What is Mass Marketing and Consumer Targeted Fraud?

Mass Marketing Fraud is a general term for frauds that exploit mass-communication media, such as telemarketing fraud, Internet fraud, and identity theft. Since the 1930’s, mass marketing has been an accepted and productive way of increasing a customer base. Advanced communications, including computers, speed dialing, automatic dialing, and facsimile machines, along with modern conveniences such as credit cards, electronic banking, and television have led to tremendous growth in mass marketing. With the growth of legitimate mass marketing, however, has come a substantial increase in fraudulent mass marketing.

While these fraud schemes may take a wide variety of forms, they share a common theme: the use of false and/or deceptive representations to induce potential victims to make advance fee-type payments to fraud perpetrators. Although there are no comprehensive statistics on the subject, it is estimated mass marketing frauds victimize millions of Americans each year and generate losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Illegal mass marketers use three primary methods to identify potential victims. First, they may contact individuals with whom they have had no prior contact and attempt to scam these individuals. Second, they prompt prospective victims to contact the mass marketing operation by sending them communications that guarantee substantial awards or other benefits. Third, many mass marketers purchase lists of people who are known to have been victims of prior fraud schemes. These individuals are often receptive to investing in other schemes. Mass Marketing frauds victimize millions of Americans each year and generate losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The predominantly transnational nature of the mass marketing fraud crime problem presents significant impediments to effective investigation by any single agency or national jurisdiction. Typically, victims will reside in one or more countries, perpetrators will operate from another, and the financial or money services infrastructure of numerous additional countries are utilized for the rapid movement and laundering of funds.

The most common mass marketing schemes and others that target individual consumers are:

Advanced Fee Fraud – An advance fee scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value, such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift, and then receives little or nothing in return.

The variety of advance fee schemes is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them. They may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, “found money,” or many other “opportunities.” Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract. Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.

Foreign Lottery Fraud – In Foreign Lottery Fraud, the victim is notified that he or she has won a lottery or sweepstakes but must first pay various taxes and fees before receiving the prize. The subjects, posing as lottery administrators, often send the victim a counterfeit check representing all or a portion of the victim’s winnings, and require that the victim send money back to cover the taxes and fees only to discover they must reimburse their financial institution for cashing a counterfeit instrument as well.

Identity Theft – Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. Criminals can get the information they need to assume another person’s identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing wallets and purses, rifling through trash cans or by compromising credit and bank information. They may also approach the potential victim in person, by telephone, or on the Internet and ask for the information.

Letter of Credit Fraud – Legitimate letters of credit are never sold or offered as investments; they are issued by banks to ensure payment for goods shipped in connection with international trade. Payment on a letter of credit generally requires that the paying bank receive documentation certifying that the goods ordered have been shipped and are en route to their intended destination. Letters of credit frauds are often attempted against banks by providing false documentation to show that goods were shipped when, in fact, no goods or inferior goods were shipped.

Other letter of credit frauds occur when con artists offer a “letter of credit” or “bank guarantee” as an investment wherein the investor is promised huge interest rates on the order of 100 to 300 percent annually. Such investment “opportunities” simply do not exist.

Medicare Fraud – Medicare fraud can take the form of any of the health insurance frauds described above. Senior citizens are frequent targets of Medicare schemes, especially by medical equipment manufacturers who offer seniors free medical products in exchange for their Medicare numbers. Because a physician has to sign a form certifying that equipment or testing is needed before Medicare pays for it, con artists fake signatures or bribe corrupt doctors to sign the forms. Once a signature is in place, the manufacturers bill Medicare for merchandise or service that was not needed or was not ordered.

Medical Equipment Fraud – Equipment manufacturers offer “free” products to individuals. Insurers are then charged for products that were not needed and/or may not have been delivered.

Nigerian Letter Scam (419 Fraud) – Nigerian Letter or “419” Frauds combine the threat of impersonation fraud with a variation of an advance fee scheme in which a letter mailed from Nigeria offers the recipient the “opportunity” to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that the author, a self-proclaimed government official, is trying to transfer illegally out of Nigeria. The recipient is encouraged to send information to the author, such as blank letterhead stationery, bank name and account numbers, and other identifying information using a fax number provided in the letter. Some of these letters have also been received via e-mail through the Internet. The scheme relies on convincing a willing victim, who has demonstrated a “propensity for larceny” by responding to the invitation, to send money to the author of the letter in Nigeria in several installments of increasing amounts for a variety of reasons.

