How Moonlighting Affects Your Business & What to Do About It

September 17, 2023 - Reading time: 6 minutes

In the present day, it seems that an increasing number of individuals are involved in dual employment. It is now commonplace for people to take on weekend jobs to generate additional income, participate in online selling activities, or even work night shifts in addition to their regular nine-to-five jobs.

There is ultimately a threshold where employees with a second source of income can begin to cause problems for businesses.

Investigation graphic on a touch screen

If your employees are engaging in moonlighting, you may observe a decline in their performance, daily workflow, and overall attitude. As an employer, you should aspire to have a workforce that exhibits enthusiasm and a willingness to give their best at work. If this is not the case, it may be appropriate to question whether they are fully committed to their role.

In this article we will endeavour to give you a better understanding of what moonlighting entails, how to identify employees engaged in moonlighting, the potential impact of moonlighting on your business, and explore how involving a private investigator could assist in resolving moonlighting.

What is moonlighting?

Moonlighting is when your employee takes up a second job. While this practice is not illegal, it is crucial for such information to be disclosed to employers in order to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. 

Some employees have alternative sources of income without it causing any problems. However, if your business policies prohibit moonlighting or if an employee's moonlighting activities start affecting their work performance, it may be necessary to take appropriate action.

What are the signs of moonlighting?

Several signs can indicate that an employee is engaged in moonlighting. While these signs are certainly not definitive proof, they could signal that further investigation is necessary. It's important to consider that these behaviours, when observed in isolation, may be indicative of other personal or domestic matters that need to be addressed with the employee. They may not necessarily imply that a second job is encroaching upon their lives.

If you suspect an employee of moonlighting, be on the lookout for signs such as frequent requests to leave work early or tardiness in the morning. This could suggest that they are struggling to balance conflicting shift schedules between two jobs, potentially resulting in fatigue and reduced concentration—another aspect worth monitoring.

Employees unexpectedly leaving the workplace for extended periods or attending unusually long off-site meetings may also raise suspicions of moonlighting. Additionally, frequent last-minute time-off requests or increasing sick leave could be indicators to watch out for.

Arguably, the most revealing sign lies in the behaviour of other staff members. If they express dissatisfaction or resentment towards a colleague, it could indicate the perception that they are shouldering an unfair workload due to the underperformance of the moonlighting employee.

What is the impact of moonlighting?

Moonlighting can have serious and long-lasting consequences for your business. If you are compensating an employee who fails to fulfil their contracted hours or deliver the expected performance, your business incurs financial losses that can accumulate over time.

Furthermore, if an employee engages in moonlighting for a competitor within the same industry, they may exploit their skills and expertise to divert customers away from your company, resulting in potential revenue loss. Moonlighting may also involve an employee conducting work on a 'self employed' basis for the company's clients at discounted rates.

On an even more severe level, there may be a conflict of interest if the employee discloses confidential company information to another organization, which could even lead to data breaches.

On a smaller scale, the consistent underperformance of a moonlighting employee, without taking any disciplinary action, can significantly impact staff morale and potentially result in the loss of valuable team members.

Ultimately, a single employee engaging in moonlighting can give rise to a broader issue of staff retention.

Why hire a private investigator?

Although the transition from harbouring suspicions to initiating moonlighting investigations may appear substantial, it may indeed be a necessary step in safeguarding your business.

The reality is that taking disciplinary action without concrete evidence of moonlighting can have serious repercussions for your company. There is even the possibility of facing legal action if an employee feels unfairly treated, possibly culminating in an unfair dismissal hearing and associated legal costs.

Private Investigators UK logo with a retina scanner

By engaging the services of a private investigator, you benefit from having a neutral third party who can conduct discreet and professional investigations into your employee's activities, free from emotional biases. While you could conduct such investigations internally, a private investigator possesses the expertise to handle them efficiently, thereby saving you time, money, and effort. Additionally, if the investigations reveal that your employee is not involved in moonlighting, your relationship with them remains unaffected.

