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Make Money Spying on Pirates
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by - August 14, 2011 - 20 Comments

Ahoy, matey! You fancy yer-self a pirate hunter?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pirate talk… :)

Believe it or not, spying on pirates is a great way to make extra money. Although, the pirates we’re talking about aren’t the kind that sail the open sea, but the kind that are illegally stealing music and movies.

One type of pirating that is plaguing the entertainment industry are bars and restaurants that play popular sporting events without paying for the license to do so. The practice has become so pervasive over the last few years that television studios have started to fight back by hiring private investigators to root out abusers. The cool part is that anybody can do this job and it’s pretty easy to get started.

How it Works…

Private investigative companies are usually hired directly by companies like Pay-Per-View, Showtime, and HBO. The PI’s then hire independent contractors around the country to help them find piracy thieves. The contractors are usually dispatched during highly pirated events like boxing matches.

Once you’ve been hired as an independent contractor, your job is to scout out bars/restaurants in your area that are going to be playing the “big fight” or the “big game.” You are paid by the location you catch in offense, so it is in your interest to find as many locations as possible. One good way to get started is to create a list of bars/restaurants in your area by combing the phone book. In the week leading up to the event, start calling the locations and explain that you are looking for a place to watch the event and were curious if they would be showing it. You will also be given a list of locations that have paid to show the event, so your job is to make a notation of companies that plan on airing the event and have not purchased the rights.

On the night of the event you’ll need to visit each of the locations that said they would be showing the event. You need to pose as a regular patron so it is appropriate to take a seat and order a drink. Remember, you’re job is to stay incognito the whole time, so be sure you don’t tell any other patrons that you are a piracy investigator.

If you see that the location is playing the event, you need to document it and provide some type of evidence. Some investigative jobs require that you just take a quick picture of the TV with your cell phone, but others request you record a few seconds of video with your smartphone.

It’s easy to visit dozens of location in a night and you are usually paid anywhere from $125-$175 per location that you catch illegally showing the event. The next day you will need to send a signed affidavit and overnight it along with your evidence to the private investigation company. They will pay you directly for your efforts within a set period of time. Some private investigators have reported making anywhere from $250-$1000 in a night!

How to Get Hired…

Piracy surveillance jobs are often posted on Craiglist.com in the weeks leading up to big events. Two of the private investigative companies that are currently hiring people are PiracySurveillanceJob.com and SignalAuditing.com. Their websites also have great tips on how to find abusers, plus a link to their applications.

Another company that often posts “for hires” on Craigslist is Omni Present Investigations, however we were unable to locate a website for them. That may be common for private investigative companies that try to fly below the radar.

Good Luck Penny Hoarders!

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  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert @ The College Investor

    Wow, that is another cool way to make some extra cash!

  • http://www.prairieecothrifter.com Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

    OMG what are you going to find out next. Every time I check your site I am blown away by another unusual way to make some extra money. Pirates, I never would have thought. Thanks for the tip.

    • The Penny Hoarder

      LOL! Thanks Miss T! I’ll try to keep you on your toes…

  • http://www.thedebtmyth.com Jackie

    This sounds really cool. I wonder how many of the bars know that they’re supposed to pay to show an event like that to the public though?

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Yeah, I’m not sure… I’ve never rented one of those boxing matches before, but I would think there would be some sort of disclaimer. I know it’s rather expensive to rent…even for personal use, I’ve seen them charge as much as $100. Ridiculous if you ask me.

  • http://allstayathome.com Traci Bell

    I came across this post on stumble- how cool is this! I love your blog BTW- look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Thanks Traci! So glad you found us!

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  • http://www.work-at-home-ideas.com Dave

    Gotta say I have Never heard of this job before and I hear of a lot of things! I think this would be best suited for someone living in a relatively large city with a good number of sports bars/pubs. What do you think? In any case, what a cool job it would be. Almost like being a bounty hunter! Glad I found this on Stumble :)

  • http://www.PiracySurveillanceJob.com Brandon

    Great article. Thank you for covering my company and some info on the “problem”. Our piracy surveillance investigator job is a great opportunity for many people looking to make extra money. Some investigators make $50 a night, some make over $1K. Depends on many factors. It is not for everyone as it is very challenging to find the offenders. We’ve been at it since 2009 and see no end in sight. There will always be a greedy commercial establishment owner looking to bring in patrons while saving money. Yes Dave, it is like being a bounty hunter but without the weapons and head locks.


  • http://www.findyourcashcow.com Taline

    I love your site and love the title to this post! You really do come up with things/ways that I have never heard of! :)

    I’m going to share this with some people that I know that can use the extra money :)

    I’m also subscribing to your newsletter.

  • Tamma

    Oh, nice! Can’t do it if you’re in FLORIDA!:(

  • http://www.snapincome.com/ Snapincome

    Thats a great idea. But watch out bars are not safe during say a ufc broadcast.

  • Franklin Borthwick

    cool… I would like to manage a private investigation company.in South America, or China, what’s are your thoughts?

  • http://www.gigscheck.com Anna

    Wonder if pirates make money spying on other pirates?

  • Pat

    Yeah, Screw over your neighbors and the bar owners who are trying there best to provide a fun filled night for the community. You might as well just sell meth to school kids, its just as ignorant.

  • ronjihn

    Sounds like a great way to get beat up by a bunch of thugs from your local bar.

  • Widyaning A

    Unusual idea for making money, I’ll check if it is work or not on my country.

  • Vin

    Curious if anyone has gotten caught and beaten trying to do this? I wonder if the club security is onto this and on the look out for suspicious people in the bar? but it’s definitely interesting!

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