Payment of taxes, bribes to government officials, and legal fees are often described in great detail with the promise that all expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are spirited out of Nigeria. In actuality, the millions of dollars do not exist, and the victim eventually ends up with nothing but loss. Once the victim stops sending money, the perpetrators have been known to use the personal information and checks that they received to impersonate the victim, draining bank accounts and credit card balances.

While such an invitation impresses most law-abiding citizens as a laughable hoax, millions of dollars in losses are caused by these schemes annually. Some victims have been lured to Nigeria, where they have been imprisoned against their will along with losing large sums of money. The Nigerian government is not sympathetic to victims of these schemes, since the victim actually conspires to remove funds from Nigeria in a manner that is contrary to Nigerian law. The schemes themselves violate section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, hence the label “419 fraud.”

Prime Bank Note Fraud – International fraud artists have invented an investment scheme that supposedly offers extremely high yields in a relatively short period of time. In this scheme, they claim to have access to “bank guarantees” that they can buy at a discount and sell at a premium. By reselling the “bank guarantees” several times, they claim to be able to produce exceptional returns on investment. For example, if $10 million worth of “bank guarantees” can be sold at a two percent profit on 10 separate occasions, or “traunches,” the seller would receive a 20 percent profit. Such a scheme is often referred to as a “roll program.”

To make their schemes more enticing, con artists often refer to the “guarantees” as being issued by the world’s “prime banks,” hence the term “prime bank guarantees.” Other official sounding terms are also used, such as “prime bank notes” and “prime bank debentures.” Legal documents associated with such schemes often require the victim to enter into non-disclosure and non-circumvention agreements, offer returns on investment in “a year and a day”, and claim to use forms required by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). In fact, the ICC has issued a warning to all potential investors that no such investments exist.

The purpose of these frauds is generally to encourage the victim to send money to a foreign bank, where it is eventually transferred to an off-shore account in the control of the con artist. From there, the victim’s money is used for the perpetrator’s personal expenses or is laundered in an effort to make it disappear.

While foreign banks use instruments called “bank guarantees” in the same manner that U.S. banks use letters of credit to insure payment for goods in international trade, such bank guarantees are never traded or sold on any kind of market.

Overpayment Fraud – Overpayment Fraud often occurs when a person advertises an item for sale in a newspaper or online. The seller is contacted by an individual wishing to purchase the item. The purchaser sends the seller a counterfeit check for an amount greater than the price of the item and asks the seller to deposit the check and to return the remaining money or to send it to another person (often a “shipper” or “agent” who works for the purchaser) only to discover they must reimburse their financial institution for cashing a counterfeit instrument, too.

“Ponzi’ Schemes – “Ponzi” schemes promise high financial returns or dividends not available through traditional investments. Instead of investing the funds of victims, however, the con artist pays “dividends” to initial investors using the funds of subsequent investors. The scheme generally falls apart when the operator flees with all of the proceeds or when a sufficient number of new investors cannot be found to allow the continued payment of “dividends.”

This type of fraud is named after its creator—Charles Ponzi of Boston, Massachusetts. In the early 1900s, Ponzi launched a scheme that guaranteed investors a 50 percent return on their investment in postal coupons. Although he was able to pay his initial backers, the scheme dissolved when he was unable to pay later investors.

Pyramid Schemes – As in Ponzi schemes, the money collected from newer victims of the fraud is paid to earlier victims to provide a veneer of legitimacy. In pyramid schemes, however, the victims themselves are induced to recruit further victims through the payment of recruitment commissions.

More specifically, pyramid schemes—also referred to as franchise fraud or chain referral schemes—are marketing and investment frauds in which an individual is offered a distributorship or franchise to market a particular product. The real profit is earned, not by the sale of the product, but by the sale of new distributorships. Emphasis on selling franchises rather than the product eventually leads to a point where the supply of potential investors is exhausted and the pyramid collapses. At the heart of each pyramid scheme is typically a representation that new participants can recoup their original investments by inducing two or more prospects to make the same investment. Promoters fail to tell prospective participants that this is mathematically impossible for everyone to do, since some participants drop out, while others recoup their original investments and then drop out.

