Best Private Investigator Tactics to Catch a Cheater
When a person thinks of Private Investigator they often think of catching a cheating spouse or partner. Extramarital affairs have been on the rise each year. In 2017, it’s estimated in one-third of marriages, one or both spouses admitted to cheating. Because of this unfortunate statistic, catching cheaters can be a Private Investigator’s bread and butter.
In this article, we will look into some of the best Private Investigator tactics used to catch a cheater.
So Why Use a Private Investigator
Some people may choose to try and catch their cheating spouse on their own but this can still be a difficult task. Time, money, inexperience, and legal risk, are some of the factors that need to be considered when performing a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investigation. Different emotions such as anger and anxiety can drive the suspicious spouse to make impulsive decisions which could damage the relationship before any evidence is collected or spook their suspected partner into covering tracks.
Researching online can reveal good advice to catch a cheater, however, a cheater can use the same information in order to not get caught.
The cost of hiring a Private Investigator can be pricey depending on the amount of information needed to build a solid case. Many spouses may hire a Private Investigator to confirm their suspicions and work to rebuild the relationship where others want hard, irrefutable evidence if facing a contested divorce case later.
A Private Investigator is licensed and can perform a legal surveillance and gather the desired information all without getting caught.
What Are Some of the Best Private Investigator Tactics?
Online and Personal Investigation
For starters, the Private Investigator will begin at the surface and then dig deeper. Researching public data from social media sites and search engines is a logical first step as it does not require fieldwork. The Private Investigator learns a lot about their target and their lifestyle. There are also many online tools that can help out in finding the information such as a reverse photo search which shows all the sites the same pictures were used on.
A Private Investigator will also dig much deeper performing a full background check, look through financial transactions, uncover multiple phone records and bank accounts, find any clues that can indicate the target lives a secret life.
Tailing the Target
The key is to blend in with traffic and the crowd.
Anonymity is a big advantage that swings in the Private Investigator’s favor when compared to a DIY investigation. Private Investigators can discreetly follow around the cheating spouse and capture photos, videos as well as audio recordings. A cheater can hide online but not in the real world and won’t recognize the investigator.
An experienced Private Investigator will tail the cheating spouse in a nondescript, forgettable vehicle. Mini-vans are a good recommendation as they allow room to move to the back of the vehicle and carry equipment. While on-foot a body camera could be worn while following the subject or they can even pretend to talk on their smartphone while taking pictures or recording video.
High Tech Surveillance
A good Private Investigator keeps up with the latest technology in order to perform surveillance. Any chance of a poor audio recording or grainy video can not only be a waste of time and effort but can also cause a loss of trust in the client getting the evidence they desire.
When considering the right video equipment it goes without saying that high definition is the goal. Additional features should also be considered such as any option to reduce movement, or film at different times such as night or in stormy weather. Audio needs to be crystal clear so there is no unnecessary noise where something that is said needs to be interpreted.
For both devices, the battery life needs to be sufficient and the investigator needs to carry spare batteries for recording. Check all devices and accessories the night before a surveillance and even the morning of.
If It’s Not Documented, It Didn’t Happen
Everything during a surveillance needs to be documented. There is a good chance that the evidence collected during the surveillance will be used in a contested divorce case. It’s difficult to argue in court against thorough notes that were taken during the investigation. Dates, times, locations and “facts” will help your client significantly in the battle. Having spare pens and plenty of paper available ensures nothing will be missed.
Apps on the smartphone are also handy for quick note taking and can offer many other benefits.
Know Your Place
Make a list of all the common places the target can be located and then visit them right away. This includes their workplace, home, and other places they may frequent. An experienced investigator will first visit each place to become familiar with the surroundings and review maps locating entry and exit roads to those areas. This type of pre-surveillance is valuable as an investigator can change their plan of approach as needed and not lose their target.
Of course, no experienced investigator goes out into the field without a GPS tracker. There are many small GPS devices available to attach to the target’s vehicle so they cannot lose them in the city or elsewhere. Data from the trackers can be downloaded later to show as evidence of where the target was located at a specific time.
Experience is King
Ultimately one of the best tactics of Private Investigation is knowledge and experience. The Private Investigator profession has been around since 1883. In 2016 it was estimated there were 28,490 Private Investigators in the U.S alone.
Currently, there is a wealth of information online about the Private Investigation career, tips, tactics and mistakes that have been made by previous investigators. This is a big advantage to any investigator as they are able to learn from past mistakes by others or their own and employ better tactics on the next investigation.
Using these tactics and learning from others experiences can help a Private Investigator catch the cheating spouse and most importantly provide the evidence their client needs for peace of mind.