Saturday, 31 August 2013



Men & women cheat for very different reasons.  It is generally assumed that men cheat for sex but this isn't the reason, (i.e. excuse), they have given for straying.  It's also a myth that the mistress is sexier, skinnier, kinkier, or makes better chicken parmesan.  Men who have had affairs report that their wives are actually more beautiful, have better bodies, and are nicer than the "other woman". Whuhh? So guys are cheating with fat, ugly, bitches?! The men explain that they missed the little "gestures".  They say they no longer felt appreciated, needed, or noticed.  Men show their love by being the protector & they love it when their woman notices & appreciates it.  Great news ladies; no more over-priced lingerie, just let them renovate the bathroom, (but don't forget to say you really, really appreciate it).
1. Men & women cheat for the same reasons.
2. Mean cheat for sex.
3. People don't cheat if they have a fulfilling sex life at home.
4. The other woman is sexier than the wife.
5. Men cheat more often than women.

According to leading experts like
Dr. Gary Neuman, maintaining an active and fulfilling sex life does not reduce the likelihood of cheating because it is not causal in the first place. Men reported to Dr. Neuman that their sex life at home did not play a role in why they cheated.  Oddly; however, sexual fulfillment and lack of intimacy does play a role in why women cheat.
A myth about female infidelity is that they don't cheat as much as men do.  Gender no longer plays a large role in the likelihood of infidelity. 
Probably the biggest myth about why women stray is that they are looking for emotional  fulfillment.  While this may once have been the case, their reasons for looking outside their marriage for sex has changed with the times.  Increasingly, women who have been unfaithful report that they did so simply for the excitement of it - and the sex.  They report that they were bored with their lives and that the affair made them feel sexy and exhilarated.  These women were generally, unsatisfied with their marital sex-lives.  Many women admitted that they have done so more than once and may have had a series of short affairs - often with married men.
One similarity f
or both women and men, was that the most common place they met the other person was at work.

Infidelity can threaten one's health, family, finances, & even professional reputation.  The strongest protection is in knowing the truth.

Please see our previous post or our website for some NEW SIGNS OF INFIDELITY


The vast majority of my experiences with male P.I.s have been positive & there are a lot of really good ones out there.  I love being a female & I love being a P.I. but the two, together, aren't always sunshine & roses.
Some things can be categorized as, no-harm-intended, (albeit inane & misguided), "Good Ol' Boy" stuff but others simply can't be explained or excused as such..

I believe in not taking myself - or others - too seriously & in picking my battles. Some comments are made without malice & aren't meant to cause harm, (like calling me, "P.I. Barbie", or, "Barbie - P.I."; which - I have to admit; is pretty funny).  As I once theorized to a teenaged niece who was being harassed by some catty girls at school - being called "Barbie" can actually be seen as a compliment. She's a strong, intelligent, beautiful, woman with tonnes of awesome stuff. (Divorce-Barbie even comes with half of Ken's stuff).

On the other hand, there have also been sexually inappropriate remarks; namely about my - or other females' - anatomy. 

I've also had my abilities doubted, simply because of being female.

I've worked cases where things were progressing well yet a male was sent to accompany me (against my protests) for no reason other than to act as an unneeded bodyguard; resulting in a subject being so put off by the guy's presence that they simply shut down & refused to communicate further.  The male boss at the time was a nice enough guy but he just couldn't seem to get past his, (outdated), beliefs.

Women are actually perfectly suited for this type of job.  (Women's), intuition is relied upon often, as are creativity, the ability to think outside the box, problem-solving, multi-tasking, & sensitivity/ empathy.  These are typically female traits & there are even recent medical studies, (one studied 50,000 brain scans), that show no activity whatsoever in some of these areas of the male-brain)

One difference - on a lighter note; twelve-hour surveillance stretches are not out of the ordinary; of course, we are usually equipped with coffee/ tea.  Women face certain logistical challenges in this regard that men simply don't & a quick trip to a gas-station is out of the question - especially when working solo.  This is one of those instances where creativity & ingenuity are relied upon.