Recovery Schemes – Victims are contacted by perpetrators posing as law enforcement officers, government employees, or lawyers to inform victims that the persons responsible for the original fraud schemes have been arrested or successfully sued and their bank accounts have been seized. The victims are told the seized money is going to be returned to the victims, but the victims must first pay fees for processing and administrative services. Recovery pitches often target victims many months or years after the original fraud schemes.

Redemption / Strawman / Bond Fraud Schemes – Fraudsters employing a Redemption scheme claim that the U.S. government or the Treasury Department control bank accounts, often referred to as “U.S. Treasury Direct Accounts,” for all U.S. citizens that can be accessed by submitting paperwork with state and federal authorities. Individuals promoting this scam frequently cite various discredited legal theories and may refer to the scheme as “Redemption,” “Strawman,” or “Acceptance for Value.” Trainers and websites will often charge large fees for “kits” that teach individuals how to perpetrate this scheme. They will often imply that others have had great success in discharging debt and purchasing merchandise such as cars and homes. Failures to implement the scheme successfully are attributed to individuals not following instructions in a specific order or not filing paperwork at correct times.

This scheme predominately uses fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate. These documents are frequently referred to as “bills of exchange,” “promissory bonds,” “indemnity bonds,” “offset bonds,” “sight drafts,” or “comptrollers warrants.” In addition, other official documents are used outside of their intended purpose, like IRS forms 1099, 1099-OID, and 8300. This scheme frequently intermingles legal and pseudo legal terminology in order to appear lawful. Notaries may be used in an attempt to make the fraud appear legitimate. Often, victims of the scheme are instructed to address their paperwork to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

“Rolling Medical Lab” Schemes – Unnecessary, and sometimes fake, medical tests are given to individuals at health clubs, retirement homes, or shopping malls and billed to insurance companies or Medicare.

Services Not Performed Frauds – Customers or providers bill insurers for services never rendered by changing bills or submitting fake ones.

Suspect infidelity? Before You Read His or Her Email, Read This!

You think your husband or wife is cheating on you… You remember the password to his or her email account because you set it up, so you log into her account and discover emails between him or her and their new lover.

Now you’re devastated and are ready to confront your spouse with this newly-found evidence and file for a divorce.

Not so fast…

Do you think that logging into his or her email account is even legal?

Maybe not.

Before you log onto your spouse’s email account or intercept any messages or communication with another person whatsoever, whether that be through email, voicemail, messages and posts on a Facebook account, texts on their mobile phone, etc., PLEASE take the following into consideration:

In your passion to discover what your spouse is doing online, you might just violate federal electronic communication privacy laws or other state laws addressing “unauthorized access” of a protected computer, communication device or information system.

This could backfire on you and could be more costly to you than the information you would otherwise discover is worth. Your spouse, or ex-spouse, may eventually file criminal charges against you if they find out as a way to gain an advantage in potential divorce proceedings or child custody matters.

Don’t do it without first consulting your attorney (the expensive).

Instead, the less expensive option is to hire a private investigator to legally obtain the proof you need to prove (or disprove) your gut feeling.

For your private investigation needs in and around Pensacola, Florida, CompassPoint Investigations is only an email or phone call away. Please use our contact form and get a hold of us right away for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation.

Our Investigators Found 24 New Customers for a Pensacola Business Client

How well do you make business decisions? Would you make better decisions if you could rub a crystal ball and see into the future? For those of you who are skeptical of Dionne Warwick’s ability to help you discover the next great innovation in your industry through the Psychic Friends Network, try competitive intelligence.

While I cannot promise to out-predict the mythical wizard Merlin, I can help you can gain valuable foresight into market trends, buyer behavior and your competitors’ plans by employing creative techniques for gathering information from public records, interviews and physical surveillance and then using sophisticated methods of analysis to combine numerous pieces of uncommon information into strategic recommendations for your business.

“Intelligence is uncommon information analyzed for its strategic implications.”

Thousands of years ago, the brilliant Chinese military strategist Sun Tsu stressed the vital role of military intelligence to gain a “Foreknowledge” of the enemy’s plans and the use of counterintelligence to deceive your enemy. While military intelligence is gathered through spying, commercial or competitive intelligence is gathered through a thorough review of public records for hidden information, excellent interviewing skills and keen physical observation, all geared toward predicting the future plans of your competitors and customers by understanding their behavior and thought processes.

The really good competitive intelligence professionals are extremely creative and go well beyond public records.

