Mission Statement
Media Coverage
Our Synopsis
Contact Us
Free Information
Place Order
Site Map
Legal Forms
History of P.I.'s
Surveillance Overview
Signs of Cheating
Cheating Online
Cheating Husband
Cheating Wife
Cheating Tips
Stop Affairs
Why Infidelity
History of Infidelity
Divorce Investigation
High Profile Clients
Safe Online Dating
Valentines Cheater
Workplace Affairs
Spouse & Child Porn

Mate Check Private Investigations

Nationwide Service

+1 (480) 391.1010 or +1 (866) 640.1010

email: matecheck@matecheckpi.com

Specializing in Domestic Relations Investigative Services

Mate check welcomes same sex and alternative lifestyle cases.

Infidelity, adultery, cheating, being unfaithful, having and affair...

....whatever you want to call it can be one of the most painful things to go through.  People don't understand the pain someone goes through when they love someone and and that someone cheats on them.  The not knowing if your significant other is cheating, or unfaithful causing infidelity or not is equally devastating.  Sandra Hope, the expert female Private Investigator, Detective, PI, Sleuth, Gumshoe and Decoy, can get you the truth you need for peace of mind or for confirming your suspicions.  We here at Mate Check understand the way you feel and know how to deal with your situation best. Once you have the truth you can have much more success with marriage counseling or even discussions about your relationship with your partner.

Mate Check Private Investigations is a Nationwide full service private investigations company, agency, firm, office, location, founded in 1994 and it is female owned and operated offering professional private investigative services. Sandra Hope who is the owner and founder has been an expert female Private Investigator, Detective, PI, Sleuth, Gumshoe and Decoy for over 14 years. Mate Check Private Investigations specializes in domestic relations matters that include infidelity, cheating matters, divorce, child custody, high profile investigator, high profile investigations, and other matters of the heart such as finding lost loved ones by finding a person, or undercover operations tailor-made to suit your situation. We offer the following services. National criminal background checks, search, video surveillance, decoy placement, male decoy, female decoy, sexy decoy, Internet decoy, GPS tracking, locate a vehicle, teen check, nanny check, date check, DNA testing, Vehicle registration, Utility search, Asset search, Computer forensics, internet use, computer usage check, Lie detection test, polygraph examination, questioned documents, Missing persons, Counter intelligence, debugging, Online dating prescreening, Mystery and secret shopper, Anti stalking and harassment, personal protection, security, Process serving, Drug testing, Insurance fraud, Sexual harassment, Wrongful death, Malpractice, Family Law Investigations, infidelity investigations, fraud investigations, sexual harassment, mate checks, date checks, corporate investigations, high profile cases, high profile prominent cases. What is the hourly rate for high end investigations? 95.00. Our rate is the same for every type of case or how complex it may be. We have the expertise and the state of the art equipment to get results fast.

Sandra Hope has been an expert female private investigator for over 14 years and has the knowledge and resources to help you get the truth.  Headquartered in Fountain Hills, Arizona, the Company's main focus is on domestic relations issues, and also assists corporate Human Resources and Legal Departments in gathering evidence in sexual harassment cases and to gather and analyze information on corporate individuals.   Mate Check will give you the truth you are looking for with complete confidentiality.

In today's social climate it is not only natural, but also prudent, to have concerns about potential partner's claims and representations. Sad, but true, this can also apply to our spouses and life partners,* if they have given us reason to doubt their word, due to suspicious behavior -or- if their integrity is in question.  Mate Check also helps people with divorce and custody situations when a relationship can not be saved.  In divorce proceedings it is crucial to get all of your facts ready for the court.  You need to locate all assets so they can be properly divided at time of trial or you  can forever lose claim to them.   If custody is an issue and there is reason for you to believe your children are not safe when they are not with you, Mate Check can get the evidence for you.  It can be critical for you to get the proper custody division in the best interest of your children. When it is important use an expert who specializes in the area of investigations that you need.

Mate Check is also fully staffed with professional Spanish speaking private investigators.  Whether you need to speek with a Spanish speaking private investigator or your significant other is planning a trip to Mexico without you.  Mate Check has worked in many areas in Mexico such as Acapulco, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Kino, Rosarito Beach, Rocky Point, La Paz, Mexico City, and many more. You can rest assure if your spouse or significant other is in Mexico and you want to be a fly on the wall, Mate Check will be there.


