A TikTok user warns others about how to avoid what he calls the “oldest PI trick in the book.”
Josh, who is known by username keeneyepi, identifies himself as a private investigator. In a video posted July 13, Josh warns viewers about what he says is a common tactic employed by surveillance investigators to determine if someone is home.
“You ever get a stranger knock on your door and say I lost my dog or my cat,” Josh says in the video. “Have you seen them? The moment you opened your door they got what they want, which is proof that someone is home. And a visual of your face.”
@keeneyepi Real Life PI tactic #privateinvestigator #theinvestigatorontiktok #fypシ゚ #stalking #keeneyepi #tricks #lifehacks ♬ original sound – Josh – Keen Eye Investigations
To help viewers counter this trick, Josh offers a few strategic measures to undermine potential investigators. He advises quizzing the supposed pet owner about the details of their pet’s disappearance.
“You can ask them a bunch of random details about the situation, ’cause someone who’s actually lost their dog and is looking for them and knocking on doors should be able to tell you the details and should be really distraught,” Josh says.
It could be a red flag if the stranger lingers in the area after being questioned. According to Josh, this indicates that they might not be searching for a pet at all; instead, they could be tailing you. In such a situation, involving the police might not yield fruitful results, as the act of observing random houses from a public road is legally permissible for PIs.
To counter this, Josh suggests two options: “You can either stay at home all day and if you don’t want to do that, you can go somewhere where there’s ‘no trespassing’ signs, and then call the police if they follow you there ’cause that would be illegal.”
The video has amassed more than 295,200 views since its posting, with viewers flocking to the comment section to share their thoughts on the matter.
Among the reactions, one user humorously quipped, “I’m a millennial, I don’t answer the door for anyone.”
“Jokes on them, unless they cut off my supply lines I can stay inside for months,” a second user added.
Many users said they aren’t comfortable with unannounced guests. One commenter said, “Knocking on my door is almost as bad as calling my phone instead of texting.”
One user suggested, “Id just put no trespassing signs in my yard.” Josh responded in agreement: “That works.”
In response to the Daily Dot’s request for comment, Josh shared his intentions for future content, stating, “I would say that I’m working on more content revealing inside tactics used commonly by PIs as well as advocating for transparency and accountability for the PI industry.”