With this all being said, I believe that this industry is changing, in the right direction, and that male & female investigators can learn a great deal from one another.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Being a Female P.I. in a Male-Dominant Industry: The Good; The Bad; & The Ugly


The obligatory disclaimer: This is not an editorial on girls vs. boys or about who makes a better investigator.  There are plenty of great male p.i.s out there and I've been fortunate enough to have learned a lot from the best of them,
That being said; however, women tend to be more analytical, empathetic, creative, and able to multi-task. We use language and reasoning better than men and are faster and more accurate at identifying emotions*.  Women are generally intuitive and have a "sixth-sense" about people and situations. Granted, men would likely fair better than women in a physical altercation; however, (unlike t.v.), ass-kicking is not one of our general duties.
Undercover assignments:
Women don't just think differently than men; we look different than them as well, (ideally).  The significance and benefit of this can't be over-stated. Physically, I don't fit into the stereotypical mould of what a p.i. looks like which is a great advantage, especially with covert assignments
Many p.i.s are retired cops - and they look like it.  In my experience, this can be a major hindrance - especially when working on covert assignments.  Women are intuitive, analytical, and are good at remaining calm and in control under stressful situations. These are all integral qualities of a good covert agent.  Plus, on a physical level, we don't automatically arise suspicion, (and we have virtually limitless options for costumes, props, and cover-stories).  I am an independent, contemporary, woman but; at the risk of being accused of setting the woman's movement back, I admit that I have capitalized on a little flirting in the line of duty.
Interviewing & witness statements

Of course, interviewing is different from undercover work for myriad reasons.  I have witnessed both men and women react differently toward a female interviewer than they do toward a male.  It has been my experience that this is particularly so when both the interviewee and the interviewer are male. Males may change details that they believe might make them appear less manly to another guy or just refuse to speak with him at all.  I know that being a female has helped me, (and my clients), immensely when interacting with male and female victims, interviewees, and witnesses. There is an entire science about why people are more comfortable with, and more likely to divulge information to, a female - even when incriminating themselves.
Case study: Personal-injury; Client: Plaintiff
Catastrophic injuries arising from a pedestrian motor vehicle accident, (to be precise, the client would be the Plaintiff's Attorney).
Defendant driver stated to police that she had not been drinking on the day of the mva. She then disappeared. After locating her and a lengthy conversation, she admitted that she had consumed alcohol throughout the, (sunny), day - including right up until a few minutes before driving.
Another defendant had provided an alibi as to his whereabouts. When I showed up on is doorstep, he invited me in for tea and admitted that he had lied in his initial statement.  I had produced I.D. and identified myself  as representing the other side yet he completely incriminated himself and tanked his case. 
Divorce, child-support, hidden earnings/ assets, and infidelity cases:
At risk of sounding bitter, I can personally relate to, (both male and female), clients in these types of cases.  My own, prolonged, experience included all of these things. FMEP was fully aware of the fact that the ex earned over $100,000 per year yet on the day they attached a judgment, (finally, after 6 years), his income suddenly, (and fraudulently), decreased to $50,000 per year - for the same job, company, title, duties, and hours.
The fact that I can relate so closely is actually of benefit to clients because, in addition to being able to empathize with them, I have the first-hand experience and information to draw upon in order to help them with their case.

Access Supervision:

Being a woman and a Mom has been a huge benefit in this highly sensitive and specialized area of child-protection. Children seem to be more comfortable - and comforted - with a woman supervisor. Custodial parents advise that they feel that a woman/ Mom understands their anxiety and that they are comforted in knowing that their child is with another Mom.  Non-custodial or supervised parents, (men and women), also seem to feel less anxiety, challenged, and alienated. Being a woman, (and a Mom), allows the ability to pick up on the smallest  and most subtle of non-verbal queues from both the child and the parent. 
I love being both a woman and a private investigator; however, it's not all cake and ice-cream - but I'll leave that for my next post

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Divorce: Child Custody, Support, and Access, (including Access Supervision).

Over the past 6 years or so, there has been a noted increase in divorce and custody-related investigations & services. These can involve child or spousal-support, custody, and access, (including access supervision)The breakdown of a marriage or relationship can be devastating but when it is compounded by the breakdown of communication and respect, it can also become extremely contentious - especially when child custody is involved.