Mate Check Private Investigations is a Nationwide full service private investigations company and it is female owned and operated. Sandra Hope who is the owner and founder has been a licensed private investigator for over 14 years. Mate Check Private Investigations specializes in domestic relations matters that include infidelity, cheating and unfaithful matters, divorce, child custody and other undercover operations tailor made to suit your situation. We offer the following services and spy gear:

* Video Surveillance, cheating, infidelity, unfaithful, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband
* National criminal background checks and search , Employment search
* Decoy placement, sexy decoys, female decoys, female decoy, male decoys, male decoy, honey trapper, honey trappers
* Internet decoy -- Cyber affair detection
* GPS tracking -- locate a vehicle
* teen check -- nanny check -- date check
* DNA testing
* Vehicle registration
* Utility search
* Cell phone records review service, unlisted phone numbers
* Asset search
* Computer forensics -- internet use, computer usage check, detecting porn, child pornography, child porn, kiddy porn, kiddie porn
* Lie detection test -- polygraph examination, questioned documents
* Missing persons, find a person, skip trace
* Counter intelligence -- TSCM sweep done with spectrum analyzer ( 10khz to 41 GHz ), telephone analyzer, non linear junction, IR thermal imager, TDR, debugging
* Online dating prescreening
* Mystery and secret shopper
* Anti stalking and harassment -- personal protection, security
* Executive protection
* Process serving
* Drug testing
* Insurance fraud
* Sexual harassment
* Attorney Services -- Commercial and general litigation
* Wrongful death
* Malpractice
* Extortion / blackmail
* Key witness location and interviews
* Expert testimony
* Confer and prepare witnesses prior to trial
* High Profile Prominent Cases (specialized case management for special needs)
* Prenuptial agreements enforcement and investigation services

Whether it is domestic surveillance, spousal, date and or alternative lifestyle investigations, pre marital or post marital concerns, child custody, need to find a person or workplace problems, we can provide you with professional services and results!

Mate Check's Media Coverage

In 1994, when President and founder Sandra Hope launched Mate Check Private Investigations, the mainstream acceptance and adoption of an investigations team that focused mainly on domestic relations was rather novel. Journalists and newscasters jumped on the story of a woman who had started her own private investigation agency after assisting friends and relatives in finding the answers they were looking for.  Sandra Hope is a female investigator so she has an understanding of what people are going through and she is very easy to talk with.

After helping friends and relatives restore their peace of mind and to avoid some potentially devastating circumstances, Sandra decided to undergo training and obtain the certification she needed to become a private investigator and form the Mate Check Team. After assembling a team of seasoned investigative professionals, relationship experts, and a compassionate staff... Mate Check Private investigations then hit the streets and that is what separates us from other private investigators.  The media has choose Sandra Hope as the number one expert in her specialized field.

Mate Check has been covered by leading news sources including:

  • Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette (Front Page)
  • KTVK TV 3, Good Morning Arizona
  • KSAZ TV 10, Prime Time News
  • KNBC TV 12, Prime Time News
  • ABC TV 15, Prime Time News
  • KNBC TV 4, The Other Side (Burbank, CA)
  • KPHO TV 5, Prime Time News & The Sonoran Living program
  • KEZ 99.9 FM, Beth & Bill in the Morning
  • KFNN 1510 AM, News Talk Radio
  • MSNBC, Interview of "Cheaters" TV Show Investigation
  • FOX Network, The Sonoran Living program
  • Geraldo at Large interview of Sandra Hope the private investigator
  • Marie Clair Magazine, May 2006 Issue
  • KSAZ Fox Channel 10, 5/1/06 and 5/3/06 Salt River Project Bust
  • CNN interview of Sandra Hope the private investigator
  • FOX National News interview of a private investigator
  • The Donny Deutsch Show
  • The Fountain Hills Times (two issues)
  • Good Morning America, Decoy placement
  • RTL European Network  Decoy sting
  • New York Post, September 19th 2006
  • The Phoenix Magazine, October issue
  • Q100.5 Radio, The Bert Show (Atlanta) Private Investigator for The Bert Show team
  • WRDW  Philadelphia, Wired 96.5
  • WPHT Philadelphia, The Big Talker with Michael Smerconish
  • The Tom Leykis Show about female decoy's
  • KBS Radio, The Wayne and Jane Show (Canada)
  • Marie Claire, Australian Issue article of a private investigator
  • WVHR Tennessee Radio 100.9, The Kelly Green and Michael Ray Show
  • WRTN New York Radio 93.5, The Ebony and Ivory Show
  • Sirius Radio, The Covino and Rich Show
  • KHOW Denver Radio 630,  The Dan and Craig Show
  • Greenstone Media, New York, The Lisa Birnbach Show
  • The Big Story, Fox National News interview of Sandra Hope the private investigator
  • The Big Story, Fox National News (Prime Time)

