Log in

Foreign Agencies using Canadian PI's

01 August 2021 1:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dear CPIO members:

It has come to the attention of the CPIO that there have been recent attempts by foreign secret service agencies to retain Canadian Private Investigation firms to conduct surveillance operations and/or investigations on people who have been deemed dissident nationals residing in Canada. Canada is not shielded when it comes to foreign interference and there are many creative ways that these foreign agencies are advancing their interests without our knowledge and sometimes at our own expense. We would like to take this opportunity to emphasize to our membership that it is highly recommended that you complete your due diligence and know who you are entering into an arrangement with when taking on new clients or new files from potential clients outside of our country or jurisdiction. We would like to reference the CPIO Code of Ethics located on our website as guidance for what is acceptable practice for our members. Should you receive any requests from foreign entities or even domestic that give you cause for concern, please contact your local authorities. The CPIO is here for our membership and is committed to bringing awareness and education to our industry, and industry professionals, as our profession impacts all of Canada in one way or another. 

The following are the types of red flags to look out for when accepting work from a client, new or existing:

  • New client who was referred to you by someone unfamiliar
  • New clients who are vague on details as to why they need to retain you
  • New clients, or even existing clients, who are obviously intermediaries with limited knowledge of the assignment in question
  • New clients who prefer to pay in cash
  • New clients who want a “rush” job
  • A request that involves a political involvement or component
  • New clients who are outside of North America
  • Any request that does not sound reasonable

This list is not exhaustive, and these red flags do not necessary suggest any ill intent.  They may suggest further due diligence should be undertaken to ensure you are not aiding foreign entities in obtaining information that they should not have access to.

Kind regards,

CPIO Board of Directors


The Council of Professional Investigators of Ontario (CPIO) is dedicated to the representation of the profession of Private Investigators in the Province of Ontario, through the development and application of industry training, professional standards, and code of ethics.


24-155 East Beaver Creek Road, Ste 166, Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 2N1


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software