Based in Boise - Serving the State of Idaho
Almost every new caller has said to me “I’ve never hired a private investigator” or ” I never thought I’d need a private investigator”. A long time ago, I said the same thing about a primary care physician. My point is, it’s no different than any other occasion that calls for you to exercise good judgment as a consumer. If you need the services of a professional, you have several options you can explore.
What can you do? My first recommendation is to choose a local private investigator in order to forego any complications that can develop with larger multi-investigator and out-of-state firms. With a local investigator, you will usually communicate directly with your investigator, typically 24/7. Large firms will usually assign an anonymous investigator through an anonymous supervisor. More often than not, you can only reach the contact person during normal business hours. Work with a local investigator and you will likely avoid a number of pitfalls often experienced with an out of town company.
Where to go: The internet is, by far, the most valuable of your resources. A simple keyword search is the best place to start. Just remember that the first listings posted at the top of your results page are typically paid ads and not always the best choice. These paid listings go the highest bidder and not earned through their delivery of service. You may want to look beyond the first page of results at several different investigators before you find one that makes you feel good and provides the answers you are looking for during your consultation. You can also follow-up by checking other sites such as Yelp and your local Better Business Bureau.
What to look for: People who are looking for a private investigator need to consider one very important characteristic. Professional work ethics. The difference between a good experience and a bad one can fall on this simple rule of “professionalism”. Unfortunately for me, I have experienced the full ethical spectrum of professionalism in the field of professional services. I have experienced first hand the police officer that had no tact, character or compassion for the community s/he serves. I’ve experienced the nurse that didn’t have a clue of the emotional impact his/her thoughtless behavior had on a patient in the emergency room. A true professional will display good personality characteristics such as tact and compassion.
What to watch out for: Remember this, there are investigators that are only concerned with getting paid. This should not be a big surprise. But in my humble opinion, the biggest differences between the good ones and the bad ones can be something as simple as character and professionalism. A lack of such can be a red flag. Make sure you talk to the person you want to hire. The more you talk with them, the more you will learn. Just be mindful of their response to your concerns, as well as your budget. Hopefully, they will also talk to you, and not just listen. The more questions they ask of your situation, the more eager they will likely be to deliver quality efforts. The less they ask, the more likely they are only interested in getting their retainer. Perhaps they are very busy and unable to take the time to talk to you. Possible, but a busy investigator may not give their best efforts during the investigation process.
Other thoughts: Do not hire anyone based solely on a phone conversation. Tey to meet with them, shake their hand and look into their eyes. This alone can tell you a lot. And if you simply don’t have the time to set up an appointment to meet with your potential investigator, just make sure the phone conversation covers more than just money and cost. Every private investigator I’ve met charges by the hour. They also charge for expenses like mileage and lodging for travel. This is very common, and is to be expected.
Finally: Don’t let your emotions make the decision for you. And don’t think you have to make the decision hastily. Take the time to look for feedback, and to get feedback from friends or family. Keep in mind, your situation is unique in the sense that it’s happening to you. Make sure your potential investigator treats you like a person, not like a client, from the beginning, and through the course of the entire investigation.
If you suspect infidelity in your relationship, you are not alone.
Cheating & Divorce: You may not be surprised to hear that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. This has been the case for many years. I too have experienced a cheating spouse and the turmoil of divorce. Cheating spouses have become a routine concern for many. Often times, even before the marriage takes place. With the birth of the internet and social media, falling for someone without even meeting them has become very common. Loneliness seems to have a strong influence on our good judgement. It is important to remember it is very easy for someone to create a false profile on social sites like Facebook & Match.com and maintain complete anonymity. As hard as service providers try to protect their users, anyone can create a phony user profile. What can you do?
Option one: Background Investigations have become increasingly popular over the last decade. This is due, in part, to the ease of obtaining public records online. Granted, many states and municipalities have made obtaining this information more difficult. However, an experienced Private Investigator can use the information obtained through their paid memberships with quality database companies to complete a more comprehensive report based on more accurate information. It is important to keep in mind that background information obtained online is not entirely accurate and often times needs to be analyzed and compared with other sources to determine what is truth and what is otherwise incomplete raw data. If you have met someone online, or in person, a thorough and complete background check for simple things like criminal records can often be an effective means of finding red flags before making any commitments to your newfound love interest.
Option two: If you have already committed to the relationship and things were fine in the beginning, but now you are starting to see those red flags, perhaps it’s time for surveillance. Covert surveillance is a very effective way to see how your significant-other is behaving when they think you are not watching. Just make sure it’s conducted by an unbiased third party. If information obtained ends up being presented in court, a judge will not look favorably on information obtained by a friend or relative. After all, you don’t want to taint any evidence with accusations of stalking or harassment.
