A Word about unlicensed investigators - from The Magnus Group's president

Licensed investigators are regulated and overseen by the secretary of state's office and must adhere to strict guidelines.  That's part of the deal if they want to conduct business; there are no shortcuts through the process and every licensed investigator is well aware of those responsibilities, and take them seriously.  Additional affiliation in professional networking or education/advocacy groups such as the Nebraska Association of Licensed Private Investigators (www.nalpi.org - click here) will go even further, requiring members to sign a code of ethics, requiring strict legal, ethical and moral conduct.  To violate these rules can result in not only being expelled from the association, but could result in an investigator permanently losing his/her investigative license.   

Be aware, however, that there are UNLICENSED individuals who, on occasion, appear and offer what appear to be legitimate investigative services.  Remember that every licensed investigator in the state of Nebraska carries a two-sided, hard plastic identification card, white in color, bearing the investigator's name, color photograph, a license number unique to him/her, the name of the agency with which the investigator is affiliated, effect and expiration dates for the identification card, and other information.  On the back side of the card will be contact information for the licensing division, which oversees the licensed investigators in the state.  Any licensed will, upon request by you, show this identification card to you to prove that he/she is in fact both licensed, and in good standing with the State of Nebraska in regards to that license.  An unlicensed investigator will not have that identification card, and may employ deceptive language or fast answers in an attempt to talk around whether or not they possess a valid licenses. 

Bear in mind that licensed investigators face serious consequences for both the results of their investigations and the methods they use.  These penalties are there to protect you, the consumer public at large, from unethical or outwardly illegal behaviors.  An unlicensed investigator has no enhanced investigative powers and may very well be using the same publicly-available information that you have at your disposal.  This information may be incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated.  They may also expose both themselves and you to potential liability through the things that they might do. It is an important thing for you to consider.

If you wish to verify that someone is in fact a licensed investigator, you can call the Secretary of State's Licensing Division during regular business hours at 402-471-2385.  If it is after hours, the investigator in question can be verified online via the same licensing office's online database simply by clicking here.   From there you can look for someone by either their name, or the agency with which they claim affiliation.  If you can't find them, we recommend calling the licensing office during the next business day so that they can double-check your results.  Until they did or did not determine the person's licensing status, I would be very hesitant to move forward with hiring him/her.

Be skeptical, ask questions, look for credentials, verify before proceeding.  We're professionals, this happens to us sometimes, we won't hesitate or be offended if you feel compelled to ask.  But you, as someone with a lot at stake, should be immediately suspicious of anyone who is not able to prove who and what they say they are.

"When in doubt: Check 'em out."


  • Background checks
  • Skip tracing/locate missing persons (sometimes missing by accident, sometimes hiding on purpose)
  • Criminal records history
  • Contact information (addresses, telephone numbers, emails, etc)
  • Arrest records history
  • Warrants
  • Surveillance
  • Court records search
  • Paternity/family locating
  • Marriage, divorce, birth and death records
  • Property searches
  • Asset searches
  • Vital statistics (full name, date of birth, social security number, etc) verification
  • Vehicle registration/ownership
  • Executive protection services
Read More

frequently asked questions

Q: If I think that I need something investigated, how would I begin?
A: The first step is to contact The Magnus Group at the main office number (402 346-4864 - 4TMG, as in "for The Magnus Group" is an easy way to remember the number) and leave a message stating that you wish to speak to an investigator.  The most important thing you can leave in your message to us is good and detailed contact information for reaching you -- a full name, telephone number(s), time of day to call you, etc.  You might mention whether or not the telephone number you gave is a smartphone and then tell us whether or not you would prefer us to text you on that smartphone number.  For some of our new clients, privacy and discretion are issues when making first contact with us.  If you want to set conditions such as "only call me at work -- at this number -- and only at certain hours" we will accommodate your requests.  If you would rather meet in person to discuss your case, we will make arrangements to meet you in a public place of your choosing.  We'll even buy the coffee.
Q: Now, how much does it cost for me to sit down and discuss my case with an investigator?
A: The Magnus Group has a standing policy that there will be no charge to you for an initial consultation.  Feel free to sit down and discuss your issues and concerns and be secure in the knowledge that the clock is not running.  Placing a financial expectation on a consultation could block someone from getting the help they need, and we don't want that.  If we can help you, we'll tell you.  If it turns out that for some reason we can't, we will tell you so in a very factual and direct way.  Either way, you're going to walk away from the initial consultation with answers to your questions, instead of a bill.
Q: Okay, so how do I prepare for an initial consultation?
A: We recommend that you write down the objective you want us to accomplish for you -- in a sentence or two, what you want us to do for you.  It might also be a good idea to write down facts, thoughts, ideas, observations, etc -- anything that you think would be good for us to know when considering your case.  You don't have to bring actual evidence with you to an initial interview unless you think it's very important that we see it right away.  We are big believers that when it comes to information from our clients "too much is not enough."  If you give us too much information, we as investigative professionals will sort out the things we need the most and save the rest for possible future use.  Feel free to build us a big picture by bringing us lots of small details.
Q: How soon could you begin working on my case?
A: With the completion of a little bit of paperwork and your retainer funds, we can start an investigation sometimes as soon as the same day of your initial consultation.
Read More