Good, timely intelligence about the market in which you operate is critical to innovation, strategic positioning and effective business decision-making. Competitive intelligence can be used not only to predict and counteract your competitor’s strategic moves, but also to better understand your customers and your market, allowing you to become the market innovator.

According to the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, only seven percent of large corporations have a formalized, full scale, competitive intelligence capability.

If you are looking for a competitive advantage, try looking into the mind of your customers and competitors through competitive intelligence.

If you are looking for additional revenue in your own business, why not hire a private investigator?

Here at CompassPoint Investigations, we had a case not too long ago where a client wanted to start a commercial landscaping service in Pensacola and he asked us how he could jump-start his marketing and advertising. The solution was immediately clear: go to the consumers of such services first and offer to do the job better and a little less expensive than the current provider.

He hired us to pick 3 commercial landscaping companies to follow and develop a client list. We not only developed an extensive client list for him but obtained copies of the competitor’s marketing materials, products used, service fees and client points of contact!

Out of the 71 service consumers we identified, he landed 18 of them and had instant start up revenue; 11 of these 18 were clients of the same landscaping company, so we both realized that there was an obvious service problem that was exploitable. We then focused our efforts on that competing service provider for 2 more days and our client ended up gaining an additional 6 accounts.

He completely recouped his cost for our services in less than 2 months and obtained 24 new clients!

We have replicated this type of service now well over a dozen times in different markets and businesses. Competitive intelligence is a featured service at CompassPoint Investigations.

Important Missing Children and Child Abduction Resources

The following resources have been selected as a starting point to assist private investigators who are working with parents who have experienced the tragedy of a child abduction, parental kidnapping or who have a child that has runaway.  It is paramount to begin these cases quickly and gain as much exposure as possible in order to contain the search area.  It is a common belief that most victims of abduction will remain within a one mile radius of the crime, however this is typically not true in cases involving runaways and parental abductions; these persons often end up as far away as a different state or country.

Caution: Civilian investigators should always work with law enforcement personnel working in an official capacity so as not to hinder or disrupt an ongoing investigation; the ramifications of which should be obvious.

As the Team Hope organization, linked below, notes, “According to Federal law, the police are obligated to take the missing persons report and enter the information into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) without a waiting period.  If you encounter problems reporting your child as missing, please share these laws with your police department.”

USEFUL WEBSITES

AGENCIES, PROGRAMS & ORGANIZATIONS

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has published an OUTSTANDING reference to conducting missing children investigations for law enforcement titled Missing and Abducted Children: A Law-Enforcement Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management; some of it is certainly applicable to assisting private investigators

Proactively Preventing Employee Problems Through Proper Screening Processes

Hiring and retaining employees in today’s marketplace is a complicated situation; in fact, it’s more of a matter of life and death for most businesses.  The liabilities inherited with each job offer include

  • Employee theft
  • Huge turnover rates
  • Unqualified employees
  • Negligent hiring practices and discrimination based lawsuits
  • Violence in the workplace

Each of these challenges has a distinct and overwhelming effect on every business, within every market segment in every country of the world.

Quality hiring decisions build profitable and successful companies… bad employees tear them down.

All other problems aside, employee theft alone has been described as an epidemic… a corporate cancer… a disease murdering American enterprise.  It has also been characterized as the fastest growing segment of our economy.

The estimates of the damage to the American public vary widely:

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce has estimated $50 billion dollars annually.
  • The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners claims it costs in excess of $121 billion dollars every year
  • Florida State University’s 2010 National Retail Security Survey indicates that the percentage of a business’ losses caused by employees is the highest it has been in its eight previous surveys!
  • Perhaps the most shocking statistic claimed by the U.S. Small Business Administration indicates that between 30% and 40% of all business failures and bankruptcies are a direct result of losses caused by employee theft and fraud.

Losses that include fraud and embezzlement are obvious, but did you know that the loss of productivity can be even more damaging to a company than theft and that this potential for loss can be identified ahead of time?

There is a cure for this cancer and I have the answer to this question that bothers everyone who has the responsibility to attract and find the very best (honest) employees.

Understand first, that past performance is ALWAYS indicative of future behavior.  You must completely and accurately gather all of the facts from a potential new-hire concerning previous work history, performance, attitude, criminal involvement, etc.

