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How to Be Your Own Private Investigator- Catch a Cheater

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Protect Yourself From Cheating Spouses, Abusive Nannies, Bad Neighbors, and Dishonest Employees.

Advancements in portable technology now make it possible to be your own private detective and catch a cheat. . Many people pay thousands of dollars each year to private detectives. New devices and some creativity make it easy to do everything from surveillance to Internet tracking on your own.

Whether you question the fidelity of your spouse, need to find a person, want to ensure your nanny is treating your child well, or you want to monitor your kids when you are not home, there are many new devices you can use on your own.

Locating A Person

Aside from checking social networking sites, there are many Internet databases that will find someone you are seeking, normally for free. The following sites will give you addresses, phone numbers, and family members of someone you may be searching for:

Nanny Cams

Nothing is more important than knowing your child is being well cared for by everyone who comes into your home. If you have a "gut" feeling that something is not right or you just want to be doubt free about the welfare of a child, new, sleek, well hidden "nanny cams" are available to erase your concerns. These devices are also useful in monitoring the care of elderly patients at home and in nursing homes and pets who can't tell you their needs aren't being met.

The best devices are motion activated so you don't need to watch hours and hours of material. If your child is being cared for at night, many cameras will record in automatic night vision. Cameras can be purchased with internal memory so you can retrieve a card from inside it and play it on a computer, or you can get a camera that transmits video feed directly to a computer or t.v. that you can monitor in live action.

Self Investigating Cheating Spouses

Nothing in life is more gut wrenching than suspecting your spouse or significant other is cheating on you and not being able to do anything about it. If you have researched the signs of adulterous behavior and you want to find the truth about your spouse's actions or do a preliminary "scut" to see if it is worthwhile to hire a private investigator, there are many things you can do to ease your mind or prepare for an investigation. Before you employ these techniques, you must be able to handle the fact that you may find something troubling. If you think you may have a hard time not reacting negatively to a discovery, you may want to have a trusted friend analyze the material you collect or hire a professional.

Strange Phone Calls

If you discover unknown numbers on your spouse's cell phone, there are many sites that will give you the caller's name and address. Some sites are free and some charge a small reporting fee. Popular sites are:

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Tracking Whereabouts During Those Unusual Late Night Business Meetings:

If you suspect your spouse is not telling you the truth about late night meetings and etc.., you can start recording his or her mileage to see if it is congruent with what they are telling you.

If your mate has excessive travel, is never where they say they are going to be, going on unusual night trips, or has excessive mileage on their car when they are supposed to be at work, you can purchase a GPS tracking device that you can place in his or her belongings or attach to their car. This device will provide you with an exact satellite tracked location to your computer or cell phone. You will know exactly where your mate is at all times.

Internet Relationships (and child Internet monitoring)

If you suspect your mate is doing inappropriate things on the Internet, you can install a hidden keystroke logger that will not only record everything your mate types, but now captures "screenshots" of everything your mate looks at during his or her session on the computer. New programs are much more user friendly than those that debuted 10 years ago.

Lie Detection Software

The power of the polygraph is now available for everyone to use in various software programs that monitor the things your mate says to you. Normally referred to as "Truth Detection Software", such programs like the X13 VSA is designed to be easy to use by average people. This software unknowingly records and analyzes conversations and provides a detailed report of whether your mate is being truthful about questions you ask. These programs recognize all languages.

Digital Voice Recorders

One of the most valuable tools you can easily use to test someone's activities when they are out of site is to use a digital voice recorder. New recorders are user friendly and self contained. You can either listen to collected materials straight from the device, or plug them into your computer and save the data you collect. Those that are voice activated are the best and will save you from listening to hours of silence.

If you suspect your mate is cheating, is best to buy more than one of these devices. You can place them in your mate's car, luggage, or anywhere they go to make private phone calls.

Hidden Cameras

If you fear your mate is cheating one of the best ways to gather information is by hidden video cameras. Seeing is believing and when faced with footage, there is no way your mate can deny the video evidence.

There are many types of cameras available in many price ranges. Motion activated cameras are always best as they conserve space for actual activity and keep you from having to monitor hours of useless footage.

Night vision cameras are more expensive but a worthwhile investment.

Cameras can be hidden under bookshelves, in blinds, electronics, and decorations. You will want to cover all areas where intimate moments may occur. If you are collecting information for a divorce proceeding, it is important to not record with your videos. Most conversations taped without a person's knowledge are inadmissible and in some states, illegal.

Dishonest Employees and Bosses

Business and public places of employment have and advantage when it comes to hiring employees with extensive background checks. Measures are often in place to monitor businesses such as surveillance and network email recorders.

For smaller businesses without such precedents in place, there are many undetectable devices an employer.. or an employee who is being treated unfairly or sexually harassed.. can use at work.