As an Industry Pioneer in Infidelity and domestic relations cases, Mate Check is a fully licensed and bonded investigation company. For the past 10 years, Mate Check has received an enormous amount of media coverage, but more importantly, it has compiled an impressive roster of satisfied clients by answering the question  "Is he or she all they claim to be? "

Those with concerns or doubts about information provided by their current or potential mates, have repeatedly turned to Mate Check for confirmation and peace of mind.  If you have any doubts or if something just "doesn't feel right", contact Mate Check Private Investigations to arrange for a free consultation.

Infidelity, adultery, cheating, being unfaithful, having an affair...

...whatever you care to call it, is likely to be one of the most painful and devastating things that can happen to you in your life. Not knowing if your spouse is cheating on you or not is equally as painful. Even the thought of a loved one being unfaithful is very painful and extremely disruptive. Each private investigator at Mate Check helps clients like you with this issue every day. We know that you need a private investigator to get you proof so that you can move forward with your life.

Unfortunately, once someone seriously suspects infidelity, more often than not, their suspicions are correct.

This pain and fear is very real and each private investigator at Mate Check takes your pain seriously.

Let us end your fear and anxiety and get you the truth!

Whether you are the husband or wife, boy friend or girl friend, you deserve to know if your partner is being unfaithful and Mate Check can help you get that evidence and piece of mind you need to move forward with your life. Whether you are in Michigan or Florida, California or New York or somewhere in between, you may find it useful to review some common Signs of Infidelity developed by a private investigator to help you get better perspective on your situation and see if an investigation is right for your situation. A good private investigator can discretely, accurately and affordably help you.



We realize that having to hire a private investigator and discussing infidelity by your loved one is a difficult thing to do. With that in mind, you have our every assurance that we are committed to using the utmost discretion and good taste in providing you with private investigative services that will give you peace of mind to move forward with your life while maintaining your dignity. You don't have to be in pain any longer. That is our Mate Checks promise.

For more about video surveillance: “See Overview of Surveillance

Investigating cheating & marital infidelity is one of the used services a private investigator renders.

private investigatorIssues of infidelity need to be handled by a private investigator, detective / P.I. / PI / Sleuth / Gumshoe who is not only experienced at video surveillance and information gathering, they must also be well versed in family law to be successful. Our Domestic Relations Services division is comprised of investigators who are among the nation's best at handling domestic matters and getting results that matter. From our administrative staff to our nationwide local field investigators, we represent the best in the industry at getting discreet results at affordable prices, anywhere! Unlike most investigative agencies, we have a large, ethnic and gender diverse team of investigators at our disposal, ensuring that we have the perfect match for your case. We operate from the big city to rural communities. This, combined with our state-of-the-art technology, extensive investigative resources and regular training make us the premier investigative agency no matter where you are.

We get you proof and give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Regardless of whether you want to know the truth simply to go forward with your life, or if you need proof of cheating & infidelity to win in court, Mate Check is the Private Investigation agency for you. We leave no stone unturned!

If you think that spousal surveillance can help you, we recommend that you read a quick Overview of Spousal Surveillance.

We, like most private investigators, charge our clients an hourly rate for surveillance, with mileage and any other investigative procedures being added. We design each surveillance to give you the best possible results given what we collective know about your spouses activities. We do this in a sincere effort to give you the best opportunity to know the truth and to minimize your cost.

Private Investigators have the ability to watch your spouse, monitor who they are with, where they go and what they do, discreetly and confidentially. We can do this through surveillance, utilization of vehicle tracking devices and providing you with software to monitor e-mail, chat room discussions and internet activity.

