Can a Private Investigator Obtain Cell Phone Records? (2023)

25 Feb Can a Private Investigator Obtain Cell Phone Records?

Local to St. Petersburg, Keck investigation Service offers private investigation services so that you can get the answers you’re looking for. Before seeking out theprofessional services of a private investigator, it’s important to know exactly what they can and cannot do to get to the bottom of your issue. If you’re worried about your romantic partner, we’re a top cheater’s detective agency in St. Petersburg, and we’ll get you the information you need.

Accessing Another Persons Phone Records

If your name is already on the plan accessing records is easy. You can simply check your bill or take a quick look online. Things get a little more complicated, though when they’re someone else’s. Luckily though, a private investigator in St. Petersburg is more than willing to help out. Investigators can sometimes access call detail records with the help of local law enforcement. But If police are no help, that’s no issue. There is a vast database of information and connections that investigators have to help them gain information. Remember, the laws are complicated, and its best to leave the investigating to the professionals.

What a Private InvestigatorCanDo

Private investigators are a means to gather information. Information that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do on your own. Investigators have the expertise, equipment, and specific resources needed to look into the background of someone within the realm of legality. Below are actions that you can realistically expect private investigators to do:

  • Gather information on an individual, such as aliases, assets, birth and death information, and family history
  • Gather information on a business, such as the number of employees, revenue, and business credit score
  • Locate sensitive records, such as divorce, driving and criminal records
  • Conduct surveillance within the parameters of the law
  • Interview friends, family, and colleagues

Background checks

Private investigators may not have access to calls or text messages. However, they can still gather sensitive records, which can significantly impact the direction of an investigation. Anyone that’s lived long enough understands people are generally dishonest. Private investigators can perform background checks and reveal professional, personal, and criminal history. This is valuable information that can aid an array of processes such as,

  • Hiring a new employee
  • Searching for a roommate
  • Renting to new tenants
  • Verifying a significant other is who they say they are

Our history says a lot about us, and investigators ensure reliable and updated information about the person under investigation. Not to mention they have access to databases that aren’t generally available to the public.

This validation is specifically crucial in the case of hiring a nanny or babysitter. You want to ensure to your best ability that you can trust the person responsible for your children. Our background checks include any information regarding state sex offender registries and thorough criminal history reports.

What a Private InvestigatorCan’tDo

We’ve all seen a slinky private investigator in the movies. Someone is sneaking around for the information that they were hired to find—no matter the cost. That is not the case (well, not entirely). While private investigators can go to great lengths to find out crucial information, there are legal considerations around the private investigation.

Private investigators are held to the same legal standard as every other individual within the USA. Meaning that there are no exceptions to federal, state, and civil law. Below are some top actions that private investigators cannot do when on a mission to gather more information:

  • Operate without a private investigators license
  • Impersonate law enforcement
  • Trespass on private property, including entering your home or business without your consent
  • Place a GPS tracker on a vehicle without consent
  • Film a subject through a window to a private home or record a conversation without the participant’s knowledge
  • Tamper with mail
  • Obtain protected information without permission or legal purpose, which includes phone records, financial records, and bank account information

Wiretapping Phones

One of the most common requests that private investigators get is towiretapa phone without the consent of the individual on surveillance. Just like every other citizen, private investigators are prohibited from wiretapping or monitoring phone conversations without consent from at least one of the individuals. This federal law is present in all states of the USA. With some states requiring that all parties on the phone call give consent, rather than just one.

Interestingly enough, in some states, private investigators are legally able to eavesdrop on and record conversations that occur in public.

Can A Phone Detective Obtain Text messages?

Like wiretapping a phone to listen in on conversations, a private investigator can’t read text messages without the individual’s consent. Laws vary from place to place, but a private investigator more than likely won’t be able to obtain text messages.

This is information we are not apprehensive about sharing because, regardless, there is a plethora of other information that will adequately support your case. From interviews, background checks, legal surveillance to family history, an investigator can gather specific support information to build your case.

How Private Investigators Gather Legal Surveillance

There is a lot of gray area surrounding the legality of surveillance for private investigators. But generally, a PI is allowed to gather surveillance in public places. If the individual is under the assumption they’re in private, such as their home, it is not legal to surveil them.

An investigator can gather visual or audio surveillance for your case. A video of your spouse cheating or abusing drugs or alcohol is undeniable evidence. As long as it’s obtained legally, it is entirely admissible in court.

