Here’s a question that pops up so often, I figured I would share it with everyone:
How much does it cost for a private investigator to find a person?
At this point you have probably spent countless hours scouring the Web. Maybe you spent some money using one of the many online databases, reached out to everyone you know and have searched Facebook until you turned blue in the face.
You may have even used some of our tips in How to Find Someone on the Internet.
But you are stuck. Every lead you have found has ended up a dead end.
So now you are considering getting some professional help and may just want to hire a private investigator.
Of course, one of the questions that everyone has when they want to hire a private investigator is how much does it cost to find a person. The problem with answering this question, though, is that there are so many possible scenarios that the answer is not so simple.
I am going to do my best here to give you some realistic price ranges, but keep in mind that every situation is unique. There are literally hundreds of factors that can change things.
For example, the amount of information you have (full name, date of birth, etc.), the commonality of the person’s name (hint: finding John Smith is not going to be easy) or trying to find a person living completely “off the grid” may require investigation outside the scope of what is offered here.
Below is a quick rundown of how we approach it with our clients. However, keep in mind that this may not be the way every private investigator does it.
What Do We Do?
After gathering some initial information and before even taking your case, we will conduct a 10- to 20-minute phone interview, gathering as much information as we can in order to find the person.
After obtaining all the information, we will conduct some initial research to determine whether finding the person will be realistic. Only then are we willing to take on the case.
What Will It Cost?
We presume that you have searched Google and done all of the “normal” things to find the person you are looking for. If you haven’t tried tips in How to Find Someone on the Internet, go ahead, we will wait …
For a first phase, we charge a $500 flat fee (plus tax if applicable). This covers our time and effort, database costs and any other costs associated with finding the person during the first phase.
Keep in mind that it may take some additional work after the first phase if the person is difficult to find (see below).
What Will Be Provided When the Investigation Is Completed?
At the conclusion of the case, in addition to providing information about the person’s address and phone numbers (if available), we will also provide some details that came up during the course of the investigation. For example, if criminal records, a bankruptcy record or court documents were identified during the course of the investigation, we will provide that to you.
How Long Will It Take?
Typically, it will take approximately five business days to complete the search.
Do You Guarantee Results?
I know that you probably want some sort of guarantee, but unfortunately, there are too many possibilities to guarantee anything. There are an infinite number of possible reasons that things may not end up the right way, factors that are completely out of anyone’s control. The person may be dead, may never answer your phone calls or letters, or may have moved halfway around the world and is living in the woods.
Every situation is unique and it’s impossible to guarantee that the person will be found immediately. In some instances, additional research or on-the-ground investigation will be needed to find the person.
But here is what we can tell you:
- Our reputation is based on providing our clients with results, not giving false promises. We will do everything in our power to find the person, but we can’t make any guarantees.
- Before retaining us, we will provide you with an open and honest assessment as to whether we think the person can or will be found.
- We are realistic about our possibilities; we don’t take on cases that we don’t feel we can help with (frankly, we turn away more cases than we accept).
- We have a very high success rate in finding people (you can check out our recent case study Finding a Biological Father).
We have outlined some general guidelines as to how much it would cost to find a person. We haven’t covered everything here, so if you have some additional questions, feel free to set up a time to talk to an expert in finding people.