The Reality Of Hiring A Private Investigator

A Reddit user is sharing his experience in a thread with 10,000+ comments and replies; the man did not disclose his name, but he did detail the account of his wife, Jenny, cheating, or at least he shared as much as he knows, thanks to a professional private investigator (PI).

While thousands of users lived vicariously through him (it seems a fair share of Americans want a reason to hire a private detective) or sadistically prodded the anonymous user for more information, at least one valid question did come out of the whole thing. What really happens when you hire a cheating spouse investigator?

The Fiction: Private Detectives Follow Cheaters With A Van And Camera Crew
Although the popular reality TV show has been juggled from network to network — perhaps for its scandalous content — just about everyone has seen at least one episode. A private detective or private detective agency, typically concealed inside of an unmarked van, uses hidden cameras to monitor a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or romantic partner who is potentially cheating. Once they are caught red-handed, the detective helps clients confront their partner in a public space with their lover.

In reality, detectives and investigators today often rely on computers and devices as much as possible. A professional private investigator may be able to read texts and emails and discover infidelity that way, without risking being seen.

The Fiction: Investigators Tail People In Cars (Think Mike From Breaking Bad)
Yes, investigators may tail people from time to time — but it’s not the bulk of the job, like many people think. Instead of tailing people in cars, many modern private investigators perform background checks. Some do this for potential employers, and some even provide the same services for people on online dating sites, so they can have some peace of mind about who they are meeting.

More Investigations Fueled By Dating Websites

What are premarital background checks? While the idea may sound somewhat ridiculous — for many — it’s not. In fact, the practice is steadily gaining popularity as more Americans meet romantic partners on the Web. Illinois private detectives and investigators tell The Wall Street Journal that rich clients in particular often come to them, saying they “have a lot of assets to protect and a lot to lose if something goes wrong [in a potential marriage].” The estimated 45,000 investigators all across the U.S. are also noting the trend.

What Do People Want To Know Before They Commit To A Relationship?
Why exactly do people hire a professional private investigator before entering a relationship? The vast majority of people want to know if potential interests have a criminal history. Some want to make certain would-be partners aren’t living double lives, meaning that they aren’t already married, or — worse — already married with children. Others would rather know upfront if a new partner is hiding large amounts of debt or bad credit.

Cheating Is Not As Straightforward As You Think
While these kinds of cases are on the rise, the vast majority of detectives well-versed in romance conduct infidelity investigations. And these investigations can be complex and varied (that is, very different from what you see on shows like “Cheaters”). For instance, more spouses are choosing to hire a professional private investigator for financial cheating. In other words, detectives help find out where missing money is going. Some husbands and wives make large purchases without telling each other, and others have bank accounts and credit cards the other one doesn’t know about. According to CNN, one-fifth of married men and women have made at least one purchase of $500 or more without telling their other half.

The internet and dating sites are creating a high-demand for private detectives — particularly when it comes to investigating potential romantic partners or even future spouses. Financial cheating is more popular than ever, and detectives can help clients get to the bottom of it.