In 91% of the cases we investigated for employers, we found that the identified employee was predisposed to causing loss and that he or she had participated in acts that caused losses to previous employers.

But how do you make an informed decision when it has been PROVEN that at least 35% of all job applicants will lie to you?

TRAIN your hiring managers and those who have the authority to make hiring decisions.

In every case in which we investigated a specific loss and were able to identify the responsible employee, we determined that the person who conducted the pre-employment interview, examined the job application and checked references, was plainly duped; lied to.  They were fooled and they didn’t have a clue.  In fact, not one hiring manager we surveyed had any sort of education or training in making employment decisions!

Would you like the power to separate fact from fiction and consistently make quality-hiring decisions based on the truth?  Would you like to know the secret to convincing applicants to tell you everything you need to know to make a great hiring decision next time and every time?

You must learn how to

  • Develop honesty, as a theme, within the employment interviewing process
  • Ask “integrity questions” and
  • Evaluate the applicant’s responses for truthfulness.

As a professional, entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of selecting new employees for your company, it is your duty to do everything within your capacity and the law to ensure the continued survival and bottom-line profitability of your employer.

You shape the future of your organization with the decisions you make everyday.  Perhaps there is no greater feeling to realize that the hiring professional maintains this power and influence over an organization.  Therefore, it is your obligation to select the very best applicants available.  It is your duty to find a training program designed to quickly and thoroughly prepare you for this responsibility.

Ultimately you will be judged by the quality of your employees, if not by a supervisor then your customers.  Undoubtedly, the quality of your work will be reflected in the faces of the men and women you have chosen to represent the organization to which you belong… hopefully they will be men and women of integrity.

Check out our new manual Truth or Consequences: Hiring for Integrity at www.HiringProfessionals.com

Personal Information on the Internet Could Put you In Danger

There is already a lot being said about malware (Trojans, viruses, worms, etc.) and attempts to obtain your cash, personal identity, usernames and passwords through various frauds, phishing schemes and other cyber crimes.  While this is crucial information to have, practically nothing is being written about the tremendous amount of personal information pouring onto the Internet through the careless use of social networks, blogs and photo album services.  In these popular Internet outlets, especially Facebook, there exists a dangerous opportunity for predatory criminals; bloggers and those with extensive social profiles may in fact be fueling the fire and opportunity that these monsters need to commit their crimes!

To reinforce my statement I would love to point out one shining example I stumbled across a week ago and illustrate how one particular blogger has put her entire family in jeopardy.  In the interest of their safety, however, I am not going to identify the particular blog.  I will however, relate to you what I saw so that you may learn from her mistakes then take an objective look at your own online presence and determine if changes need to be made.

The name of her site was something whimsical like “The Smith Family Blogosphere of Happiness” and the blog had its own URL- “TheSmithFamily.com.”  This blogger was obviously dedicated!  There were many pictures in the online photo album of blogger, her husband and beautiful children in various activities both at home and at school.  She obviously put a lot of thought into the numerous blog entries about various subjects: family vacations; the usual ups and downs that she and her husband have at work and raising their children; how she felt about some issues in her community and anything else that seemed to cross her mind.  It was a typical non-commercial blog documenting the daily lives of the Smith Family.

No big deal right?  Wrong… in terms of personal security this family blog was a security nightmare.

The first thing I noticed was that she identifies her last name in the title of her blog.  A quick trip to the WHOIS database (how to identify the owner of a website) verified that her URL was registered publicly and identified the blogger by name, home address, private email address and home phone number.

She did a good job at referencing her children in her blog posts as “the oldest boy,” “our youngest son,” or “my daughter” but she mistakenly names most of the picture’s filenames after them (i.e. janes_xmas.jpg, johns_new_bike.jpg or john_and_jim.jpg); anyone can tell who’s who and put a face to a name.

Most horrifically, the kids are in athletic uniforms with the name of the school emblazoned across the front; knowing each child’s name, what they look like and the name of their school in conjunction with the address I obtained through the WHOIS record would allow me to find these particular children at school very easily.

While she only references her husband by his first name it isn’t much of a stretch to put it with her last name to reveal his identity.  She describes both of their positions at work and names their employers.  I even found a post referencing a vacation they were all taking in Acapulco, Mexico in December.  The post was written in October.

I could have gained motor vehicle registration information (which includes full name, address, VIN, driver’s license number and date of birth) through the vehicle license plate information found in one particular picture.  There are unscrupulous sellers on the Internet who will provide this information instantly to anyone with a credit card.

