Legal Investigative Services

In the last couple months we’ve talked about how Scout Solutions offers private investigator services and business investigative services.  This month we’re going to tell you about the legal investigative services we provide.

Legal Investigative Services

Legal professionals can’t do everything themselves.  Lawyers and their aids spend a lot of time in books and getting ready for trials, and that’s why they often hire private investigators to do some of their legwork.

  • Locate people or assets – Whether it’s a witness, a stolen item or that missing something (animate or inanimate) the lawyer needs to close their case, a skilled private investigator can help track down whatever is needed.
  • Evidence – When most people think of private investigators they think of a guy spying on a cheating spouse.  Investigators are known for their ability to find evidence someone needs to find the truth, and the same can be applied in legal cases.
  • Process server – Having a hard time finding someone to serve them legal documents like a subpoena or divorce papers?  That’s another thing we specialize in.
  • Paralegal – Here at Scout Solutions, we’ve got our very own in-house paralegal.

If you are a legal professional in need of a little extra help, give Scout Solutions a call at (910) 762-4374 to get peace of mind, because peace of mind is priceless.

Business Investigative Services

As we mentioned last month, a private investigator does a lot more than spy on spouses while wearing a trench coat and fedora.  At Scout Solutions, we provide a wide array of services to private individuals, but we are also often hired by businesses who need a number of tasks done for them.

Business Investigative Services

Many people don’t realize that businesses have special needs that a private investigator can help them with.  Here are some of the services we provide to businesses.

  • Corporate Background Checks – We make sure the person you’re considering hiring isn’t hiding anything that might harm your company.
  • Criminal Cases – Employee theft can have a huge effect on your business. We can get the proof you need to find out who’s stealing from you.
  • Employment Verification – There are several reasons you might need to verify someone’s employment status.  We can fid out for you if a person works where they claim they do.
  • Fraud – Are you an insurance or mortgage company and suspect that someone might be lying for monetary gain?  Or maybe you have an employee who is faking injury to claim workers comp.  Either way, we can get the evidence you need to stop the fraud. 

If you represent or are in charge of a business that can use any of these business investigative services, give Scout Solutions a call at (910) 762-4374 to get peace of mind, because peace of mind is priceless.

Score One for Infidelity

While many clients contact private investigators because they fear their spouse is having an affair, some companies actually work to do the total opposite. Sites like have taken cheating to a whole new level. Their goal is to help spouses explore their feelings with other people without being exposed. Basically for the already taken.

While sites like Ashley claim they do not encourage people to have an affair, their target audience, people unhappy in their current relationships, and their method of income, seems to suggest otherwise.

With Ashley and the like promising a safe place to explore outside your marriage, how are you supposed to know if your spouse is being unfaithful?

Even with all the privacy in the world, these “married dating services” still require time and attention. If you notice your spouse spending more time on the computer than usual or if they start password protecting excessively, this should send up a red flag that something is off.

But what if your spouse is only checking their account outside of the house?

Clients of these sites don’t always stop at the computer. Just like other affairs that begin online, there comes a point when the participants may decide to meet in person. This is where Ashley cannot protect a cheating spouse. Your spouse will still begin to offer up the same excuses: working late, business trip, a night out with friends. If your spouse’s time in the house is slowly decreasing without a detailed explanation (the who, the where and the when), it’s time to start checking up.

If you begin to notice any of these habit changes in your spouse and you’re not sure what to do next, a private investigator can help by monitoring people and online activities. While your spouse is anonymously checking out their options, a private investigator can help you discover just what those “options” are. For a professional PI in the Wilmington, NC area, contact Scout Solutions at (910) 762-4374.

Valentine’s Day Infidelity

According to an article I read recently, Valentine’s Day is the Black Friday of the private investigative industry.  It’s the time of year that can kickstart business or create a good chunk of yearly income.  Even investigators who don’t do domestic cases say they notice a bump in inquiries.

In our experience, Valentine’s Day itself is not usually busy, but the aftermath of it is.  We see a similar correlation with Christmas.  Why is that?  It’s because that’s the time when credit card statements come in.  If a wife sees a charge for Victoria’s Secret but didn’t receive a Christmas or Valentine’s Day gift from the lingerie store, she becomes suspicious, and suspicious spending habits are one sign of infidelity.  Here are some others:

  • Change in Affection – A cheating spouse often becomes more affectionate towards their spouse, usually in an attempt to cover it up or out of guilt, or they become less affectionate out of disinterest.
  • Secretive Communication – A cheating spouse will often hide their phone, delete call logs and texts or leave the room to have conversations.  They also might try to hide the screen of their computer or laptop or act suspicious while checking email.
  • A New Look – A cheating spouse may make more of an effort to look nice or get in better shape in order to please the person with whom they are cheating.  They may dress better or pay more attention to the style of undergarments they wear.

While none of these behaviors is definitive proof of infidelity, they are all signs to watch out for. If you find your spouse acting differently and doing one or more of the behaviors listed above, it might be time to contact a professional, licensed private investigator. Call Cape Fear Investigative at (910) 762-4374 to discuss your suspicions and we’ll come up with a way to deliver peace of mind, because peace of mind is priceless.

