One question clients often ask is “Can a private investiture get phone records?” Unfortunately the answer is nearly always an emphatic “No.” You may find information on the internet that will tell you otherwise. The truth is that unless you’re the owner of the service account, it’s almost impossible to get access to phone records without a subpoena or search warrant.
Can a Private Investigator Get Phone Records?
Even today you’ll come across websites with claims of being able to access copies of telephone records. Up until 2006, it was possible to use a technique called pretexting to obtain someone else’s phone records. Companies used pretexting to impersonate an account holder to falsely obtain confidential information found only in phone records. In 2007 the Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act made it a federal felony to fraudulently acquire telephone records.
The only legal way to go about obtaining phone records is by specific permission of the telephone line owner or by way of a court order such as a subpoena or search warrant. Obtain records by any other method and you could be charged with a felony. Hiring a private investigator to get the information for you is also illegal and could get you both charged with conspiracy.
What Are My Options?
Even though you may not be able to legally obtain someone’s phone records, a licensed private investigator can use legal methods to gather the information you need. Most times the information you may hope to gather from phone records is only one part of an entire investigation. Other investigative techniques such as surveillance and social media searches can often answer the questions you have without resorting to illegal methods.
If you’ve hired a private investigator in conjunction with an ongoing court case, you may get lucky and get a court order to have the records. Criminal defense is where a judge is likely to order a witness to present phone records for examination. Rarely will phone records be subpoenaed in a civll case.
Don’t waste your money on unscrupulous companies online who promise to obtain personal phone records. The information they provide is purchased from phone data brokers and call lists in addition to other illegal methods such as pretexting.
Your best option is to hire a licensed private investigator who is experienced and knows the legalities of conducting a professional investigation.
H7 Investigative Services conducts private investigations in Santa Clarita, Antelope Valley, and throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
If you want to find out how our agency can help with your case, click through to our consultation request page or call us at (661)454-7513.