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How to Catch a Cheater

Oct 15, 2007
If someone feels their partner or potential partner is hiding something from them, then they may consider hiring the services of a private investigator. But is this the best way to reveal the secrets of the object of your affections? Hollywood offers a cornucopia of fictional cheaters, liars and deceivers, with warnings about what can go wrong if someone attempts to deceive or suppresses their feelings about being cheated upon.

In the 1998 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrel, directed by Frank Oz, confidence tricksters Freddy and Lawrence, played by Steve Martin and Michael Caine respectively, compete to seduce a woman by the name of Janet (played by Glenne Headly), who they suspect to in possession of a fortune. After a series of attempts to demonstrate superior charms, while posing as a crippled soldier and a neurologist, the conmen discover that Janet is penniless, and the bet converts into an amorous challenge. By the end of the film, this particular femme fatale has shown that she is hiding something important herself.

When reticent barber Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) discovers that his wife is having an affair with department store owner, "Big Dave" Brewster, in the Coen Brothers' film, The Man Who Wasn't There, he decides to turn it to his advantage, and blackmail him for the money he needs to open a lucrative dry-cleaning business with Creighton Tolliver. But when Tolliver becomes greedy and asks Brewster for more money himself, Big Dave retaliates and takes his revenge on Ed. As a typical Coen Brothers anti-hero, you watch as the self-effacing and ridiculed Ed Crane see his plans for improving his lot go horribly wrong.

Although few people in real life would tolerate their spouse's infidelity as Crane does, and confidence tricksters are thankfully few on the ground, these films are just two examples of the spiral of deception that surrounds infidelity and concealed identity. In reality, private investigators may use techniques to reveal misleading identity and infidelity that are as ingenious as fiction.

It's unlikely that anyone would be happy at the thought of using covert techniques to find information out about their partner, but it can be a way of putting anxieties to rest if you really feel you are being taken advantage of and deal with the situation in a pro-active way.

By using a method known as 'Honey Trap' (also known as entrapment), a private investigator may attempt to gain a phone number or other evidence of susceptibility to extra-marital advances by a partner, or their refusal, which can be recorded and used as necessary.
Undercover surveillance techniques can be used to follow and record a partner's activities either in the street, by car, or in a nearby building, using digital cameras, telephone monitoring equipment, or miniature audio recording equipment.

Matrimonial or partner investigation therefore gives you the facts to put you in control and to choose any action you may wish to take, without the drama of Hollywood.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been involved in the private investigator industry for several years now and is an expert on undercover surveillance.
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