We provide a number of vital Divorce & Custody-related investigations & services involving:          
  • Unreported & under-reported income
  • Hidden employment         
  • Child-custody & access
  • Access Supervision *
  • Child safety & protection
  • Infidelity 
  • Exit-strategy & lifestyle analysis
  • Hidden or misrepresented assets
*Access supervision or supervised access

Every child has the right to develop positive and nurturing bonds with parents, (custodial and non-custodial). 
Supervised access involves a concern for a child's safety and an Order stating that visitation between child(ren) and a parent must be supervised

Supervised access may be ordered if:

  • the parent & child haven't had contact for a long time - if ever - & may need help establishing a relationship.
  • there is a concern, or history, of substance abuse
  • the parent has questionable or limited parenting skills  
  • there is a concern regarding abduction 
  • there is concern, or a history, of an unfit or unsafe environment or third party
  • there is a concern, or history, of non-adherence to Court Orders.
  • there is a concern, or history, of neglect, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
Child Support is calculated and based on income level.  Family maintenance does not investigate; they simply attach judgment, (garnish), based on reported incomeIf you have not already done so, you can find out how much support your child(ren) is due, per F.M.E.P. guidelines, @ F.M.E.P. Child Support Calculator.

There are a number of ways by which a payer (the person ordered to pay support) may
fraudulently hide or reduce earnings or assets in an attempt to avoid or reduce assessed support.

The Payer may: work under the table or off the books, work on a contract basis, reduce hours, report fraudulently reduced hours, fail to report bonuses or other taxable income, obtain the assistance of an unscrupulous employer, or even by getting paid under someone else's name.  .

People may also attempt to misrepresent, hide, or transfer ownership of assets in an attempt to avoid a division of said assets in a divorce. 


Friday, 5 July 2013

Romance Scams & Online Dating Scams

Both In-Person Romance & Online Dating scams can leave your heart, your finances, and your life in ruins. These scams can also cause emotional damage and embarrassment for victims, which also leads to underreporting of the crime.

In both cases, the scammer generally takes months to groom the victim.

With the growth of online dating and social networking sites, incidents of romance scams are on the rise. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost almost $15 million dollars to romance scams in 2012. 

The In-Person Romance Scam:
The victim is led to believe that they are entering into a legitimate relationship. 
The relationship will usually "progress" quickly; with the victim feeling as though they've been swept off their feet. The scammer, (male & female), professes to be in love with the victim very quickly.  They usually give a convincing story explaining their current, temporary, living arrangements and are vague about details involving employment and family, (whom the victim will likely never meet).  The scammer may seem very helpful and may offer to run all of the victim's errands, including purchases with the victim's debit or credit card. Within a very short time, the victim ends up supporting or "helping out" the scammer.  The scammer will then disappear with the victim's belongings, funds and resources.

A Client's case: the new "boyfriend" was allowed to stay with the victim after losing his temporary living arrangement. Shortly thereafter, he lost his job but swore he would quickly find another. Within a couple of weeks, the victim was "temporarily" paying for everything as well as making a number of purchases for "their" home while he looked for employment. Soon after, the victim returned from work one day to find her home cleaned out.  Gone was the scammer and all of the items she bought, (t.v. electronics, laptop...).  Also gone were here debit and a credit card, (he'd offered to pick up her prescriptions with her debit card & she hadn't discovered her credit card missing ).  By the time she called her bank and credit card company, they'd pretty much been cleaned out or maxed out.  Her bank was unsympathetic because she had given out her PIN, contrary to her banking agreement.  The credit card company was more sympathetic but she was out thousands of dollars in a few short months. On top of it all - she was broken-hearted. Once she hired us, we discovered that this guy had been unemployed all along, had convictions for theft, and had a history of scamming women, (plus a number of lawsuits).  If she'd only known how cheaply, quickly, & easily we could have run the background checks.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:

Online Dating Scams: the No. 1 consumer fraud for the last three years in terms of money lost, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says.
Scammers prowl legitimate online dating sites "like vultures" waiting to strike, said Daniel Williams, a supervisor at the anti-fraud centre in North Bay, Ont.
It can take months of relationship building before the scammer asks a trusting person for money to get out of a jam, Williams said.

The scenario can be that the partner is working overseas and needs some short-term cash, or there's been an accident and needs to pay hospital bills, he said.

"Would you be a dear - we've already fallen in love - and send me $1,500 to tide things over until I get back," said Williams, describing the pitch.

"As long as they think there's another dollar to be had, they will drain you dry," he said.
And the impact can go beyond losing money.
"The emotional toll is beyond belief. We've had suicides in all of the various fraud types."
Williams said the perpetrators of fraud scams are members of organized crime worldwide.

How Romance Scams Work

In a romance scam, scammers trick victims into believing they have romantic intentions. They gain a victim’s trust, and use that trust to commit fraud or cheat victims out of money.