Please note, if you are trying to gather evidence for court or witness criminal behavior, it is best to utilize professions and get the police involved. The recommendations here are to satisfy your own need to know. Each state has different laws and not all evidence is admissible in court, especially voice recordings. It is illegal to take photos in places where alcohol is served or by peeking through a person's window.


Robert Remy from Eagle River, Alaska on September 02, 2017:

You can do a lot of this on your own; but a strong sense of self is key. I have an agency in Alaska for 5 years strong; BBB A+; and it is true. A lot of this can be done on your own and I always recommend everyone try to do the most they can on their own before throwing money at anyone. I have some tips on my site:

Hope Freeman on August 30, 2016:

Okay I need help before I lose my mind!!! So my husband works out of town, he works two hours away. Stays in same hotel room all the time. He is a very observant person anyway, but now that I made the mistake of accusing him he seems to be a little paranoid. He switched from contract smart phone to a old prepaid tracfone that is a flip phone , carries with him to bathroom or often leaves in his truck and hides truck keys. He also hides his wallet , and I have never went in his wallet. And he knows this. I asked why he woke let me use phone or why he hides it when he claims he never talks to anyone. Yes I know another mistake. So I am thinking I need to record the landline phone in his hotel room. He thinks I am a technology genius. Lol.... So he would definitely check his phone jack to see if recorder on it. I do not think he is cheating in his hotel because I have shown up in middle of night ,any times to stay and yes even got caught spying in parking lot once. Ugh so many mistakes!! So I need to know if there is a way to record landline calls by placing device inside the phone. Also, is there a way I can video and audio secretly inside his truck, the truck is in my name BTW. Any help would be greaTly appreciated

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 15, 2012:

Great point pagesvoice. I didn't consider disability fraud as a user of these resources. I bet you have seen so much. I have considered opening a business but the thought of theft by employees and the general public scared me. Your comments are sad, but they enforce my hesitation. Selling online is a better option because it takes that problem out of the equation. Thanks for pointing these things out!

Dennis L. Page from New York/Pennsylvania border on June 15, 2012:

We sure do live in a technologically advancing world and you certainly did a fantastic job in touching upon the instruments to use for doing your own investigative work.

Years ago I would send out a 2 person team to video suspected disability fraud cases. Shoot, I caught people with alleged bad backs jockeying their campers onto the beds of pick up trucks, carrying roofing shingles up a ladder and scrubbing the chrome on the wheels of their Cadillacs. It was a game of wits and was a blast when I beat them.

When I owned my salon I wish I had a video cam. When you operate a small business (mine was 10 employees) employee theft can kill you. One particular worker robbed me blind, but I could never prove it until I saw her wearing one of my gemstones in a nail piercing. She was fired on the spot.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on May 31, 2012:

Thanks for reading and commenting Msmillar. Teens are notorious for telling whoppers. Not all, but some. I hope it helps!

Joanna from Wilseyville on May 31, 2012:

Girrrll, I gotta get one of them lie detectors you wrote about. I have three kids that are just stepping into "teen-hood" and I think it'll help cut through some of the bull associated with it. Kids!

Nice Hub!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on May 07, 2012:

These will make great investments Realhousewife. It is a real shame we need to protecto ourselves at this level, but we really do. I bet the I Spy Guy does have an interesting job, especially if he hears everyone's stories and does the installation. LOL! Thanks so much for your visit.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on May 06, 2012:

Too funny Tammy - I just ordered a set of 4 security cameras with infrared - audio and video! It has it's own external hard drive where the info is fed. This place is going to be wired as tightly as Fort Knox. I already have the indoor security but I bought expensive patio furniture and a gazebo and I want to make sure it doesn get messed with when I'm not home:)

I love your ideas...there's a guy down the street who drives a van and it says I Spy Electronics on it...I bet he has an interesting job! Lol

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on May 06, 2012:

Thanks so much for your fun comment Molometer! Imagine the things we don't realize that people are doing.

molometer on May 06, 2012:

I think I will get into the private dick business, just for the cool gadgets. Nice work Tammy or should I call you Miss Marple? lol

Great hub and very entertaining. The things people get up to hey?

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on March 07, 2012:

Hi Kimberlybosgat. Thanks for your comment. These items would be purchased from a seller on Amazon. I don't sell these things. You can get them on Ebay also. Thanks for your visit!

Michael Lv from China on March 07, 2012:

How did you get that and made that, really useful, the amzaon things for you would be from your website?

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

Thanks for reading Randomcreative!People better be on their best behavior!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 06, 2012:

It's amazing how many of these kind of gadgets are available to the general public now. Culprits beware!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

Thanks Ms. Deborah. This is good to know if you write about detectives too. Thanks so much for your visit!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

Thanks Alocsin. The worst site of all for exposing all your personal information is Spokeo. You will want to make sure you are not listed on that site. Freaky! Thanks for the read and response.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

Thanks for reading Alecia and I am glad you don't need it!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

Thank you Daisy. That is appreciated!

