A private investigator is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to practice investigatory law services. These investigators assist in solving both civil and criminal cases. Mostly, they are contacted by citizens and do not work with the police or other government agencies. That department is handled by private detectives. Private investigators (hereafter referred to as PI’s) are most commonly hired by parents or spouses to deal with domestic cases like that of a missing child, child custody, or spouse infidelity.

Private investigators have a list of services that they provide. These include background checks, surveillance, and tracking people down. This article particularly talks about how private investigators track people and solve cases.

How to track people?

The easiest way of tracking people down is by using the internet. The internet has grown to such an extent that tracking people or gathering information about them has become very easy. There are many ways that can be used to do tracking.

Social media: the most basic and simple way of finding someone is by finding their account on social media. In today’s world, it is very much possible to believe that someone doesn’t have a profile on social media applications. All that your online investigation requires is the first and last name of the person you are willing to find.

79% of America’s population has its accounts on Facebook. The remaining percentage that doesn’t won’t have it majorly due to no electronic devices or no access to the internet. Facebook is a free application, and all basic information is public. Hence it is very easy to access information and track people via it.

In cases where the person’s profile is private and completely hidden, information can still be obtained by analyzing profiles of their friends, relatives, neighbors, close employees, etc. A connection or a link can easily be established, and that person can be tracked down.

Search engines: properly utilizing search engines is also a practice that private investigators adopt. Whenever a person takes an online membership or registers for something, they leave bits and pieces of information behind. These bits and pieces are collected and used by private investigators to track a person. Accessing search engines can be a little difficult as they are monitored by Google itself. But private investigators use a mixed combination of search engines to gather the required information.

Data fusion: most of the information we use online is recorded in a database. Private investigators have access to these databases that have a combination of both public and non-public records. These databases cost a payment, but it is a reasonable one and hence can be easily paid by PI.


It can be concluded that tracking a person down is not a difficult task for private investigators. Their research is based on ways and methods by which they can track people. The effort they put in the case determines its success and failure.