Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A defense attorney & PI who also happen to be writers

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Answering Writers’ Questions: How Do We Know if a Potential Client Is a Bad Guy?

Posted by Writing PIs on December 22, 2009

Updated June 13 2012

In this post, we answer a writer’s question about how do we know if a potential client is actually a bad guy.  We’ve had this happen, so read on…

WRITER’S QUESTION: Have you ever had a “bad guy” try to hire you to find someone?  What if you didn’t realized it was a bad guy–after you found the person, what would you do?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: Yes, we’ve had “bad guys” ask us to find someone. What triggered us to think this potential client might have bad reasons/aren’t being honest?

1-We always run a criminal background check on any non-attorney clients (right there we can find nefarious reasons,  such as restraining orders, divorces in progress, domestic violence convictions, etc.)

2-If the person requesting the skiptrace (search for someone) omits certain information, or makes inflated claims as towhy they want to locate another person, we’ll generally refuse the case

3-Sometimes we’ll hear signs of intoxication/mental illness in a requestor’s speech, and we refuse the work

4-Suspicious emails–be they directed from a bogus-sounding account or the request is stated in such a way it’s obvious they’re wanting us to break the law, we delete the email and that’s that.

To clarify our response to the second part of your question, when we smell a bad situation, we simply don’t take the case.  If we were to take the case, THEN realize it’s a bad situation, we’ll refund the $$ and terminate our work without relaying any information to anyone. Using such filters, we’ve never been in the position of finding out something that might harm a third party (although this scenario would make for great fiction). IF we were ever in that position, we’d contact law enforcement with what we’d discovered.

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