Cheating couple sat back to back on phones

How to Find Out if Your Partner is Cheating

Many signs can lead you to believing that your significant other is cheating. Unfortunately, once the suspicion that your partner has been unfaithful sets in, it can be hard to shake, with most people being unable to rest until the truth has been exposed.

Naturally, such suspicions can be incredibly upsetting; if you suspect your partner has been disloyal, it can be very hard to repair the trust which often leads to a breakdown of the relationship. If you believe you have detected the first signs of infidelity, finding out the complete truth is usually the first step in recovering from the betrayal or overcoming the issues at hand as a couple.

There are several ways in which you can begin to examine the truth behind your suspicions – hiring a private investigator can be one of the most effective.

Check your partner’s online search history

If it’s appropriate to do so (e.g. if you use a shared laptop/computer) looking into your partner’s internet browser history is an effective way to find out if they’ve been unfaithful. Odd search engine enquiries, such as holiday research or reservations that you haven’t discussed together, can be suspicious.

Equally, finding nothing at all within your partner’s browser history can indicate an issue. If they have deleted their history, it may be a sign that they had been doing something online that they had to hide. This could include online message forums, emails or reservations.

Be careful not to go too far. Illegally accessing your partner’s private emails could cause problems if the case were ever to go to the courts.

Wife who has been cheated on checking her spouses browser history on a laptop

Bank account activity can indicate cheating

If you have a shared bank account, check for any unusual spending that you cannot account for. This may include payments for:

  • Hotels
  • Holidays
  • Restaurants

Large cash withdrawals may also suggest that your partner is trying to hide their spending from you, which can be a sign that they are spending their money with, or on, someone else.

Inspecting your partner’s spending history can also be a good way to detect where they were at a certain time, compared with where they said they were. For example, if they told you they were working late but the credit card bill says that they bought a coffee miles away from their office, it’s clear that some sort of deceit has taken place.

Ask friends or family if they have noticed any unusual behaviour

Occasionally, individuals who believe their partner is having an affair can find themselves getting wrapped up in what they believe are key signs of infidelity. Confiding in someone close to you can be a productive way to not only talk through your concerns, but also collect more evidence.

If you have noticed suspicious behaviour from your partner, your mutual friends and family may have picked up on it too. Discussing this with them could help you to piece together different pieces of evidence in order to build a more solid case.

Whilst they may not have taken it upon themselves to tell you, if challenged, people close to you or your partner may be willing to disclose information. Remember: your family and friends usually have your best interests at heart and are likely to want to help you reach a conclusion.

Confront your partner about their affair

This method can be successful, if executed properly. If you believe your partner has committed adultery, confronting them and delivering the evidence you have collated in a calm and composed manner can often compel them to come clean.

However, in many circumstances, a cheat is too scared to be honest about their infidelity without engaging in a confrontation. If you provide them with the opportunity to be honest, they may grasp at the chance.

This approach relies on the existence of trust, which can be problem within the context of infidelity. Many cheaters will panic when backed into a corner and continue to lie. In this instance, they are likely to be more covert in future, making it harder to expose them.

Private detective investigating a cheater partner

Benefits of hiring a private investigator to catch a cheating partner

One of the primary benefits to employing a PI is that they will return solid proof, should it exist. Whilst your own investigations may produce minor evidence, such as suspicious online activity, this often isn’t enough to confirm that your partner is cheating.

Private investigators will be able to procure substantial evidence, in the form of videos, documents or photos. If you are to divorce and the matter goes to court, such evidence will significantly improve the case against your spouse.

A certified private investigator is also able to utilise industry-grade surveillance tools in order to uncover a cheating partner. For example, they could install a GPS tracker to follow the suspected cheat, as well as access restricted databases not available to the general public.

Perhaps the chief benefit of employing a private investigator is the fact that you don’t have to commit to the task yourself. Your time can then be dedicated to the other pressing matters in your life, e.g. your job, family or other commitments that require your attention.

If you are concerned that your spouse or partner is cheating, but want definitive proof, hiring a private investigator from All Seeing Surveillance is likely to be the best route for you. Our team of certified professionals is resourceful, discrete and most importantly, effective.

