and start running around. A specialty of 26% of investigators, surveillance was the fourth most listed primary specialty.

The “Other” category

About 19% of investigators revealed one or more of these listed industries, which fell in the category of “other”, as their focus area of work. Some of the listed categories included: criminal defense, process service, sexual assault, probation, missing children, K-9 drug detection, interviewing, fugitive locates, child custody, construction disputes, automobile theft, and felony criminal cases. The “other” category turned out as one of the top two frequently listed for primary specialties, while least frequent for secondary and average for tertiary.

Insurance Investigations

For the 19% of investigators who have insurance investigations listed as a specialty, most listed it as a secondary or tertiary specialty.

Insurance fraud is not just a few bad consumers hurting a few big insurance companies either. Insurance fraud can involve falsely denied payouts and lost paperwork by insurance companies, organized crime rings crashing cars, contractors over-billing and more. Insurance fraud increases premiums for consumers and makes the whole system expensive. That’s where trained insurance fraud investigators come in. There are as many types of insurance and insurance fraud investigations as there are types of insurance. These investigators utilize surveillance, records research, and interviews to look into health, car, home, life, and workers compensation insurance fraud.

Orion Support Incorporated (OSI)

OSI’s cadre of Philippines private investigators come from diverse backgrounds, most with degrees in criminal justice, but all with Bachelor’s Degrees and Philippines private detectives licenses, which are required for all commercial investigation companies operating in the Philippines. Their experience levels range from 5 years to over 30 years! The specialized experience of our Philippine private investigators includes, but is not limited to, Philippines Due Diligence Investigations, Litigation Support Investigations, Fraud Investigations, Asset Tracing, Anti-Money Laundering in the Philippines, Process Service, Missing Person Investigations; Background Investigations, Insurance Investigations, Criminal Records Checks and Intellectual Property Rights Investigations and IPR Enforcement Actions.

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Intellectual Property Rights

OSI has investigated several thousand IPR infringers and successfully raided over 2,500 illicit manufacturers and major importer/distributors, Philippine-wide, since 1992. And their success rate hovers at just under 98% over the last 22 years, a significant accomplishment in an industry known for significant corruption.


Commercial Investigations

While OSI's three senior managers have many years of investigative experience throughout Europe, the Americas and other areas within S.E. Asia, they have over 70+ years of such experience and investigative contacts throughout the Philippines. And, they have established a proven and successful track record as reflected by their client list outlined on the client page of this website.


Security Risk Management

OSI's Security Risk Management division supports the protection initiatives of major international and local corporations doing business throughout the Philippines. In-country operational regions include the major high risk areas in Mindanao, where current activities include performing in-depth security and political risk assessments, security program audits, VIP protection operations, and counter insurgency collections.


About Us

OSI Philippines was formed in 2001 by Jeff Williams, who is Board Certified in Security Management by the American Society for Industrial Security International.

Mr. Williams has over 40 years of combined worldwide investigative and security consulting experience, with over 25 years working Philippine-wide as a Special Agent and Counterintelligence Officer with the USAF Office of Special Investigations (OSI), U.S. Embassy, Manila; and then as the Country Manager for Pinkerton Consulting Services, Philippines.