Although spousal video surveillance by a private investigator is one of the most frequently used tools for uncovering infidelity, each set of circumstances can call for different measures.  If your married in most state it is legal to also use a gps tracking device to track your spouse. Some of the other more commonly requested services we provide when investigating infidelity that can be done in conjunction with an infidelity or spousal surveillance investigation are as follows:

  • Monitoring the cheating spouse's E-Mail, Chat Room Discussions and Internet Activity
  • Tracking the cheater's vehicle
  • Asset Searches
  • Electronic Eavesdropping Detection
  • E-Mail Tracing
  • Computer Forensics
  • Identification of the “Other Person”
  • Child Custody & Support Investigations
  • prenuptial agreement enforcement and investigation services

Because each case is unique, we recommend that you call us and speak to a private investigator about your situation to better assess which type of investigation would work best for you. The call is toll free and the consultation with a private investigator is strictly confidential. Get the piece of mind you deserve and the ability to move forward with your life. Call today. (866) 640-1010

Signs of Spousal infidelity

Statistics say that 85% to 90% of women or men who feel their lover is cheating are correct.  50% of men who feel their lover is cheating are right. If you have suspicious, consider some of the following as signs that something might be going on.

Have you noticed any of the following:

  • Sudden increase in time spent away from home
  • Decreased sexual appetite with you
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse is often distracted, having private thoughts,
  • Unfaithful / Cheating husband or wife is ussually “unavailable” when you call their workpace
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse attends new functions outside of work or not wants to go alone
  • Cell phone calls from you are not returned in timely fashion or cell phone is shut off
  • unfaithful / Cheating spouse leaves house or goes to the garage or other rooms to talk on the cell phone
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse uses computer alone and secretly at strange times (takes laptop everwhere)
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse asks about your schedule more often than usual
  • Mileage on car is high yet he / she reports only claims to have driven a short distance
  • Clothes smell of perfume or cologne that you do not have
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse gets his / her laundry done independently to possibly hide evidence
  • Unexplained payments on bank statements to questionable sources
  • Cheating spouse has more cash on hand with no accountability as to why
  • Cell phone bills contain calls with long duration and questionable times of the day and night
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse now has a phone card to conceal calling history but never used one in the past
  • Unfaithful / Cheating wife or husband has unexplained receipts for questionable purchases in wallet or purse
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse has suspicious phone voice-mail messages saved
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse has suspicious cell phone numbers saved or called
  • Internet web browser history list (this is a record of web sites visited) contains questionable sites
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse begins to use new or free e-mail account like yahoo or gmail
  • Unfaithful / Cheating spouse is has been deleting e-mail messages

You may also want to consider reviewing your spouse’s credit card bills.

Want more info go to: Signs of Cheating

What is a Private Investigator?

A Private Investigator is a professional trained in the art of investigations and video surveillance. In most states, a license is mandatory. Like with an attorney or doctor, the State has mandated that certain qualifications, training and experience are required for licensure to protect the public from those who do not have the experience or qualifications to do the job correctly. A private investigator’s training is usually varied and tends to focus on a certain area of practice, again much like a attorney. At Mate Check, our investigators specialize in investigating and documenting marital infidelity, divorce and child custody matters. Often times a private investigator’s experience comes from work in law enforcement, the military, forensic or a research background. The core of a private investigators capability is to take whatever information you, the client, have and to go out and find whatever information or evidence you need. The work that a private investigator does is strictly confidential and stays between you and the investigator, which is usually mandated by law.

Read more about the history of infidelity.

What does a Private Investigator specializing in infidelity and cheating actually do?

The job of a private investigator specializing in infidelity, divorce and child custody is to gather information about the subject’s activities and interactions. We frequently work on these types of cases for attorneys. Most private investigators are trained to perform functions like video surveillance, research and interviewing. At Mate Check we have specialists who focus on spousal surveillance or information gathering. Our surveillance experts spend the majority of their time trailing and watching suspected cheaters or potentially unfit parents. Often, we will then be asked to identify the “other man/woman” for our client. We have access to private investigator based computer databases and searches, that the public does not have access to, which allow them to quickly obtain massive amounts of information. Because of the nature of private investigative work, we often end up testifying in court about our cases. A good private investigator can confidentially get you the answers you need, quickly, accurately and affordably.

 Definition of a Private Investigator

A private investigator, private detective, PI, or private eye, is a person who can be hired by citizens or groups to undertake investigations.

