Can Private Investigators Wire Tap My Phone?

Private investigators are hired by private citizens to help in gathering evidence like a spouse’s infidelity, a missing person, hidden property, and many more. For more information on investigators’ work, you can visit

Private investigators use all the available means to deliver what they promised their clients. Eavesdropping telephone conversations (wiretapping) is the best way to obtain information, but are private investigators allowed to wiretap?

Phone tapping involves planting a transmitter or listening device on someone’s phone to eavesdrop on text messages, incoming calls, outgoing calls, emails, and other communications. A phone tap can be done by either installing a bug on the cellphone or planting a listening device in places where the subject uses his or her phone to communicate with other people.

Phone taps transmit information like audio signals, credential personal banking information, data from text messages, GPS location information, and more. There are many ways to detect phone taps, but private investigators use more advanced bugs that are difficult to discover unless you’re a professional.

Wiretapping someone’s phone without his or her consent is illegal unless you have been a court warrant allowing you to do so. Despite the strict rules, some private investigators can phone tap your phone without your permission. It is a violation of the law and can result in an arrest.

Law is debatable. Different judges can rule the same case differently depending on their understanding. Phone tapping is allowed under some circumstances. Parents secretly install undetectable monitoring and spying apps in their teen’s smartphones to remotely monitor their phone activities. No matter the state you’re in, this is still phone tapping, but it is up to the judge to determine whether it is legal or not.

Suspicious partners can also use undetectable apps to catch their cheating partners. Phone tapping your partner might be legal or illegal, depending on where you live.

In the 12 all-party consent states, private investigators are not allowed to phone tap before both parties involved in the conversation consents to the recording. In these states, private investigators work with local and state police forces to get a legal cover needed when conducting their investigations.

In the remaining one-party consent states, a private investigator can legally phone tap phone conversations with permission from at least one of the people involved in the conversation. In these states, it is easier for private investigators to do investigations on issues to do with infidelity, business.

Private investigators are legally able to record a conversation in public without consent from any of the involved parties. Private investigators are also allowed to take pictures and record videos of their subjects in public places.

When investigating cases like drug trafficking and terrorism, private investigators and police officers are allowed to phone tap without consent. Before phone tapping, they must get a warrant or a court order signed by the judge to prove they’re doing it for legal reasons. The phone tapping warrant is valid for a limited duration to make sure the private investigator will not always have access to the subject’s information.