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Hiring a private investigator will be dependant on the services they are providing. You can find charges starting as little as $80 per hour up to $650 per hour pending on the service required.
I have taken the liberty, placing a guideline of charges/costs based on the service required as of 17/03/2016 in Australia.
Infidelity Investigations and Surveillance:
$80-150 per hour, the variant in pricing will depend on experience, if the investigator is working from a home office or an actual physical office and if they are charging kilometre fees and expences.
Flat fee service is general the best option as you know exactly how much you intend to spend upfront.
Factual/ Statement Investigations:
This will vary on experience once again though a general idea and fair price will be in the $80-$150 per hour.
This is a new and exciting field where one can obtain deleted data from a phone or social media account. This service across board requires expensive equipment and licence fee's and experience with specialized training. These costs are generally in the vicinity of $150- $250 per hour pending on the type of mobile phone forensic extraction required.
Electronic De-Bugging or Security Sweeps
This service is generally used when someone has placed a listening device in a boardroom to spy on corporate clients to gather valuable information, another is when individuals spy on their partner using listening devices and gps tracking to track their partner.
On a private level you can expect charges from $250 - $350 per hour
On a corporate level you can expect charges from $350- $450 per hour
The difference in pricing on a private and corporate security sweep is generally the level of expertise and the type of equipment that will be used for the assessment, offices require a lot more experience with assessing technology for vulnerabilities and reports are compulsory for corporate clients, reports are included in the price provided for corporates.
Locating a Person of Interest.
Most private investigators will either do the following:
Charge their hourly rate or offer an upfront fee to conduct several searches. Basic charges are roughly $600-800, for a more difficult case you could be paying up to $2,500 pending on the background and the information the client supplies to the investigator, based on a local locate-- An Australian citizen.
If you would like to know more or for free advice, feel free to contact me any time.