Private investigators, private detectives, p.i’s, private eye, gumshoe, sleuths often work for attorney’s in civil litigation cases for the plaintiff or the defense, gathering much needed evidence that the attorney’s use to prove or defend their case in court. Many work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious auto accident and other injury claims.  If a person claims they sustained injuries in a low impact car accident the claim becomes suspicious. Before states adopted the of no-fault divorce, many private investigators were hired to find out evidence of infidelity, adultery, cheating and other unfaithful matters or illegal conduct within marriage to establish a basis for a divorce. Despite the lack of legal necessity for such evidence in many jurisdictions, according to news reports collecting evidence of adultery or other "bad behavior" by spouses and partners is still one of the most sought after work investigators undertake, as the stakes being fought over now are child custody,  alimony, or marital property division disputes.  Now that on-line dating has become so popular it has become equally popular for people to have a private investigator conduct a criminal background search before coming into physical contact with that person they have met on line chatting, instant messaging, e-mailing, or someone they have met on match.com, great expectations, e-harmony or any of the online dating forums.

Many jurisdictions require PIs to be licensed, and they may or may not carry guns depending on local laws. Some are ex-police officers and detectives, although some are not. They are expected to keep detailed reports and to be prepared to testify in court cases regarding any of their investigations on behalf of their clients. Private investigators have to be careful to remain within the boundaries of the law and within the scope of their  investigation.  Some private investigators have faced with criminal charges for crossing the line. Irregular long hours may also be required when performing video surveillance work.

Private investigators also undertake a large variety of work from their clients that you would not expect. For example, many private investigators are involved in process serving, the personal service of summons of complaints, subpoenas and other legal documents to parties in a legal case. The tracking of absconding debtors can also form a large part of a private investigators case load. Many firms specialize in a particular field of expertise. For example, some private investigative firms / agencies deal only in tracking down individuals. Others may specialize in highly technical surveillance countermeasures, or TSCM counter surveillance, which is the finding and dealing with unwanted forms of electronic surveillance (for example, a bugged bedroom or office for industrial espionage purposes). Other private investigators, also known as Corporate Investigators, specialize in corporate matters, including sexual harassment, anti-fraud work, the protection of intellectual property and protecting trade secrets, anti-piracy, copyright infringement investigations, due diligence investigations and computer forensics work.  Some spouses suspect that evidence of cheating communications such as e-mails, chat rooms, instant messages and porn web sites might be on the spouses computer that have been erased.  A computer forensic private investigator can restore erased files on a computer to determine the true history of what a person has done on their computer and they recover the information and give it to their client.  Sometimes the suspicions are more serious and a spouse suspects that child porn may be on their spouses computer.  A forensic investigator knows how to recover this sensitive information and deal with it in accordance with the law to protect the chain of custody and turn over the evidence to the authorities.

Increasingly, modern PIs prefer to be known as "professional investigators" rather than "private investigators" or "private detectives". This has been an effort to globalize the the area of practice as one of a professional nature.

Worldwide Scope

In some countries throughout the world, private investigations are illegal. In other countries, private investigations are thriving, including: United States, the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, Turkey, United Kingdom, France, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and Japan. In South Africa, private investigators are in very high demand due to not enough police to work and keep up with the high crime rates. Other countries throughout the world have private investigators, but many of their duties are restricted to a narrow scope. In South Korea, for example, video surveillance is allowed only in insurance fraud situations , which include all types of claims such as medical malpractice, professional liability, general liability, basically in any case where an insurance company must defend a defendant from any kind of claim that can be made against the policy holder they may even be obligated to investigate and litigate frivolous law suits as well.  Insurance companies employ the services of private investigators in attempt to verify or defeat these claims.  The private investigators evidence is usually the only evidence an insurance company can rely on to honor or refuse to pay a claim. Some countries in the world require licensing of private detectives, but most do not.

Working Environment

Private detectives and investigators often work strange hours because of the need to conduct video surveillance and interview people who are not available during normal working hours. Undercover decoy investigations also take investigators into the late night.  They may have to make friends with a subject at a bar he patrons on Saturday Nights.  The investigator must keep the same hours as his subject. Early morning, evening, weekend and holiday work is usual.[

Many detectives and investigators spend time away from their offices conducting interviews, decoys, undercover operations and conducting video surveillance, but some work in their office most of the day conducting computer forensics, computer searches and making investigative telephone calls. The private investigators who have their own firms / agencies and employ other private investigators might work soley in an office and have normal business hours.