In completing my cursory internet profile, I “Googled” the blogger’s name, which returned nothing except for the blog, but when I searched on the email address I obtained via the URL’s WHOIS registration, I found her eBay identity, her Facebook profiel, an entire UseNet newsgroup identity (which I am MOST sure that she wishes to keep VERY private since she did a good job maintaining her anonymity there) and a few other interesting morsels of information too bizarre even to mention.

It would not take the mental muscle of an evil genius to gather just a little bit of information to make this family’s location, identity, and habits, readily discernable.  What horror would befall them then if someone were so inclined to cause them harm?

There are several things she should do differently.  First, use good ol’ common sense, there is no greater substitute!  Change the title and the URL address of her blog and remove her family’s last name.  She can use a “proxy” or private registration service to maintain her URL with the registrar.  She should use generic file names for her pictures that do not identify the people in them and obscure identifiers in the photos like the license plate and the school name on the uniforms too.  She shouldn’t discuss the identity of her employer; if it is important, then refer to it in a generic manner such as “I work at an auto parts store.”  She certainly should not be advertising when and where she will be vacationing in the future.  Lastly, she should use a free (and anonymous) email address to post to newsgroups… especially when anyone may blush at the more than casual reference to her sexual inclinations.

I realize that you cannot avoid all risk in life, but the bottom line is if you participate in the online world, you will have to bear the risk of a certain amount of exposure and be prepared to address the issues that are part and parcel with sharing personal information on the Internet.  Additionally, I concede that this blog was without a commercial purpose; out of necessity one often has to share personal identifying information when running an online business.  It simply goes along with the territory.

I hope that you will take a critical look at your own online identity right now.  Ask yourself, “Am I absolutely comfortable with what I have found?”  If you are not, then resolve to do something about it today because someone else may stumble across your little corner of the Internet and decide to find you tomorrow.  Unfortunately this is reality.

Do You Suspect Infidelity in Your Relationship?

The following is a guide to help you determine if your spouse or lover is cheating on you. After reading this list you may find there is some area of concern. Do not confront the cheater. This will only cause them to clean up their act and make it more difficult for you to catch them. You may not have enough proof to make your case. I would urge you to seek professional help.  Call the Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama Private Investigator and Cheating Spouse Surveillance Experts!  Husbands, wives, girlfriends, and boyfriends are all capable of infidelity.

Call CompassPoint Investigations right away… (877) 363-4887

Is my partner cheating on me?” If you are asking yourself this question, there may already be a problem.

•  22 percent of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.
•  14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
•  Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
•  70 percent of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses’ extramarital activity.
•  Cheating spouse statistics confirm that 50 and 70 percent of married men (between 38 and 53 million men) have cheated or will cheat on their wives. One study found that 2/3 of the wives (26 to 36 million women) whose husbands were cheating had no idea their husbands were having an affair – largely because they failed to recognize the telltale signs.

Most cheating husbands and cheating wives fall into two categories. One involves an individual who is married and is seeing someone behind the spouse’s back. The second involves two separate married individuals who are both having affairs with one another. Both couple’s partners are usually unaware of this deception.

Cheaters generally rendezvous with their lover sometime during their work day. In most cases, the cheater and their paramour live or work in the same general area. This gives them time and opportunity to carry on their secretive behavior without threat of being discovered by their partner or co- workers. You will also find that they try and control all information that you get concerning their daily whereabouts. They will deny everything unless confronted with proof about their indiscretions.

Cheating basically involves many lies. Cheaters are always lying about where they are, what they do, and how they really feel. These lies are often mixed with some truth and are incorporated into every aspect of their life that they share with you. Lies and deceptions can only go on for so long though before noticeable clues start to poke holes in the façade that they have created.

Warning Signs of Infidelity

Here are some tried and tested clues or “signs” that cheaters most often exhibit:

•  Your partner has had a history or prior instance of infidelity. This falls under the “if it has happened before it is likely to happen again” rule. Those men and women who have cheated once will generally relapse.

•  Your partner has been spending a lot of time lately working out or in the tanning salon cultivating their appearance.

•  Your spouse seems to act more cold and or distant and inconsiderate of your feelings.

•  You receive hang up calls at home in the middle of the night or at odd times of the day.

