I just want to point out a few factors that you should look for when hiring someone in online investigator and sleuthing groups on Facebook. And it may be different for other countries. I'm coming at this from the pov of someone in the US. I own a collection agency handling the investigative part of the industry - defendant locates and asset searches, such as employment and banks. I also handle some B2B collections.
- Make sure the person / agency you're hiring is legit. My agency has a 1 million dollar liability insurance policy and a 10k surety bond. We can verify this at any time.
- If they're offering hacking or anything that looks illegal, it may not be, but it probably is. If you pay for illegal services, you can get charged. If there's any question over the tactics used, ask them to explain it to you and make sure you're satisfied with their answer.
- A website and business presence online isn't a necessity, but having an established presence is important, so look for that. If they're new to the industry, ask for references and make sure the references look legit. Remember, reviews can be faked.
- If an agency is willing to work without a contract, be weary. Contracts are not just to enforce the terms of an arrangement, but they also protect investigators if we get audited. We need to show that we've done due diligence by checking out our client and getting things in writing.
- Ultimately trust your gut. I may not explain all my tactics out to those that ask, but I'm more than willing to effectively communicate with my clients and I try to be transparent and answer any questions they may have. Reputation is everything in this industry and I wouldn't risk mine for a few extra bucks.