When a private investigator is working on a case away from the office, the environment might range from plush offices to seedy bars. Department Store and Chain hotel detectives work in the businesses that they protect. Investigators generally work alone, but they sometimes work with other detectives during video surveillance or when following a subject in order to avoid getting caught they would also use two vehicles, but these days if your client has legal authority to put a gps tracking devise on a vehicle it makes surveillance a much smoother operation taking away the main element of your subject detecting your presence, since you will not need to follow him at a close distance. The gps tracker will always tell you were your subject is so you can pop in and catch him/her by surprise.

Some of the work involves up close confrontations, so the job can be mentally stressful and equally dangerous. Some situations call for the investigator to carry a gun, such as certain bodyguard assignments for prominent client’s corporate executives or celebrity clients. Detectives and investigators who carry weapons and guns must be licensed by the appropriate authority. In most cases, however, a weapon is not necessary, because the purpose of the work is gathering information and not law enforcement or criminal apprehension, so the investigator will not encounter a possible harmful situation.

Education Training, and qualifications,

There are no formal education requirements for most private detective or investigator jobs, although many private investigators have college degrees or have taken legal or criminal investigation courses. Private detectives and investigators typically have previous experience in other professions. Some work initially for insurance or collections companies, in the private security industry, or as investigative paralegals. Many investigators enter the field after serving in the law enforcement community and the military branches of government auditing and investigative positions, or federal intelligence jobs CIA.

Former law enforcement officers, military investigators, and government agents, who retire, often become private investigators or detectives in a second career. Others enter wide range of fields as finance, forensic accounting, consumer credit, investigative reporting, insurance fraud, and law. These individuals often can apply their prior work experience in a related investigative specialty. A few private investigators enter the profession directly after graduating from college, generally with associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice, police science or with a private investigation diploma.

The majority of states in the United States and the District of Columbia require private detectives and private investigators to be licensed by the state that they wish to conduct business in. Some states allow their licensed private invest Licensing requirements vary, however. Seven states Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Dakota have no statewide licensing requirements, some states have very few requirements, and many other states have stringent regulations. A growing number of states are enacting mandatory training programs for private detectives and investigators. For example, the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs requires private investigators to be at least18 years of age,  have a combination of education in police science, criminal law, or justice and experience equaling 3 years (6,000 hours) of investigative experience, pass a criminal history background check by the California Department of Justice and the FBI (in most states, convicted felons cannot be issued a license), and receive a qualifying score on a two-hour written examination covering laws statutes and regulations. There are additional requirements for carrying firearms were a permit is required.

For private detective and investigative jobs, most employers look for individuals with tenacity, persistence, attention to detail and assertiveness. A candidate must not be unaffected by conflict and confrontation, should possess good communicative skills, and should be able to think on his/her feet. Good interviewing and interrogation skills also are important and usually are learned in earlier careers in law enforcement or other fields.  A true chameleon makes a perfect private investigator because they can be anyone at any time. Since the courts are often the ultimate judge of a properly conducted investigation, the investigator must be able to present the facts in a manner that a jury will understand.

Training in subjects such as criminal justice and police science can be helpful for people learning to be private detectives and investigators. Most corporate investigators must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in a business-related field. Some corporate investigators have a master's degree in business administration or a law degree, while others are CPAs. Corporate investigators hired by large companies may receive formal training from their employers on business practices, management structure, and various finance-related topics. The screening process for potential employees typically includes a background check for a criminal history.

Some private investigators receive certification from a professional organization to demonstrate competency in a field. For example, the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) confers the Certified Legal Investigator designation to licensed investigators who devote a majority of their practice to negligence or criminal defense investigations. To receive the designation, applicants must satisfy experience, educational, and continuing-training requirements and must pass written and oral exams administered by the NALI.

Most private-detective agencies are small, with little room for advancement. Usually, there are no defined ranks or steps, so advancement takes the form of increases in salary and assignment status. Many private detectives and private investigators work for private investigative agencies at the beginning of their careers and, after a few years, start their own firms. Corporate and legal investigators may rise to supervisor or manager of the security or investigations department.