Who Do I Call to Help Find a Missing Person?

One of the most stressful experiences of a lifetime can be looking for a missing person. It is important to recruit as much help as you can from experts you can trust. We will discuss several factors to consider as you try to find the best people for the job.

How Much Experience do They Have?

It may seem obvious, but the first item on the list is to make sure that you enlist the help of someone that has experience. Be confident they have worked previously to find missing persons, and done so successfully, so that you can trust they will help you with your present situation.

If you are hiring a new company, then also make sure that you hire services alongside them so that you can make the most of the situation.

How Successful is Their Track Record?

It is also important to investigate the track record of the success and/or failures they have had in finding missing persons in the past. If you are contracting with a private investigator that has no history of ever accomplishing their goal in this field, perhaps you should re-think your choice. When an individual is missing you want to make sure you are using the best investigator for the job.

The thing to remember is that each company and private investigator might have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you are seeking a child, you will want to find people who have found lost children in the past.

How is the Payment Structured?

It may seem like one of the least important items at the time, but learning how much it costs to find missing persons can be important depending on your financial situation. You want to be sure that you are not going to be caught off guard with a large invoice that bears high interest. Take the time to look at how the company has handled late payments if you are worried about it, or ask them directly.

The bottom line is that you are going to want to find the best help that you can possibly find for your missing person issue. You want to be able to find the person as fast as possible. This is a good reason to find the ideal help, but you can’t waste time. Scout Solutions Group, LLC has experience and success. Give us a call at (910) 762-4374 so we can help you as soon as possible.

Because Peace of Mind is Priceless…

Advice For Hiring a Private Investigator in Wilmington, NC

If you are trying to find a private investigator in the areas around Wilmington and Jacksonville, NC, you will see that there are many choices. One of the things that you will want to do is to make sure that you are getting the very best investigator that you can find. Here are tips for hiring a private investigator.

Find Someone with the Right Experience

Every private investigator has their own story. Some worked as detectives for years, others were police officers or had different jobs. You want to find someone that has the right type of experience for your particular job. If you are trying to figure out if your child is doing drugs, you may want the person who used to be a narcotics officer or someone that used to be involved in that field in a different way.

Remember that the more experience someone has, the higher their chance of success. This is a great thing to remember so that you can find the best private person to investigate your affairs. At Cape Fear Investigative, we have staff with a wide range of backgrounds, so we can use the right person for your job.

Find Someone You Get Along With

Depending on the reason for which you are hiring a private investigator, you may be spending a good bit of time talking to them. You are going to want to be sure that they are someone with whom who you can communicate easily and effectively. Not every single person is able to talk comfortably with every other person, as each of us have our own communication styles.

Do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with Cape Fear Investigative to discuss your particular case.  We know that if you’re coming to us, it may not be an easy thing to talk about, but we are experienced and personable, and we want to help.

Once you find the private investigator that is best for you, the situation can get to be much easier. You can find all of the answers in an easy and effective way because you did the work of finding the right person or group to work with.

The important thing is to remember that every situation is important, and the people at Cape Fear Investigative know this. That is why you can find detailed information about each of the services we provide on our website, This can make it easier for you to make the right choice about hiring us for your investigative project.  Give us a call at (910) 762-4374.

Spousal Spying: Watch Out If You Are Watching Your Spouse

From Rice Family Law

Introduction to Spying

When it comes to spying on one’s spouse, be careful what you wish for – not only may it destroy your marriage, you may expose yourself to criminal and civil liability.

If you must spy on your spouse, educate yourself on the laws of your jurisdiction and the federal laws on the topic; knowing when you are under the purview of the state, federal, or even common law is extremely important as it vastly affects how and to what extent you may spy on your spouse. The safest course of action is to seek legal advice from a licensed attorney before you spy. And hire a licensed and respected private investigator instead of conducting your own surveillance.

The law treats government spying and individual spying differently .

There are differences in the law’s treatment of surveillance based on who is doing it. Generally, the law is more restrictive regarding government/ law enforcement spying than then it is when private individuals are doing the surveillance and even less restrictive for parents monitoring their minor children. However, many boundaries still exist regarding private individuals, and some spying could leave individuals open to being sued civilly or charged criminally in some circumstances.

Criminally, several charges could be levied against someone for spying on another person, including, trespassing or federal wiretapping charges. These are serious crimes and one could face imprisonment and be required to make financial restitution. Tortious Invasion of Privacy and other Civil liability could apply.

Tortious Invasion of Privacy by Intrusion

North Carolina recognizes an action based on an invasion of privacy by intrusion. Invasion of privacy by intrusion is defined as “One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.” North Carolina does not recognize a cause of action for the invasion of privacy by disclosure of private facts or invasion of privacy by placing a plaintiff in a false light before the public.

Specific examples of intrusion include “physically invading a person’s home or other private place, eavesdropping by wiretapping or microphones, peering through windows, persistent telephoning, unauthorized prying into a bank account, and opening personal mail of another.”