If you would like to find out more about our services and how we may be able to help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Close up of hands in handcuffs behind the back

Are Private Investigators Legal? What They Can and Cannot Do

The idea that private investigators are not legal is a common misperception. As with any business, private investigators must operate legally in order to stay in operation. So how do private investigators ensure that they operate within the law? And what should you look for to ensure that a private investigation agency or individual investigator is operating lawfully?

What can private investigators legally investigate?

There are several specific types of investigations which are legal for private investigators to perform:

Search for a missing person

This could be a lost loved one, or even someone who’s attempted to escape debt.

Finding proof of an affair

A private investigator may be commissioned to investigate whether a client’s partner or spouse is being unfaithful.

Woman sat alone in living room drinking hot drink

Conducting background checks

This service is sometimes requested by one party seeking to make a legal commitment to another, for example: a private company seeking knowledge about a potential new hire, or an individual who wants to know more about a potential life partner.

Child support investigations

A recently divorced parent may want to hire a private investigator to collect evidence on their ex-partner, as this could highlight that they are the better choice when it comes to custody.

Corporate investigations

Businesses have a vested interest in the actions of their employees and the whereabouts of their assets and may hire a private investigator if they suspect dishonest behaviour on the part of an employee which jeopardizes the company, its reputation or assets.

Insurance fraud

Insurance companies may hire a private investigator to gather evidence which helps the insurer to determine the legitimacy of a claim, or to build a case against a claimant which could be presented before the law courts.

What methods of investigation can private investigators not legally use?

Anything which breaches existing privacy laws

Private investigators cannot resort to illegality when accessing information about a third party. Intercepting and reading letters or obtaining information from sensitive personal records (such as medical files) is prohibited. This also extends to any form of hacking, wiretapping or other illegal means of monitoring which require a forced invasion of privacy.

Pile of legal documents relating to private investigators

Trespassing on private property

It is not legal for private investigators to trespass on private property. Even law enforcement agents need to obtain a warrant before they can search a person’s home or private land.

Arresting or aggressively apprehending a target

A private investigator cannot simply confront their assigned target and attempt to physically apprehend them without facing serious legal consequences. Unlike law enforcement, private investigators also have no legal right to handcuff or forcibly restrain anyone.

What legal methods of investigation can private investigators use?

Searching official records

For anyone determined enough to pour through them, public records offices can provide useful insights through a variety of sources, such as marriage licenses, hospital records or wills.

Searching private databases

Data collection can be a very lucrative business. Most people won’t be able to afford to pay for access to a private database, but if a private investigation company can fit it into their budget, then it becomes a very useful tool for finding evidence.

Woman on busy street being viewed by private detective

Surveillance

Observing a target in a public location and using a GPS device to track their vehicle or person, are both lawful methods of gathering intel on a person’s movements and behaviours, providing certain criteria is met by carrying out a data impact assessment prior to any instruction. As long as a private investigator doesn’t break stalking laws, they can collect all the evidence they need.

How can you tell if a private investigator is operating legally?

Any trustworthy private investigation company will place the law above everything else. If you hire a private investigator and they break any laws when conducting the investigation, you could also be held accountable before the law.

There are several ways to tell if a private investigator is operating legally or not. Before hiring anyone, do some research into your available options and check to see if they’re adhering to these regulations:

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2016

The Act controls who has the power to use certain invasive methods of investigation, and for what purposes. Private investigators are not included among the list of bodies approved for use of such methods. A private investigator may be required to work under the supervision of a RIPA when conducting investigations on behalf of Local Authorities and Government. A RIPA will be used to detail and justify the lawful reasons for surveillance to take place. A RIPA will be reviewed and signed off by a judge before any investigation can commence.

General Data Protection Regulation 2018

GDPR regulates how personal data is handled by corporations and organisations. Those processing data (companies) have more responsibilities around protecting and securely retaining personal information. With private investigators regularly dealing with a variety of data, they must be careful to adhere to these regulations.

Private investigator looking through legal files on a laptop

Information Commissioner’s Office

The ICO acts against businesses which violate the public’s privacy rights. If a private investigations company is registered with the ICO, this can be a good indicator of their commitment to privacy and the protection of information.