The median salary for a private investigator in the U.S. is $32,000 USD, according to 2004 data, but some investigator who own their own firms make in excess of $300,000

History of the private investigator

In 1833 Eugène François Vidocq, a French military soldier, criminal and privateer, founded the first known private detective agency, "Le bureau des renseignments" (Office of Intelligence) and hired ex-convicts. Official law enforcement tried many times to shut it down. In 1842 police arrested him in suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and taking money on false pretences after he had solved a big embezzling case. Vidocq later suspected that he had been set-up. He was sentenced for five years with a 3,000-franc fine but the Court of Appeals released him. Vidocq is credited with having introduced record-keeping, criminology and ballistics to criminal investigation. He made the first plaster casts of shoe impressions. He created indelible ink and unalterable bond paper with his printing company. His form of anthropometrics is still partially used by French police. He is also credited for philanthropic pursuits – he claimed he never informed on anyone who had stolen for real need such as food or clothing.

After Vidocq, the industry was born. Much of what private investigators did in the early days was to act as the police in matters that their clients felt the police were not equipped for or willing to do. A larger role for this new private investigative industry to was to assist companies in labor disputes. Some early private investigators provided armed guards to act as a private military.

In the U.S., the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was a private detective agency established in 1850 by a man named Allan Pinkerton.  Pinkerton had become famous when he foiled a plot to assassinate then President-Elect Abraham Lincoln. Pinkerton's investigators performed services which ranged from undercover investigations and detection of crimes to plant protection and armed guard security. It is sometimes claimed, probably with exaggeration, that at the height of its existence the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than the United States Army.

During the labor disputes of the late 19th century, companies sometimes hired operatives and armed guards from the Pinkertons and similar agencies to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of their factories. The most famous example of this was the Homestead Strike of 1892, when industrialist Henry Clay Frick hired a large contingent of Pinkerton men to regain possession of Andrew Carnegie's steel mill during a lock-out at Homestead, Pennsylvania. Gunfire erupted between the strikers and the Pinkertons, resulting in multiple casualties and deaths on both sides. Several days later a radical anarchist, Alexander Berkman, attempted to assassinate Frick. In the aftermath of the Homestead Riot, several states passed so-called "anti-Pinkerton" laws restricting the importation of private security guards during labor strikes. The federal Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893 continues to prohibit an "individual employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, or similar organization" from being employed by "the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia."

Pinkerton agents were also hired to track western outlaws like Jesse James, the Reno brothers, and the Wild Bunch, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The Pinkerton agency's logo, an eye embellished with the words "We Never Sleep," inspired the term "private eye."

It was not until the prosperity of the 1920s that the private investigator became a person accessible to the average American. With the wealth of the 1920s and the expanding of the middle class came the need of middle America for private investigation agencies

Since then the private detective industry has grown with the changing needs of the public. Social issues like infidelity and divorce matters have impacted the industry and created new types of work, as has the need for insurance and, with it, insurance fraud, criminal defense investigations and the invention of low-cost listening devices. In a number of countries, a licensing process has been introduced that has put criteria in place that investigators have to meet: in most cases, a clean criminal record. This has combined with modern business practices that have ensured that most investigators are now professional in outlook, rather than seeing the private investigative world as a second career opportunity for retired ex-law enforcement.


For more information on spousal infidelity and infidelity investigations, your find it useful to review our Overview of Surveillance



 Arizona  Phoenix  Alaska Arkansas Alabama California Orange County Newport Beach Huntington Beach Laguna Beach Los Angeles San Diego Corona Del Mar San Clemente Balboa Island La Jolla Nevada Las Vegas Hawaii Oregon Washington Idaho Montana Utah New Mexico Colorado Wyoming Texas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Minnesota Iowa Missouri Louisiana Mississippi Georgia Atlanta Florida Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Virginia West Virginia Kentucky Ohio Indiana Illinois Wisconsin Michigan Pennsylvania New York Atlantic City Maine New Hampshire Vermont Rhode Island Massachusetts Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland District of Columbia U.S.A. United States of America Canada Mexico Cabo San Lucas Rocky Point Puerto Vallarta The French Riviera



Mate Check has associates around the globe. Call us for an associate near you.


Mate Check Private Investigations
Specializing in Domestic Relations Cases

+1 (480) 391.1010 / +1 (866) 640.1010
 License # 1003408

*Mate Check welcomes same sex and alternative lifestyle cases

All Inquiries held in the strictest Confidence

No Obligation Consultations     Call or Email Us Today

Copyright © 1994-2008, Mate Check Private Investigations Inc.  All rights reserved.  Reproduction, redistribution, dissemination or storage of any content or images on this website, by any means, whether electronic or not, without written permission is strictly prohibited and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of  any and all applicable U.S. and International Law.