•  You start receiving a lot of wrong number calls at home.

•  Your partner is spending a lot of time on the phone away from you out of ear-shot.

•  You walk into a room and your girlfriend or boyfriend suddenly hangs up the phone or acts odd. Your partner may also leave the house or room to talk on their cell phone.

•  Your partner hides their cell phone bill from you or is very protective of the bill when it arrives in the mail.

•  Your cheating boyfriend or girlfriend has secretly purchased a new cell phone.

•  Your partner receives suspicious voicemail messages.

•  You discover unfamiliar numbers stored or dialed on your partner’s cell phone.

•  Your partner has recently started using phone cards.

•  Your partner seems to never answer their cell or home phone in a timely manner when you try to reach them by phone during the day. If they do answer, they seem to be very evasive with you and not truthful about their current whereabouts. They may tell you that they have been having cell phone problems.

•  You begin noticing your partner lying to you about insignificant things.

•  Your partner has suddenly stopped complaining about things in their relationship with you that have bothered them in the past.

•  You notice a new cologne/ perfume or sexy clothing in places like your partner’s vehicle.

•  Your partner has a secret P. O. Box that they are hiding from you.

•  You discover unfamiliar earrings or jewelry show up in your husband or wife’s vehicle or somewhere in your home.

•  Your partner’s confidence level seems to have risen considerably for no apparent reason.

•  Your partner has found reasons not to attend family or holiday gatherings.

•  Your partner starts having their laundry handled independently.

•  You notice new cologne or perfume scents on your partner’s clothing.

•  Your partner seems to have started acting in a paranoid manner. This may include such behavior as your partner inquiring if you have been “snooping” on them.

•  You notice unfamiliar hairs (a different color or length than you or your partners) in their vehicle, on their clothing, or in your home.

•  Your partner is consistently washing their vehicle and keeping it meticulously cleaned out.

•  When confronted by you, your partner says “it’s just your imagination” or “you are crazy”. These are absolutely the most overused exclamations that a guilty partner uses to deflect the accusation.

•  Your partner has a secret banking account that they are keeping you unaware of.

•  Your partner exhibits defensive behavior in normal conversations with you.

•  You notice the odor of cigarette smoke on your non-smoking partner’s clothing or in their vehicle. This is usually from the partner meeting with their paramour in bars or being around that new lover who smokes.

•  You notice unexplained mileage changes on the odometer of your partner’s vehicle.

•  Your partner has acquired a locking safe they keep at home that only they have access to.

•  You notice credit card receipts from locations your partner has visited that seem questionable.

•  You notice your partner seems distant and distracted most of the time.

•  Your partner inquires about your daily/weekly schedule more often than usual.

•  Your partner has developed a sudden interest in a new hobby or sport.

•  Friends or acquaintances start informing you that they saw your partner out somewhere with some unfamiliar individual. Most times, friends, family, or acquaintances will find out about the cheating before you do.

•  You notice changes in you and your partner’s sex life. This could be more activity or less activity. New or experimental sexual techniques and acts could be involved.

•  You notice a change in contraception or pregnancy prevention methods between you and your partner. This can include the sudden introduction of condoms by your partner to prevent the possible passing of any sexually transmitted diseases.

•  You notice your cheating wives and husbands departing from home to work earlier than usual on a consistent basis.

•  You notice your husband or wife is spending less time at home and more time “at the office” or “working late”. This would be unaccounted for time.

•  Your girlfriend or boyfriend spends a lot of time on the computer e-mailing or instant messaging at odd times of the night. Statistics indicate that 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex. Approximately 70% of time on-line is spent in chat rooms or sending e-mail; of these interactions, the vast majority are romantic in nature. 38% of people have engaged in explicit online sexual conversation and 50% of people have made phone contact with someone they chatted with online.

•  Your partner is frequently deleting e-mail messages.

• You notice your spouse being very secretive and protective of the activity on their home computer. This may be while they are in chat rooms or on the internet.

•  Your partner tells you “I just need my space” when confronted regarding their suspicious behavior.

•  Your partner ignores or deflects your romantic/sexual advances.

•  Your partner begins losing interest in romantic gestures like giving you gifts, cards, or flowers. This may also work in reverse due to their guilt over their indiscretions.

•  You observe lipstick or make up stains on your cheating husband’s clothing.

