The week leading up to Valentine’s Day is always a busy one. For private investigators, this period used to be the “Superbowl” of cheating spouse surveillance cases. The common wisdom was that a cheater pretty much had to see the other woman on or around Valentine’s Day.
The common wisdom was that a cheater pretty much had to see the other woman on or around Valentine’s Day.But over the past seven years, we have seen a steady decline in the number of surveillance requests on Valentine’s Day. In fact, in this year of 2017, we had more requests to follow men on Super Bowl Sunday. Many pretend to be with “the guys” watching the game. The cheaters usually watch the game alright – but not with the guys.
The reason for this decline in marital surveillance is very real, dramatic and clear cut: People no longer need a professional investigator to conduct their snooping for them. Common sense, computer or DIY apps or “machines” are readily available.
Both sexes can believe their phones and its contents (which are now attached to all of us like an appendage) are safe from discovery. Spouses now have access to bills, calls, texts, photos, emails, website histories, and banking information that reveals purchases of jewelry, travel and hotels. More often than not, mobile phones even reveal a current location.
It really is like shooting fish in a barrel.
In this new era, a call requesting surveillance might resemble the following:
Hi Tom, I just need a few hours or so of one of your investigators. I need him to take a few photos of my husband.
This Friday, he is hooking up with Mary Lou at the no-tell motel at 123 Main Street. He said in a text he would get there at 7:30 p.m. and they would get room service. He told her to park her car, like he would do, down the block at the mall.
Just get the scoundrel going into room 38 which he advised her he had prearranged. The room has a Jacuzzi.
“No problem”, I say.
After the surveillance, the clients who hire us come into one of our offices and view the video of their spouses or mates.
Here’s what happens when a woman has been cheated on:
- 1/3 of the women want to get divorced.
- 1/3 want to attend counseling.
- 1/3 don’t know what to do.
When a man has been cheated on, 99.9% of the time he wants a divorce.
Another thing that has changed dramatically over the last 5 years is that more people are wanting us to perform bug sweeps. The statistics have flipped. About 80% of the requests come from men who believe their spouse has planted a monitoring bug or camera in their home, office or vehicle. These devices are easily purchased on the internet. This practice is an invasion of privacy and considered a felony in most states.
The detection of these devices is not so simple. The sweep must be done by a technician with a minimum 25 years experience using very sophisticated and highly technical equipment. And if a PI comes to your home offering to scan your house for a few hundred dollars, he’ll probably wave around a magic wand he bought at Radio Shack. Not the same thing.
Technology, and the world in general are changing faster than ever, and the jobs private investigators take have changed a bit as well. The overall goal remains the same: We’re out to find out the truth surrounding a situation.