Moreover, experience counts when it comes to conducting investigations, and only a few non-specialists have access to the advanced technology that private investigators utilize. At Private Investigators UK, our experienced detectives are experts at gathering proof of moonlighting through discreet surveillance, undercover work, and other investigative techniques. We cover all areas of the UK - please visit our homepage to learn more about us or to request a free quote.

7 Signs that Your Home Is Bugged

September 16, 2023 - Reading time: 6 minutes

In the current era of technological advancements, concerns regarding privacy and security have amplified significantly. One particular concern is the potential presence of covert surveillance in your home, where discrete listening devices or cameras are utilized to clandestinely monitor your activities. The purpose of this article is to provide you with an overview of the signs that might suggest your home is under surveillance. By recognizing these indications, you can take appropriate measures to safeguard your privacy and maintain the security of your personal space.

An eye looking through a hole in the wall

1. Unfamiliar Sounds or Noises

An evident sign of a surveilled home is the existence of peculiar sounds or noises. Should you detect faint clicking, buzzing, or static sounds while using your electronic devices or during phone calls, it might imply that someone is eavesdropping on your conversations. Furthermore, if you hear unusual sounds emanating from walls, ceilings, or other areas where such sounds should not originate, it is advisable to explore the situation further.

2. Unexpected Interference

Another telltale sign to be wary of is unexpected interference with your electronic devices. Should you experience sudden disruptions in your Wi-Fi signal, encounter radio or television reception issues, or notice erratic behaviour from your electronic gadgets, it could potentially be attributed to nearby surveillance equipment. Covert devices can interfere with the normal functioning of your devices, hence it is important to be vigilant if you observe unexplained technical problems.

3. You are Under Investigation for a Crime

If you are currently under investigation for a crime, then you might find that listening devices could be planted by law enforcement in order to gather evidence against you.

Can the police bug your house after a raid? It could be possible if they have obtained the relevant authorization. However, law enforcement and intelligence agencies can also employ a stealthy approach and plant their devices covertly without you realizing. Ultimately, if your property has been bugged by a government agency then you can expect them to have employed advanced surveillance equipment, which will likely require other advanced equipment to detect.

4. Suspicious Evidence of Intrusion

Physical signs of tampering within your home can also point towards the presence of concealed surveillance devices. Be alert for minuscule holes or marks on walls, furniture, or other objects that appear out of place. Additionally, if you perceive that items have been displaced or rearranged without any logical reason, it might suggest that an unauthorized individual has gained access to your home and fiddled with your belongings. CCTV cameras around your home or a decent burglar alarm system can help alert to any authorized access which might be for the purpose of planting surveillance equipment on your property.

Learn more about our bug sweep service.

5. Abnormal Pet Behaviour

Pets possess an uncanny ability to sense things that humans often cannot. If your typically calm and well-behaved pet begins exhibiting unusual behaviour, such as incessant barking, growling, or restlessness in specific areas of your home, it would be worth investigating further. Animals have heightened hearing capabilities and may potentially detect hidden surveillance devices.

6. Anomalous Phone Conduct

Pay attention to any abnormal conduct displayed by your landline or mobile phone. If you notice peculiar noises, echoes, or fluctuations in volume during phone calls, it might indicate that your conversations are being intercepted. Furthermore, if your phone battery depletes rapidly or if your phone becomes warm even when idle, it could potentially signify the operation of unauthorized software in the background.

7. Unexplained Awareness

Should you harbour suspicions that your home is under surveillance, remain attentive to instances where someone seems to possess knowledge of your private conversations or activities without any justifiable explanation. If sensitive information that has solely been discussed within the confines of your home becomes known to others, it could serve as a strong indication that your privacy has been compromised.