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on February 06, 2012:

wow this is awesome.. this is great, so when I want to track someone wow. I am book marking this.

voted up


Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 06, 2012:

What's scary is all the public information they have on those websites about yourselves despite all efforts you may take to hide it. It even includes, horror of horrors, your BIRTH YEAR! Voting this Up and Useful.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

I feel like busting out into "Private Eyes" by Hall and Oates. This is useful but fortunately not for me right now! It's sad that you have to do this in order to trust someone but that's the age we live in now. Great Hub!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on February 06, 2012:

Wow! What a great article! I must hurry up and share it with my followers.

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on January 31, 2012:

now, there's an idea... ;-0

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 05, 2012:

LOL.. and I will maximize my earning potential while I do it.. I will create a day care and take them all with me... You crack me up PDX!

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on January 04, 2012:

ah, another reason not to have kids..... although, you could always keep the little one in a car seat with a bottle while you use your binoculars and watch men cheat on their wives.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 21, 2011:

Me too PDX. It is possible with 3 years training. I have considered it but as a mom I can't be out late at night. Thank you for reading!

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on December 21, 2011:

i always though being a P.I. would be one of the coolest jobs ever

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 10, 2011:

Wow.. you don't look old enough to have kids that old. Tomorrow is a big day! Yes mam.. My boys are 18, 19, 20 and my baby girl is 2 and spoiled rotten. You need a baby girl.. they are WONDERFUL!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 10, 2011:

I have twins that are 23 and my youngest turns 19 tomorrow. Here the drinking age is 19 .... not looking forward to this one turning 19 as he likes to drink lol. You have 3 boys and one girl right?

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 10, 2011:

Me too Susan.. I would have burned up the software with my three.. How many boys do you have and how old are they? I think as parents we like to believe the best about our kids.. looking back.. I know exactly what you mean!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 10, 2011:

I sure could have used that lie detection software when my boys were younger. I never thought they lied to me. How silly I was :). Enjoyed your hub and I never knew that one could buy so much to spy either.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 10, 2011:

It is dahoglund.. and we haven't even yet explored how the government and "Big Brother" watch us.. :) Thank you for commenting.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on December 10, 2011:

Interesting. It is almost scary that so much exists to spy on each other.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2011:

That is very funny DC.. Makes you what Walmart security has to watch all day Thanks for reading!

Kristy Callan from Australia on December 09, 2011:

Some very good resources. A fascinating article!

But I get the heebie-jeebies thinking that when I babysit, someone may be recording me.

Not because I'm doing anything terrible... but I do do stuff I wouldn't do if someone was watching me. Like attending to an itch on the inside of my nose, etc.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2011:

Well, it is still special..

You know what they say, when you quit looking for love, that is when you find it. If you put positive vibes out into the universe, you will get positivity back.. :)

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on December 09, 2011:

Hey Tammy, "Hubber of the Day" is only in our group on Facebook. It's not on HubPages. But, I do appreciate your kindness. I've never had a Hub recognized for HubNuggets election or Hub of the Day. As for bookmarking your hub? Naw...the likelihood I'll ever get married is slim to none and slim went on a permanent vacation. LOL! As for having nosy neighbors or creepy people living around me? I live in a fairly quiet neighborhood, except for the bar around the corner from my apartment. And, as for the drama? I get plenty from my own family, why in the world would I want to recognize drama brought on by other people. LOL!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2011:

Yes, you are the Hubber of the Day! Hooray for you!

You may want to bookmark this site then for when you do get married and have children and a Swedish Nanny.

Not even one creepy neighbor you need to keep an eye on? Gosh, we must get some drama in your life!!! :) Kidding..

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on December 09, 2011:

You're quite welcome. On a side note, what accolade are you making reference to? I'm only asking because I'm unsure which one you're talking about. My "Hubbie Award"? Please do tell. ;) :D Btw- the reason I have no need for these tactics is because one I'm not married(not in a relationship), two I'm not working for someone else and three I've no children. LOL! ;)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2011:

Thank you Casgil.. I appreciate the visit. Congrats to you on your accolade. You really deserve it. I am glad you don't need any of these tactics.

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on December 09, 2011:

Hey Tammy, you have a lot of detail in your hub, which is a very useful trait for those who will need it. Good job! ;) I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, which I have no need for any of them. LOL! :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2011:

Hi Ashley! The possibilities are endless.. if you can handle the truth. Thank you for reading it!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 09, 2011:

LMAO!! Ewwww! :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2011:

Thank you P.I. Sunshine.. I appreciate it! You brighten the dreariest room. Does Dr. Sunshine seek medical gadgets? I will let you in on a little secret about medical gadgets... You know what the biggest difference is between oral and rectal thermometers? The taste.. :)

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 09, 2011:

These gadgets and info are just what Sunshine P.I. needs when she has a job to do! Excellent hub Tammy! BTW... Dr. Sunshine would appreciate a gadget hub one day:)

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