How Private Investigators Catch Cheating Partners

April 23, 2022 - Reading time: 7 minutes

As a leading private detective agency based in the UK, we handle a wide range of different cases from private and corporate clients, such as surveillance, background checks, process serving, and many other services. However, cheating partner investigations remain one of our most popular services.

There is nothing worse than suspecting your partner of cheating on you, and for many people who suspect their partner of committing infidelity, a private investigator will be able to find answers to their questions and to gather proof in the process.

Though much can depend on the circumstances in each case, in this article we will explore some of the most common methods used by private investigators to catch cheating partners.

1. Personal surveillance

More often than not, when private investigators are asked to catch a cheating partner, we will use an element of “personal surveillance”. During personal surveillance an investigator will monitor the subject whilst taking photos/video as evidence of their activities.

Surveillance can be either static or mobile. During static surveillance the investigator will find a suitable location to monitor a property or subject while remaining static and not moving.

Private investigator taking a photo of a cheating partner

During mobile surveillance on the other hand, the investigator will actively follow the subject in order to check and record their movements. Mobile surveillance can be conducted using specially adapted vehicles, motorcycles, or even on foot or using public transport, depending on the location and circumstances in each case. We ask that all clients advise us of the subject's most likely mode of transportation, and any locations which they may visit, at the time of booking surveillance; this information will allow us to plan and select the best agent for the job.

The goal for any investigator during surveillance is to be discreet and remain unseen by the subject of the investigation or any onlookers. A competent investigator will usually terminate surveillance if they feel that the subject might be suspicious of them or if they begin to draw unwanted attention.

Many detective agencies offer surveillance using one field agent as a starting point, others may only provide multiple agents depending on their client’s budget and the circumstances of the case.

During surveillance it is almost always beneficial to have multiple agents working on the case at any one time. If we think about how police surveillance operations are depicted in films or television, they typically use a team consisting of several units who will each be assigned different roles within the case... In order to remain discreet, a team member will follow a subject or subject vehicle until a certain point when another agent will take over for a suitable time before being replaced with another agent, and so on.

Suffice it to say that surveillance cases which are conducted by private investigators are often constrained by smaller budgets.

In many cases single agents are able to collect desirable evidence, however much depends on the unique circumstances in each case, and the environment that we are working in.

2. Using GPS trackers

GPS tracking devices are often used by private investigators in order to track vehicles and subjects during infidelity investigations.

Holding a GPS tracker in front of a Mercedes car

GPS trackers can be used to compliment surveillance cases, and ultimately to save money by starting surveillance at specific times where the subject is most likely to be caught in a compromising situation.

Although trackers are typically used in order to compliment surveillance, they can also be used as a standalone service in order to check that a spouse is being faithful. Read our blog post about GPS tracking devices or get in touch with us and request a free quote.

3. During honeypot investigations

Whereas surveillance simply involves watching a subject and following them around, during honeypot investigations the agent will take more of a proactive role in the case and act as a decoy… ‘Honeypot’ investigations would typically involve an agent speaking to the subject and propositioning them directly.

The type of decoy used (whether they are male, female, and their age) will vary depending on the subject in each case. Female private investigators are often used in such cases.

When performed correctly, honeypot investigations can provide a cost-effective solution to testing the faithfulness of your partner, and provide clear answers about their behaviour.

Honeypot investigations may involve:

  • Approaching the subject during a night out, at a pub, bar, or nightclub
  • Making contact with the subject through social media in order to test their response
  • Approaching the subject during a holiday abroad

Honeypot investigations should always take place with consideration for the environment, the subject, and the subject’s tastes.

Should you use a private investigator to catch a cheating partner?

Of course, the answer to this question varies from person to person… Can you live with the suspicion that your partner might be cheating on you? Many of our clients suffer from feelings of doubt and would rather find out for sure one way or the other.

Being involved in a relationship with a partner that is disloyal can often cause untold emotions of hurt and turmoil, which may cause problems during further romances - hiring a private investigator allows our clients to effectively tip the balance back into their favour, to find out the truth and to proceed accordingly. All investigations conducted by us are done so with total confidentiality and discretion. 

How much does it cost for a private investigator to catch a cheating partner?

Professional fees charged by private investigators can vary greatly depending on your jurisdiction and area. In surveillance cases it can be very difficult to predict the total amount of hours or days of surveillance that might be needed in order to gather evidence that you are happy with. And the cost will depend on the hourly/day rate that you pay an investigator.

For investigations in the UK, we have written a blog post “How much does it cost to catch a cheating partner?” which delves deeper into this subject, although surveillance fees can vary from case to case.

Signs that your partner is cheating on you

If you suspect that your partner might be cheating on you, then there are some very subtle signs which you can look which might indicate their true feelings.

For more information on this subject please read through our blog post entitled 10 surprising red flags that your partner is cheating on you.

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