Preserving privacy and security within our homes is of utmost significance. Although the signs outlined in this article can potentially suggest a surveilled home, it is vital to approach the situation cautiously and seek professional assistance if necessary. If you suspect that your home is under surveillance, taking appropriate steps to safeguard your privacy and ensure peace of mind is crucial. Regularly inspecting your surroundings, being cognizant of unusual sounds or behaviours, and seeking professional guidance can aid in maintaining a secure and confidential living environment.

If you suspect that your home or workplace might be bugged, then you could hire an experienced private investigator to search for any surveillance equipment during a professional bug sweep. Our seasoned detectives can help to search for hidden bugs across all areas of the UK - visit our homepage to learn more about us or to request a free quote. 

Can private investigators hack phones or social media?

May 29, 2023 - Reading time: 6 minutes

As leading private investigators based in the UK, we are often asked by our clients to investigate suspicions relating to infidelity... If you suspect that your partner is cheating on you, then finding the truth is understandably a priority for most people. Phones, instant messengers, and social media profiles now form a large part of most people's social lives, and can often contain clues that a person could be cheating on their partner. So, can private investigators hack into phones? Can private investigators hack into social media profiles or instant messengers?

No, private investigators are not allowed to engage in any form of hacking. Hacking into someone's phone messages or social media profiles without their permission or consent is against the law, not only in the UK but also in most other countries around the world. Please do not contact us in order to request any form of hacking service - we will not be able to help you.

Scam alert displayed on a laptop screen

We have recently been contacted by several individuals that hired so-called private investigators in order to hack into a social media profile, instant messenger app, or device... After money was paid for these services, the vendor either took the money and did nothing, or requested even more money and then did nothing after more money was paid. Remember, no legitimate private investigator would ever offer any form of illegal hacking service. In most cases 'hacking services' are nothing more than scams which are being offered by unscrupulous fraudsters in various countries around the world.

Can private investigators trace phone numbers?

Tracing phone numbers is a different topic altogether... In some cases we are able to trace phone numbers in order to link them to specific names or addresses. We also offer people tracing services which can be used to trace individuals for a range of different reasons. 

How can private investigators catch cheaters?

We do not offer any form of hacking services, as explained above. However, this does not mean that we cannot help to investigate infidelity and gather proof if your partner is cheating on you.

If you suspect that your partner is dishonest, then our investigators can help to monitor their activities whilst collecting photos/video as part of our personal surveillance service. In addition to surveillance, we may be able to utilise technology such as GPS trackers to check on the movements of subjects during investigations.

In addition, we also offer a facial recognition background check which in some cases can be used to locate dating website profiles, social media profiles, and even adult material featuring the faces of subjects.

Phone hacking scandals in the UK

Readers in the UK may recall having heard of the 'News Corporation scandal', during which private investigators and journalists were alleged to have hacked into phones, voicemails, and computers. The scandal resulted in private investigator Glenn Mulcaire being convicted after an eight month trial; Andy Coulson, who was former editor to the 'News of The World', was also found guilty on a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails (phone hacking). He was ultimately sentenced to 18 months in prison on July 4th 2014.

Prior to the revelation of this scandal which began in the early 2000s, issues relating to the privacy of electronic communications and data had seldom been discussed or thought about. This scandal, and the resulting criminal convictions, further highlight the need for private investigators to remain within the confines of the law at all times whilst gathering information and conducting investigations on behalf of clients.

In recent years of course, numerous more rules and regulation have come into force which govern issues relating to data privacy... Private investigators today understand exactly what they are and are not allowed to do, and no legitimate PI will ever knowingly offer an illegal service.

Are you the victim of electronic surveillance?

If you believe that someone could be taking the step to monitor you electronically by attempting to hack into your devices or accounts, then you should take steps to protect your data and privacy... Changing your passwords and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible are basic precautions that can be used.

If monitoring software has been installed on your phone or tablet, then in most cases performing a factory reset on the device will remove any unwanted spyware.