• Your partner has been spending a lot of time with a close friend or coworker that they have known since before they met you. This can even be on the telephone or through e-mail. Another sign is that the two have had a romantic involvement together in their past.

•  Your partner begins losing interest in holding hands with you.

•  Your partner speaks to you often regarding a new coworker. This may be a new secretary, manager, or intern that your partner spends a lot of time alone at work or on the road with.

•  You start receiving a lot of phone calls from members of the opposite sex who work with your partner.

•  You notice odd charges on your partner’s credit card statements or you find receipts, email confirmation or messages from merchants regarding gifts and flowers which you did not receive.

•  You discover new lingerie or sexy attire that your partner has never worn in intimate activity with you.

•  Your partner radically changes their hair style and/or hair color.

•  Your partner changes their style of clothing. They may begin to start dressing up more and buying more expensive or stylish clothing.

•  You notice your partner is spending more and more time with friends that you have never personally met before.

•  Your partner has recently obtained artificial augmentation of some sort. This could be breast implants, a facelift, tummy tuck, etc.

•  Your partner has received a new promotion and is spending more time out of town than usual.

•  Your partner is spending a lot of time visiting “friends” or “relatives”.

Did you recognize some familiar behaviors or clues from the list? Maybe it’s time you let COMPASSPOINT INVESTIGATIONS find out what is really going on with your spouse or partner. You deserve to know the truth!

•  At the beginning of an affair the mate that is cheating is more attentive to his spouse. This is due to guilt that the cheater may be feeling at the time.

•  After the affair has been going on for a while the person cheating seems to find fault with the person he/she may be living with to try to justify the affair in their mind.

•  Cheating spouses may lose attention in the activities in the home. They don’t show interest in the livelihood of you or the children that live in the home. Nor do they have any desires to do any fix-ups to the home (i.e. lawn care, house repairs, etc…..)

•  Intuition (gut feeling) that something is not right usually is a sign you may have a cheating problem “when in doubt check them out”.

•  Cheaters may have a change in sex life (i.e. more sex, less sex) as well as unexplained sexual requests.

•  The cheater has a definite change in attitude towards everyone in the home, especially the mate (i.e. if he/she didn’t act the way they do, well then maybe I wouldn’t be doing the things I do).

•  Another sign is “Finances”. “If someone wants to play they have to pay” therefore keeping an eye on their monies (i.e. check stubs, bank account balances, credit card bills, etc…) would tell you whether their spending more money than usual.

•  Grooming habits will change. Cheaters will be more attentive to their person (e.i. the way they dress, frequent bathing, physical fitness, grooming of their hair, switching of colognes, etc…).

•  Physical signs to look for to determine whether or not someone is having an affair is lipstick on the collar, odors of cologne/perfume on a shirt/blouse, checking underwear for secretion stains. You can also check their wallets and/or the glove compartments of their car to see if they left receipts, pieces of paper with phone numbers, addresses, condoms, etc.

•  You may want to monitor your spouse for two weeks. During this time keep track of the mileage on their car. Monitor the time they leave for work and the time they come home. Keep a calendar and note the times, this should help you establish a pattern. If your mate claims to be working late, check paycheck stubs to verify this overtime.

•  Be tuned in to home telephone calls when your mate has a tendency to whisper or gives a quick answer and immediately hangs up or when you answer the telephone and get an abrupt hang up.

•  Many cheaters use cellular telephones to communicate with their lovers. Should your mate have a cellular telephone you may want to get a detailed billing of the calls made from the cellular phone to determine whether a certain number has been frequently called. A good area to start looking is for the first number called when your mate first leaves for work and the same number called again right before they return home.

•  Female cheaters are more discreet in the selection of a lover . This is most likely because of their concern of Sexually Transmitted Disease’s (STD’s). Most females are looking for a longer lasting relationship rather than a “one night stand”. In past years men were the aggressors, in society today, with the increase of women in the work force, women have become equally aggressive.

•  When a female is having an affair she tends to have more of a “glow” about her.

Did you recognize some familiar behaviors or clues from the list? If your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend is cheating on you it is not your fault.  Maybe it’s time you let a professional private investigator find out what is really going on with your spouse or partner. You deserve to know the truth!

If you do not know a private investigator in your area who you can trust, contact us via our website and we can refer you to a local professional who will treat you with dignity and respect, answer your questions and help you obtain the proof you need to make an informed and intelligent decision.