Association of British Investigators

The ABI isn’t a regulatory body as such; more an organisation of investigators who work together to ensure that everyone is operating legally. It’s a body that’s been endorsed by the Law Society of England and Wales. They believe that, just like any business, private investigators should be subject to rigorous standards.

Provided the right checks are performed before hiring anyone, you should be able to spot a legal private investigator or investigations agency over an illegal one.

At All Seeing Surveillance, we ensure all our private investigators adhere to the necessary regulations and, under no circumstances, commit illegality. Not only are we registered with the ICO; we’re also a member of the ABI, because we always hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards.

If you wish to know more about the legal side of hiring a private investigator, or how we choose to conduct our operations, feel free to get in touch with our team today.


Private detective taking photograph during investigation

How to Hire a Private Detective

Find a PI who specialises in your issue

Most private investigators will have a field of expertise. This could include primarily investigating cheating spouses, fraud or insurance investigations. It's wise to hire a private detective who specialises in your issue. Doing so will guarantee a greater understanding of your problem, and insight into the best means for carrying out an effective investigation.

Decide on a budget before hiring a private detective

Part of your hiring process should involve outlining a realistic budget. Private investigators typically charge by the hour, with prices starting at around £50 an hour. Certain professionals will charge significantly higher than the average rate, based on their experience and clientele. Deciding on a price that you are prepared to pay will save time in the long run.

Beware of a PI who charges an unusually low price. This can often be down to a lack of knowledge, expertise and qualifications, which could easily result in an unsuccessful or potentially botched investigation, which may land you in court.

Client looking at reviews on a laptop before hiring a private detective

Seek out reviews and references

Once you have found a private detective who specialises in cases of a similar nature to yours, it’s essential that you ascertain their reputation.

When trying to hire a private detective, reliance on referrals from close family or friends, or whose opinions you trust, can be valuable. But given the nature of the work, it’s quite possible that no-one in your close circles has ever had to hire a PI.

In these circumstances, looking for reviews from previous clients can help. Key questions to keep in mind include:

  • Were they discrete?
  • Were they effective?
  • Did the client feel comfortable working with them?
  • Were they sensitive when they delivered their findings?

If you struggle to find any reviews or comments online, it’s worth reaching out to the investigator directly for references.

Check an investigator’s accreditations and background

When hiring a private investigator to look into something personal to you, it’s wise to carry out some simple research into their background before making any decisions.

Check that your chosen investigator is registered with the Association of British Investigators (ABI). This certifies that they are a professional working within the parameters of the law and hold themselves accountable for operating to the highest standards of competence. If you come across a PI who is not ABI registered, we’d suggest continuing your search.

A reliable private investigator will always have full insurance. This covers both themselves and their client if something were to go wrong during an investigation.

It’s always useful to investigate a PI’s professional background. Many private investigators are ex-military or law enforcement, which will mean they come equipped with many of the necessary key skills.

Client and private detective discussing hiring process

Arrange a face-to-face consultation before hiring a private detective

Any reputable PI will offer the opportunity for a consultative meeting in person as part of their service.

This meeting will give you an opportunity to fully discuss your situation and outline the outcome you would like to achieve. It also allows to you make sure the two of you are on the same wavelength. Clear communication and understanding are key when the matters to be broached may often be very personal. Both parties need to respect and trust one another.

Providing a personal service, tailored exactly to a client and their needs, should be the PI’s priority. If they do not suggest a face-to-face consultation, or do not consent to one when you request, steer clear.

Ask about the detectives experience

Enquire about previous cases and the techniques they adopted, as well as the investigator’s success rate. You should also discuss how these cases progressed – for example, have they ever been required to provide their uncovered evidence in court?

Discuss payment before committing to hiring a private detective

It’s important to remember that you are ultimately hiring the services of a professional, who will expect to be paid. In your consultation, it’s advisable to discuss the price of their services. Outline your budget and collaboratively decide how to proceed.

Agreeing on costs before the investigation takes place will help ease any financial concerns you might have, especially if there are likely to be any daily or weekly accumulated costs as the investigation progresses.

 

Ready to take the next step and hire a private detective? At All Seeing Surveillance, we are proud to have a team of professionals who are discrete, confidential and effective, dealing with both corporate and private clients. To find out more about our services and how we can help your case, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.