In other words, certain areas may be off-limits to even a spouse. For instance, a video camera installed in a bathroom may be tortious as a reasonable person would likely find it “highly offensive” even in the context of a marriage. No cameras or audio recorders should be employed in a toilet area, shower area, or bedroom area of a spouse.

Interception of oral communications and electronic communications

In North Carolina N.C. Gen Stat. § 15A-287(1)(a) states:

1.Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Article, a person is guilty of a Class H felony if, without the consent of at least one party to the communication, the person:

1.Willfully intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication.

2.Willfully uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:

1.The device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communications; or

2.The device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communications.

3.Willfully discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through violation of this Article; or

4.Willfully uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire or oral communication in violation of this Article.

Consent by at least one party to a conversation is required before recording a conversation between people. In North Carolina, if you are a party to the conversation, you may consent to your conversation being recorded but you cannot record a conversation to which you are not a participant. Therefore, you cannot legally record a call between your spouse and another person without at least one of them consenting to the recording – even if the conversation is between your spouse and your child. If one person is in another state and not in North Carolina, it may be illegal to record the conversation. Many jurisdictions, including North Carolina, have recognized that parents may vicariously consent on behalf of their minor children to the interception of their conversations. A custodial parent may vicariously consent to the recording of a minor child’s conversations, as long as the parent has a good faith, objectively reasonable belief that the interception of the conversations are necessary and in the best interest of the child. The doctrine of vicarious consent has been applied to parental eavesdropping on conversations between the other parent and their minor children and third parties such as a babysitter or nanny. You must use extreme caution before taping any conversation and we strongly recommend you speak with a licensed attorney to fully understand your rights and responsibilities.

Silent covert video surveillance

Only oral communications are covered by N.C. Gen Stat. § 15A-287(1)(a), and thus, videotaping of a spouse without an audio recording would not be a violation of state and federal wiretapping laws.
Video surveillance by private parties, does not implicate the Federal Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. In, State v. Diaz, 308 N.J. Super. 504, 706 A.2d 264 (App. Div. 1998), it was held that the actions of a child’s parents in contracting with a private company to install audio-video surveillance equipment in their home, for the purpose of observing a babysitter who they suspected of abusing the child, did not implicate the federal or state constitutions, because the allegedly unlawful videotaping was performed by private individuals and not by the government or its agents and the parents vicariously consented to the audio capture on behalf of their child. The denial of the babysitter’s motion to suppress the videotape from evidence, at her trial for aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child, was affirmed.

The acquisition of an image is not an interception of a wire or oral communication because the contents of a conversation are not captured. Video surveillance is not the interception of an electronic communication because there has been no interception of the image while it is being transmitted. The audio portion of a videotape is an oral communication and would be subject to the rules discussed above.

However, remember the rules stated above regarding tortious invasion of privacy. Placing a video camera in a private place like the bedroom or the bathroom could still expose you to civil liability.

GPS tracking of a private vehicle

Electronic tracking devices do not “intercept” contents of any wire or aural communication and because the vehicle is traveling on public roads in view of everyone who passes, there is likely no intrusion upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns and it also likely not to be offensive to a reasonable person. If the vehicle is titled in your name and it has not been sequestered by contract or court order in favor of your spouse, there appears to be little concern over placing a GPS tracker on the vehicle. Placing such a device on a vehicle that you do not have an ownership interest in, however, could be a trespass to chattels and you could be liable in tort for financial damages. Always consult a licensed attorney before taking any action.

Email / Internet

If you are still living with your spouse and you are not separated, then when considering other forms of communications such as email communications and the like, the key is: whether your spouse has an expectation of privacy that could be invaded. Even if your spouse previously gave you their email password or computer password, they may still have an expectation of privacy and violation of that privacy could open you up to criminal and/or civil penalties. Ask yourself; for what purpose did my spouse give me his or her password? Do not exceed the scope of that purpose. The use of certain programs like spyware, keystroke recorders may be permissible or illegal depending on the technology employed by the software and whether you continue to live with your spouse.

Once separated, access to your spouse’s email without permission is likely a violation of federal and state wiretapping laws even if you had permission prior to the separation.


The most important thing to remember is that any surveillance must be legal, reasonable, and not overly intrusive. The status of the parties (e.g., separated or not, minor child or spouse) and the facts surrounding the type of surveillance will affect the legality and permissibility of it. Criminal penalties including jail time and civil financial penalties may be assessed for illegal and improper activities. Some surveillance may be legally conducted by a licensed private investigator for which an unlicensed individual could face sanctions. This area is fraught with such significant and serious risk both financially and to your very liberty, that you absolutely must develop a plan with your attorney before taking any action.

Author’s Note: This article is in no way meant to be a comprehensive analysis of privacy law or surveillance of a spouse. The Purpose of this article is to impress on the non-lawyer who may read it, the importance of considering all aspects and consequences of their actions and to outline generally some commonly unknown consequences of such for those who may be unaware. The reader interested in learning more should contact their attorney or perform additional research as more than anything this article should promote the commencement of a thorough discussion of these matters.