A private investigator does more than infidelity cases

We are the leading cheater’s detective agency in St. Petersburg, although that’s not all we can do. We also perform investigations surrounding,

  • Auto accidents
  • Cybercrimes
  • Missing persons

So, if you’re dealing with an issue outside of infidelity cases but need reliable evidence to build your case, we have your back.

Contact Us!

Our investigative service in St. Petersburg is excited to help you get the answers you deserve. We make sure to inform clients about the legal ramifications of the private investigation so that you can rest assured your actions do not come with legal consequences. Call us for more information at727-254-1994orcontact usonline.


Can a Private Investigator Obtain Cell Phone Records? ›

Computer forensics – if the private investigator has access to the cell phone a forensic analysis can be conducted on the phone to retrieve calling records, text messages, pictures, and web surfing data.

Can a private investigator access someone's phone records? ›

Licensed private investigators utilize legal methods to access cell phone records, including databases, networking, personal contacts, and various surveillance techniques. The evidence and information collected by a private investigator are admissible in court and hold credibility.

Can a private investigator get phone records and text messages? ›

So far, we have established that phone records are private unless you are law enforcement and have a legal reason to access those records. Private investigators have no access to them, legally or illegally. Phone records and text records are protected by federal law.

How do private investigators track cell phones? ›

Yes, a private investigator can track a phone location, provided you are the owner of the phone. Mobile phone tracking uses GPS software to monitor where someone goes. An example of this kind of software is probably familiar: Apple's Find My iPhone.

Can a PI get deleted text messages? ›

Even if someone deletes text messages, memos, calendar updates and call records, a private investigator may be able to recover this information. This level of detail can inform someone of who the person has had contact with, at what time and date the contact occurred and the content of the contact.

What shows up on cell phone records? ›

Incoming and outgoing calls: the phone numbers you call, the numbers that you receive calls from, and the duration of the call; Incoming and outgoing text messages: the phone numbers you send texts to and receive texts from; How often you check your e-mail or access the Internet; Your location.

Can a private investigator access social media? ›

However, there are limits to the information they can obtain online. A private investigator can check social media accounts to see what is publicly posted. They cannot hack into any social media account to see what has been posted privately or collect private information about someone.

How much does cell phone forensics cost? ›

How much does it cost to recover, examine, and produce evidence from a cell phone? In the majority of legal cases, the cell phone investigator can recover and analyze the cell phone's evidence and generate forensic tool reports for the legal team's review for an average cost of $3,000 to $5,000.

How do private investigators find things out? ›

Conducting Database Searches

Once Private Investigators have put together a profile of the person that they are looking for, it is then much easier for them to conduct database searches. This means that they would enter the name of the subject into public databases to see what information can be found relating to them.

How do I know if my phone is being monitored by police? ›

How to know if your phone is being tracked
  • Increased data usage.
  • Charged battery drains rapidly.
  • New, unknown apps on your device.
  • Phone works slower than usual.
  • Phone freezes or abruptly turns off.
  • Background noises in calls.
  • Battery runs hot.
  • Coded text messages.
Feb 10, 2022

How long are text messages saved by phone companies? ›

The cell tower information is generally included. Most cell carriers retain content data between 3-7 days. The exceptions are: AT&T, Boost and T-Mobile which have zero days retention.

How far back can police get text messages? ›

If the law enforcement officers go to your cell service provider or Google, they can access information on your text messages and emails if they have a court order. If the police have a subpoena, they can access emails that date back as far as 180 days, whether they are opened or unopened.

Can police recover permanently deleted photos? ›

AnyRecover is a consumer-grade data recovery tool that can be used to recover deleted photos, as well as other types of data, from iOS devices, Android devices and PC. While it is not specifically designed for forensic investigations, it may be used by police or other investigators in some cases.

How much does a PI cost in Indiana? ›

Recent Estimates in Indiana
Case TypeDifficultyEstimate
Adultery or Infidelity Investigations MaritalEasy$1314 - $1971
Cold Case InvestigationsDifficult$1500 - $2500
Child Support Enforcement and CollectionEasy$755 - $1132
Locate Lost PeopleEasy$563 - $844
6 more rows

Do private investigators hide their identity? ›

We, as private investigators, tend to hide our identity online, but that, to me, is a red flag. Private investigators aren't spies lurking in the shadows. PIs are professionals working with people and businesses in the community.

How do private investigators eavesdrop? ›

Audio Listening and Recording Devices

For example, when a private investigator is monitoring at a distance, they might use various kinds of Audio Surveillance Equipment like amplified microphones, electronic bugging devices, or even mobile phone spy software.

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