A romance scammer will use dating websites to find targets. They communicate with potential victims using fake photos and profiles, often claiming to be in a foreign country. For several months, scammers communicate with their victims, sharing phoney details of their lives and intentions.

Once they have gained a target’s trust, scammers will make up a story in order to ask for money. They can claim to need money for a medical emergency or to cover the expenses of a civil court case. Or, they may claim to be making plans for a visit and ask for money to cover travel expenses.

Other times, scammers don’t ask for money directly. They can ask for help cashing a cheque, for example. In this case, they will forward a counterfeit cheque to a victim in an effort to get him or her to send back cash via a wire service

Warning Signs
  • Scammers often tell victims that they are from Canada or the United States but living in a foreign country
  • They ask victims to quickly leave a dating site and communicate another way, usually by cellphone, instant messages or email
  • Scammers often claim to have fallen in love with a victim after a very short period of time – often a couple of weeks – and without ever meeting in person
  • A scammer may try to isolate a victim from family for friends, saying that others may not approve of the relationship and try to break it up
  • A scammer may also ask for provocative photos of the victim, which they may attempt to use later on to extort money
  • Before asking for money directly, a scammer may ask for a small gift. This is a test to see if they are dealing with an ideal target
  • Requests for money to be wired to another country or for cheques to be cashed are the number one sign of a romance scam.

Protect Yourself

  • Inform yourself on the warning signs of a romance scam and use a reputable online dating service.
  • Don’t send cash through the mail or wire service and don’t cash cheques for a person you have never met.
  • Use your computer to your advantage. Check a person’s name, the company they work for and their address, and question if things don’t seem right.
  • Be wary of anyone whose phone number is not from the country they claim to be from or living in. Check country and area codes online or with your telephone service provider.
  • Ignore or block anyone with whom you do not want to communicate.
  • Keep all emails, instant messages and receipts. Reporting agencies may need copies of these as evidence.
If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and your local police.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Accidentally on purpose

I know it may be controversial but that doesn't make it any less true.  I'm a woman but I admit; some of us can be pretty scandalous.  When people cheat, they may do things intentionally or subconsciously in order to get caught because they believe its easier than having to bring it up & handle it themselves. Then.... there are people who intentionally get their partner caught.  I have actually come across the following; both professionally AND personally.  Example: a woman, (mistress), is waiting for her lover to leave his wife yet it has not happened, (wake up, Honey, it ain't going to). While in her lover's vehicle, she, "accidentally", leaves an item of hers for the wife to find.  These photos, from one case, show a lipbalm, which was down the side of the passenger seat in the client's husband's vehicle, (to ensure that she found it, of course, & not the husband).  Even worse, the bracelet was actually found in her own vehicle!!  Not only was her husband having an affair but he, incredibly, (& incredibly stupidly), allowed his mistress to use his wife's car when she was out of town!!  The husband ditched the mistress immediately, although the client didn't take him back.  My advice to someone who feels there's something just not right in their relationship: keep your eyes open, (& don't believe the "I swear, I just gave a girl a ride home to make sure she was safe", story).  To those contemplating such a manoeuvre in hopes it will result in your lover leaving the wife or husband for you: bad idea;  it's not particularly effective or original.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Signs of Cheating

Of course, if some of these signs apply to your situation, it doesn't automatically mean your partner is cheating on you.  But if....

He or she:
  1. Has a cell phone but no bill (may be a new "work" phone) 
  2. Has a separate credit card from you but no bills come to the house.
  3. You stop seeing or receiving bills for existing credit cards or cell phones.
  4. Starts putting passwords on email accounts
  5. Changes passwords for Facebook or online bills & accounts.
  6. Erases the browsing history on the computer after use.
  7. Quickly exits the screen when you walk in (cheater sites have emergency exit buttons).
  8. Allows calls go to voicemail or ignores texts for no reason. 
  9. Increases time spent on computer or phone. Wants privacy doing it.
  10. Becomes moody; picks fights; & storms out.
  11. Finds excuses to leave the house.
  12. Increase in work hours, not reflected in pay.
  13. Suddenly very interested in your schedule.
  14. Requests for you to try new clothes; hairstyle; sex acts.
  15. Jealous or possessive of you.
  16. Sudden change, improvement, or interest in appearance.
  17. Change in music (radio stations); hobbies; interests.
  18. His or her family & mutual friends start acting "weird" around you. 
  19. