What a Private Investigator in China Can and Can’t Do
Welcome to our Asia Investigation / China Investigator FAQ. Here, we will try to answer some of your questions. If you have questions that aren’t addressed here, please call us or write us. Here is our Contact Us page.
Is my case confidential?
Yes, the information you provide us and the results of our investigation that we give you are confidential and just between us.
When you contact us, please tell us the best way for us to communicate… by telephone, message, email or via our online collaboration system, Basecamp. On Basecamp, you can communicate with us, view and download our reports, photos, videos and other documents directly, bypassing the communication. Basecamp uses encryption – the same standards used by banks to protect information.
Can private investigators access telephone and bank records?
In China, phone records and bank records are private and can’t be obtained without a subpoena. It is important to collect evidence legally, so that it can be used as evidence. Our business is obtaining information and our experience allows us to recommend other methods to achieve the case goals that are legal, ethical and effective.
Do we need your contact information?
The short answer is, yes. When we work with a client, we need to have an open relationship. We need to know who the person or business is and what their true goals are. At the same time, you need to know that we will act professionally and with your best interest at heart. You also need to know that we will handle your information confidentially and with complete discretion. Once we feel comfortable that we know who you are and what you need and you feel comfortable that we will be able to provide you with the work product you require while keeping all information private, we can then work together effectively.
Conflict of Interest:
With new cases, we always review the information and parties involved to make sure there is no conflict of interest. An example of a conflict might be that we already have a current or former client relationship with another party in the case. In the vast majority of cases, there is no conflict. But if there is a conflict, we will advise the client with the new case of this and we will either refer them to another investigation company, or we will ask the client (and the former client) if they agree to our being hired for the case, if appropriate.
Are there cases that we can’t take?
Our company motto is “Do the right thing for the right reason.” When you contact us, the first thing we do is to inquire about the type of information you need so we can figure out the best way to get that information. We also ask about the nature of your case, as it is important that we do our investigations for a legitimate business or legal reason. In some instances, we politely turn down cases and explain why we can’t help.
Our clients need to have a direct relationship with the Subject of the investigation. In the majority of cases, this is not an issue. There usually is a business or legal relationship between the client and the Subject. For instance, a company selling a product has a legitimate purpose in determining whether or not that same product is being knocked off and sold by another party.
In cases where there is not a direct relationship, we have to decline taking the case. An example of this can be found in domestic surveillance cases. We are hired by a wife to determine whether or not their husband is cheating on them. There is a legitimate legal reason for conducting the surveillance… providing the client with the information he or she needs to decide whether or not to divorce. And there is a direct relationship between the client and the Subject. After the surveillance is complete, we are occasionally asked to conduct a background check on the “other woman”, with whom the husband is cheating. To do this, there needs to be a legal reason to develop this information.
Another example is when we are asked to help locate missing family members or friends. People have many different motives for not keeping in touch with each other, so we need to be sensitive to the privacy of the Subject, as well as the needs of the client. In these more personal cases, where we are locating someone and there is not a direct business or legal relationship, we must also respect the privacy concerns of the Subject. We do as much as we can to accomplish the goals of our client, within the confines of the law and respect for privacy. We will give them your letter or message, or we will make an in-person request for them to contact the client. We have sometimes called the client and put them on the phone with the Subject.
What sources do we use in our investigations?
We use a variety of sources and methods when investigating cases and the key to our success is creativity and resourceful use of our connections with people in many industries. It is also important to always follow the law and to get the information our clients need for legitimate reasons, without compromising anyone’s privacy.