The Role of a Private Investigator: Debunking Hollywood Myths

When they arrive for their first meeting with an Anderson private investigator, many potential clients are underwhelmed. They do not expect to walk into a regular business office and talk to someone who looks just like a regular business person. 

The fact is that most of us construe the image and role of a private investigator from Hollywood movies. It is time to separate fact from fiction and debunk the most common myths about private investigators.

1. Private Investigators Are Former Police Officers

One of the common myths about private investigators is that they are former police officers who left law enforcement because they feel the system is broken and want to pursue justice on their own.

While some private investigators are former police officers, PIs still have to follow the law and abide by strict rules. 

People actively pursue a private investigator career from their youth, through education, training, and certification. They hold the job of PI for their entire active career, and then they retire to enjoy their golden years, just like everybody else. 

Others decide to become PIs later in life, after working in a wide range of fields, such as:

  • Insurance
  • Accounting
  • IT and computers
  • Retail services.

2. A PI Has Unlimited Access to All Kinds of Information

Hollywood movies portray private investigators getting information from any kind of sources, such as:

  • Police and FBI online databases
  • Law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors
  • Hacking into various devices and computer networks
  • Holding a potential wrongdoer at gunpoint to obtain a confession.

In real life, all these activities are illegal and no PI has the right to do them. What makes a private investigator valuable is the skill and experience to look for lawful ways to obtain information, do a lot of legwork, and spend time searching for the needed evidence.

Anderson private investigator

3. Private Investigators Only Work on Criminal Cases

In movies, a distraught family hires a PI to uncover the truth about a loved one’s death or disappearance. In real life, an Anderson private investigator can help clients in a wide range of everyday situations, such as:

  • Performing background checks on potential employees
  • Serving divorce papers or eviction notices
  • Investigating asset hiding during a divorce
  • Exposing employee fraud 
  • Car accident reconstruction.

These activities are not as exciting as the ones shown in the movies, but extremely necessary for clients who need to solve a stringent problem.

4. PIs Always Use Disguise and Different Identities

People imagine private investigators as chameleons, using various disguises, such as wigs, fake mustaches, and even facial prosthetics. They also have many fake IDs and driving licenses, under different names. Other must-have items for the Hollywood PI are the wide-brimmed hat, the large, dark-tinted sunglasses, and the long, grey overcoat.

In reality, PIs use only their real identity in all their activities. They do not resort to disguises, as they tend to stand out more than regular clothes and one’s face and hair. You could cross paths with PIs daily and never guess their job.

5. A Private Investigator Always Works Alone

Finally, in Hollywood movies, the PI is always a lone wolf (with a fake colleague introduced to advance the plot at some point). In reality, the best PIs know how to cultivate relationships with professionals in other fields such as computer techs, appraisers, and lawyers.

Their network of professional acquaintances and collaborators helps the best private investigators in Anderson solve complex cases and find the information the client needs. And this is even more impressive than the best Hollywood story.

Get the Results You Need from an Anderson Private Investigator!

Now that we have debunked the most common myths, you will appreciate the true value of hiring an Anderson private investigator. Whether you are going through a divorce or need to uncover employee theft at your business, we can help you obtain the evidence you need legally.

Call us today at 864-671-4040 to schedule an initial free consultation with a certified PI!



Reid Latham
Easy to talk with and does a great job! Very discreet and a pleasure to work with. They know what to do and how to do and when to do it.
Jesse McGeE
10 out of 10 great people and very professional. 5 stars all the way.
James Martin
From my experience of knowing the Hawkins family. If you want professional service and dependability try Upstate Private Investigators.