Just remember: Whatever course of action you choose, don’t feel like you have to settle for a companion. If you are in a relationship, the commitment must come from both parties. And aside from financial safeguards, personal safety and health concerns must also be considered if you plan to spend the rest of your life with the one you have chosen. As an experienced private investigator, I can give you options on how to proceed with obtaining the truth.
Here is an article I found that may be helpful for the inexperienced. It should also be noted, if you are dealing with a sociopath, you may not see very many signs, if any, of these tells clearly. My Ex is a sociopath and lied very well, almost without any detection. Certainly without any guilt. Either way, I hope it helps.
I’ve included the original link below.
How many people have you spoken with today? Chances are that most of them lied to you—and that they did it more than once. It’s a hard fact to accept, but even your closest friends and coworkers lie to you regularly.
University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman has studied lying for more than a decade, and his research has reached some startling conclusions. Most shocking is that 60% of people lie during a typical 10-minute conversation and that they average two to three lies during that short timeframe.
Most of the people in Feldman’s studies don’t even realize all of the lies they have told until after the conversation when it was played back to them on video.
People lie in everyday conversation to appear more likeable and competent. While men and women lie equally as often, they tend to lie for different reasons. “Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better,” Feldman said.
“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” – Mark Twain
New research by Dr. Leanne ten Brinke at the Haas School of Business suggests that, while most of us have pretty good instincts when it comes to recognizing liars, we tend to talk ourselves out of believing (or, at least, acting on) what our instincts are telling us.
We hesitate to call liars out in professional environments because we feel guilty for being suspicious. Calling someone a liar for no good reason is a frightening proposition for most.
Thankfully, Dr. Brink’s research points to objective, well-documented physiological and behavioral changes—or “tells”—that we can use to make accurate assessments of other people’s truthfulness.
Keep an eye out for the following signs, and you won’t be taken advantage of by a liar.
1. They cover their mouths. People often cover their mouths when lying. A hand on the mouth or even a touch of the lips shows you that they are lying because this unconscious body language represents a closing off of communication. When lying, people also instinctively cover vulnerable body parts, such as the head, neck, or abdomen, because lying makes them feel exposed, vulnerable, and open to attack.
2. They repeat themselves and provide too much detail. Liars hate silence, so they often try to fill it up by talking more than they need to. They provide far more information than was needed or asked for. Sometimes the longer you stay quiet the more details liars will throw in to support their story as they try to convince you and themselves of their deception. Liars will also repeat phrases over and over again as they struggle to buy time to gather their thoughts.
3. They prepare for an escape. In an unconscious attempt to find an escape route, people who are lying often angle their bodies toward the door if they’re sitting, and if they’re standing, they may even move closer to the door. They may also change their posture from relaxed to erect or guarded as their bodies perk up in unconscious preparation for an escape.
4. Their words and body language don’t match. It’s easy to lie with words, but our bodies know (and show) the truth. A clear sign that someone is lying to you is when their words are saying one thing and their body language is saying something entirely different. For example, someone is telling you a sad story about the personal struggles that made them miss work, yet they’re smiling while they’re talking and their hand gestures and body posture are animated and excited.
5. Their breathing changes. People reflexively start breathing more heavily when they lie as lying causes changes to heart rate and blood flow. Sometimes liars will even have trouble speaking as the mucous membranes in the mouth dry out as part of the body’s response to lying.
6. They change their typical patterns of eye movement: They say that the eyes are the “windows to the soul.” That’s especially true when someone is lying. But there’s a catch: it’s not where the person is looking that matters, but a change in direction. Some people, for instance, look up and to the right when they’re remembering information, but down when they’re lying. For other people, it’s the opposite. A change in eye movement can be a very strong indicator of lying, but you have to know the person’s typical pattern first. That makes this tactic more suitable to use with people you know well, or at least, interact with on a regular basis. However, there is one eye movement “tell” that’s pretty universal: people who are lying often look toward the door, their unconscious escape route.
7. They get aggressive. Liars will often get aggressive in a conversation for no apparent reason. Sometimes liars will become hostile and point aggressively in your direction. Other times liars will maintain excessive eye contact without blinking, in an abrasive attempt to appear truthful.
8. They fidget. Fidgeting is a clear sign of nervous energy. Even practiced liars worry that you won’t believe them, so they release that nervous energy by playing with their hair, tapping their feet or fingers, pulling on their ears, and more. Shuffling the feet is a common expression of nervous energy associated with lying. The feet start moving because the liar feels vulnerable and the body wants to flee.
Bringing It All Together
Before rushing to any conclusions, be certain to consider what constitutes normal behavior for the person who you think might be lying to you. The indicators above only have meaning in the context of a person’s typical behavior. If your colleague has ADHD and fidgets constantly, you can’t take the fidgeting as a sign of lying. And some people, such as psychopaths, don’t demonstrate these behaviors because they don’t feel nervous or guilty about lying. One British study showed that the incidence of psychopathy among CEOs is four times that of the general population, so it’s not as unlikely as you might think.