Lead Generators and how they work.
From time to time I encounter a client who has unknowingly retained a private investigator in Costa Rica via a lead generator. There are several that are online and hold themselves out to be large concerns having a plethora of qualified private investigators. Truth be known, most of these lead generators have contacted someone out of the blue and recruited them to work at a fraction of what the lead generators quote.
The quality and the experience of such hired private investigators is not verified, so, when you hire a lead generator to farm your work out you are rolling the dice. I know that their websites claim that they use only licensed private investigators and only after they have completed a rigorous background check. News Flash !! There is no licensing authority in Costa Rica and no governmental oversight. Therefore, how can these so-called private investigators be vetted by the lead generators? There are only two “licensed” private investigators in Costa Rica and both hold licenses in their respective home states. The rest are scammers or at best highly questionable.
They also claim that they are operated out of Arizona. This is a half-truth as the numbers given to call wind up being from Orange County Florida. The person answering the phone claims to be a licensed Florida P.I. This could not be independently verified. In fact, this person admitted he had never been to Costa Rica.
The reason I bring this to your attention is that there is something inherently unethical about misrepresenting private investigation services to a largely uninformed client. Most that I encounter are unsure of the process as they have never used the services of a private investigator. This type of misrepresentation is taking advantage of an unsuspecting client that is relying on the information they read on the internet to make an informed decision. It is similar to the guy that is in a neighboring country, that continues to hold himself out as being in Costa Rica when he, in fact, was deported and cannot return to Costa Rica.
Lead generators ethically and professionally are nothing more than marketers. No one is suggesting that they don’t have a right to advertise and attempt to promote their services, but deception and misrepresentation of the facts is just plain wrong.