2016 November

Custer Agency in the News

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5 Cyber Monday Security Tips

When it comes to information security, do you know what it takes to be safe on Cyber Monday? Before doing any holiday shopping, it’s best to know how to avoid a data breach that can put your information, and your wallet, at risk. In an interview with Six On Your Side, Neal Custer explains 5 important tips to keep in mind when shopping online on Cyber Monday. Find out more here!

Qualities to Look for In a Private Investigator

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Qualities to Look for In a Private Investigator

When hiring a private investigator you require one with specific skills and qualities. Forget what you have seen on television and in the movies. A real private investigator is a professional who has to be creative and resourceful in order to solve a case or collect enough data for a case or client. This is why you need to locate one with these five key qualities to ensure you are accessing the best of the best available for the task you are hiring one for.

1 – Trustworthy

Even in the world of PI work you need someone you can trust who will take your information and keep it to themselves. Client confidentiality is a must and a detective has to understand and respect the boundaries of what is to be kept secret and what isn’t. Professional private investigators will not disclose information that has been entrusted to them to prevent credibility and integrity issues from arising.

2 – Knowledgeable

When you consider the spectrum of different assignments the average private investigator will have, there should be a great deal of knowledge coming from that. It also means that an investigator should know enough about such items as surveillance, fraud, theft and process serving to know what to do or who to contact for assistance. A good PI will know a little about a lot and where to go to find out more.

3 – Inconspicuous

One of the qualities you will want to find in a private investigator is that they are virtually invisible. Or at least they can do their job without drawing unwanted attention to themselves or what they are doing. It involves a certain amount of stealth in order to complete a variety of tasks. For example, for any kind of surveillance assignments you don’t want a PI who can be spotted right away by whoever he is following.

4 – Courageous

Without a huge department of authorities to rely on as back up, a private investigator is very much on his own while on assignment. This means that in addition to having equal parts of bravery, ingenuity and street smarts, the PI should be able to take on any and all tasks without the fear of getting caught becoming a hurdle. There has to be a calculation of risk and a good detective will have a back up plan at his disposal should something go sideways.

5 – Decisive

Probably the most important quality of a private investigator is his decision making skills. There will be circumstances where quick thinking and being able to make fast decisions on the run may make or break a particular investigation. Being able to keep those decisions within the framework of favorable outcomes takes a particular brand of thinking and confidence. Being able to work through sometimes adverse conditions and still accomplish tasks is a sign of this.

Call Us For More Information

At Custer Agency, our staff of private investigators possess all of these qualities. Call us today for more information or to learn more about the many services we provide.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Private Investigator?

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Hiring a private investigator in Boise may be somewhat different than hiring one in say, New York City. The reasons are as varied as the landscapes surrounding both of those cities. Essentially, the cost is determined by a number of different factors and they generally fall under seven categories.

1 – Types of Investigative Services Required

For example, a background check in Boise will be a different kind of investigation than a criminal defense investigation. The general rule of thumb is the more complicated the service, the more it is going to cost to have a private investigator on the case.

2 – Workload and Extra Help

The volume of work involved in a case will have a bearing on cost. A job that may only require one investigator will be less costly than one that requires a number of them working on it.

3 – Where You Live

As stated above, an investigator in Boise is going to be more affordable than one in a much bigger city. Licensing, permits and even rental rates for an office will all be higher in a large community so the investigator will charge more to assist with covering costs of doing business.

4 – Risk Factors

An investigator will charge accordingly in relation to risk. The easier the task, the lower the fee. Anything that involves a degree of risk will have an effect on what it will cost you for the service to be done.

5 – Time Frame

The more hours expected to complete a case the more it is going to cost to have a private investigator do the work. Simple jobs that can be completed in a couple of hours or an afternoon will be cheaper. Those requiring a lot of running around in Boise will cost more.

6 – Equipment Involved

As soon as the job you need the private investigator for requires any kind of specialized equipment in order to complete the task, the cost will increase. Using a phone or computer is one thing but once the GPS tracking devices come into play, expect to pay a bit more.

7 – Extra Costs

These items are usually identified as ‘miscellaneous’ but can include travel, phone calls, supplies and any other additional item not already categorized. They do happen and they have a cost attached to them in Boise as well as anywhere else.

The Actual Costs of Hiring A Private Investigator

You will likely have the choice between an hourly rate and a flat fee for service. The guidelines will vary from investigator to investigator and from one community to another. Generally an hourly rate is common for services involving any kind of surveillance. Flat fees tend to be on services such as process serving, background checks and retrieval of documents.

The amount of experience the private investigator has in Boise will also impact fee structure. This is not always a bad thing, either. Depending on the type of service you require, an investigator with extensive experience in law enforcement or government postings may be a better choice than a brand new one just starting out in his PI career.

An average hourly rate can be between $50 and $100 per hour with set-up fees in the $50 – $150 per case range. Photographs and video charges can be per photo or a flat rate and a retainer can run between $500 to $2,000 for basic services and $3,000 to $10,000 for complicated cases that may involve a longer period of time to complete.

For more information on how to hire one of our private investigators, contact us today at Custer Agency.