Working as a surveillance investigator for his employer or investigative services agencies, surveillance investigators operate with their employers to collect information for investigations, to draw conclusions based on their findings, and to review evidence for possible legal action. This job entails collecting evidence from people of interest, arranging travel to their location to film and photograph them, and taking all of their findings from the legal documents of which they are filed. Surveillance investigators are often privy to the inner workings of corporations, especially the upper echelon management. They may spend long hours watching a suspicious employee for signs of disloyalty or inappropriate behavior. They may secretly video tape meetings between executives and their associates, or observe their homes and offices for similar behavior.
Many corporate positions require surveillance investigators. These agents are privy to dangerous and private information about the CEO and officers of the company, or other important workers and employees. In some cases, surveillance investigators are also called in to determine if an employee is cheating on their boss. Legal proceedings often rely upon the testimony of surveillance witnesses. Additionally, surveillance investigators are often employed by defense attorneys in complex litigation.
While these jobs are quite desirable for many surveillance investigators, not all investigation jobs are so well paying. Often, investigators are required to conduct many surveillance investigations in a short period of time. These jobs require a lot of persistence and perseverance on the behalf of the surveillance investigator – it’s usually required to follow leads all over the country.
Surveillance Officers can also be private investigators, though many private investigators specialize in surveillance investigations. Some investigators specialize in one field such as credit card frauds and bank frauds, while others have an extensive background in many different areas. Surveillance officers are sometimes referred to colloquially as “CNAs” (Computer Network Analysts).
As the name suggests, these investigators are responsible for tracking down hackers and other cyber criminals. For example, say you want to track down a person who is illegally downloading music and movies from unauthorized sites. If you use a standard computer network investigation technique such as email search and trace, chances are that you may not be successful in finding out who is doing this.
To solve the problem, many surveillance investigators employ the services of private investigators. A private investigator (PI) will follow up on your lead and obtain tangible evidence of the illegal downloading activities. Alternatively, the surveillance investigators may hire their own private investigators who will perform digital forensics analysis and may also use sophisticated surveillance equipment to aid the investigation.
Most private investigators specialize in financial crimes, but some specialize in other types of criminal activities. These investigators can help investigate securities frauds and embezzlements. Again, a private investigator will follow-up on your lead and obtain tangible evidence of the transgression. However, before these professionals can get to the bottom of your alleged transgressions, they need your cooperation. If you refuse to cooperate with the investigation, you may never know the full truth about the matter.
Communication skills are very important for many surveillance investigators. They need to make phone calls, write letters, e-mails, meet with clients, etc. Unless the communication skills are impeccable, it may be difficult for an investigator to acquire tangible evidence that a suspect is involved in criminal activities. Therefore, many surveillance investigators will have good computer skills. They may also have excellent oral and written communication skills. Whatever communication skills you possess, make sure to practice them whenever possible so you are always ready when an opportunity to discuss with your target presents itself.