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How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Private Investigator.

Over the years a number of books have been written about getting started as a private investigator. Some of the books have been on target and some have been ridiculous. Edmund J. Pankau's book, How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Private Investigator, falls in with the former. The book is well written, organized, and fun to read because it is peppered with some entertaining cases.

Particularly interesting is the chapter on marketing. The fledgling as well as the experienced investigator should take note of the material covered because marketing, while sometimes difficult or distasteful, is the key to success. Pankau explains it well. In his discussion of workers' compensation fraud, for example, he provides a list of red flags that every employer should be aware of when examining employee injury cases. Two of the most obvious are if the claimant refuses to accept an offer to return to work in another capacity or if the claimant is never at home. Presenting these red flags in a list or brochure to a prospective client, particularly those that are self-insured, is an excellent aid in marketing workers' compensation investigative services.

The chapter entitled "Interview or Interrogate" is also informative. In it Pankau explains his "queen for a day" peer-rating system, which helps identify individuals who are viewed as potentially guilty of an incident under investigation. This rating system assigns a value from one to ten to the suspect. The investigator arrives at the number by interviewing colleagues and assessing their general knowledge and impressions of the individual in question. After all the interviews on all the suspects are complete, the investigator can analyze the response and determine when further interviewing may be necessary.

Pankau provides an excellent overview of computers and their application to investigations. He even provides a list of some of the many databases available, including reviews of several of the law enforcement and intelligence databases that are not normally available to the private investigator.

The book's only failing is its lack of information on the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Pankau mentions it but fails to elaborate. All investigators should be aware of this act and should keep abreast of any new procedures stemming from it that relate to privacy laws and rights. Overall, the book serves its purpose, which is to introduce private investigators to the information age and provide them with marketing and managing techniques. While Pankau primarily targets the novice, he offers details that can certainly help the experienced private investigator by giving him or her fresh ideas and a new direction.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Barnie, Adrian A.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Words:428
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