Be mindful that if an adversary is willing to take steps to hack into your devices or monitor your communications through spy software, then you should also be mindful about the possibility of them planting discreet microphones or cameras which can be used to monitor and eavesdrop on you. We offer a bug sweeping service across the UK which can be used to locate and remove electronic monitoring devices.

Related articles

Can private investigators check criminal records in the UK?

May 26, 2023 - Reading time: 6 minutes

As a leading detective agency based in the UK, we are frequently instructed by our clients to check on individuals and firms using a number of different methods and techniques. Surveillance cases are typically the bread-and-butter for most private detectives; however we can also help our clients by running comprehensive background checks and compiling data on relevant individuals... But what about criminal records? Can private investigators check criminal records?

Private investigators in the UK are not able to check criminal records without permission from the person being checked - the information is classed as private and confidential. However, a private investigator may still be able to learn about criminal cases associated with an individual without their consent using other means.

What do we mean by this? Well, private investigators are able to utilize what is known as 'open source intelligence' (OSINT) to check individuals and learn about their histories. By using records which are freely available in the public domain, the information uncovered is fully compliant and does not entail the acquisition of confidential or privileged data.

While private investigators cannot directly access police records without permission from the person being checked, we can check an individual's reputation by performing deep searches utilising newspaper and media archives. We can also search through court records, which may shed light on cases where individuals were accused in a criminal case, whether or not their court appearance resulted in a conviction.

Private Investigators UK logo with a retina scanner

Searching court records can often uncover useful information; for example, in one case we were instructed to perform a background check on our client's new partner before she took the step of allowing him to move into her property. Our checks revealed that he had recently appeared in court on charges related to sexual offending. Although our client was alarmed to receive this information, it allowed her to be forewarned and to take the steps necessary to safeguard herself.

In this case, as the subject was not yet convicted of the crime, our checks were able to unearth information where a traditional records check may not have done.

Private investigators are also able to research individuals by performing 'facial recognition background checks', which are another form of an OSINT investigation. By searching for instances of a subject's face on the surface web, we are often able to uncover previously unknown details about their histories. This check has been used by us to locate dating profiles, for example, as well as adult material and media coverage of criminal convictions. As the check relies on information which is freely available in the public domain, permission is not required from the individual being checked.

What is the difference between a CRB (DBS) check and OSINT research?

Criminal record checks (previously called 'CRB checks' and now known as 'DBS checks') can only be performed with permission from the person being checked. Many employers require their candidates to get DBS checks done before they begin employment; some employers may even arrange DBS checks themselves, however the employer will need permission from their candidates in this case.

Criminal background check application form

It is important to note that DBS checks will only show a list of previous convictions, and may not alert to pending court appearances which could result in fresh convictions. We can perform court record searches which would alert to pending court appearances without permission from the individual being checked.

What is the criteria for running a background check?

There could be many different cases where our clients request that we perform background checks which encompass reputational or court record searches on an individual. For example, if your son or daughter enters a new relationship and you have concerns about their partner - a background check could be utilised in order to check on them and bring peace of mind.

While police have strict guidelines and procedures for releasing any confidential data; private investigators are not bound by any similar procedures during the acquisition and dissemination of data which is already in the public domain. 

We are therefore able to assist in a wide range of different cases, including:

  • Pre-matrimonial background checks
  • Employment background checks for prospective employees
  • Tenant background checks
  • Nanny or babysitter background checks
  • Online dating background checks

How to proceed

If you would like a quotation for us to perform repetitional and/or court record searches on an individual, then please feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced team members for help and advice.

Important notes

Our "OSINT background check service" or "court record searches" are not CRB or DBS checks. As part of these services our researchers perform comprehensive checks of data which is in the public domain. These services do not guarantee full discovery of all criminal convictions for several reasons; firstly, some offences may not be recorded in the public domain due to their sensitive nature. In addition, offences can be wiped from the offender's record due to the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 - spent convictions are typically wiped from the records with some exceptions.

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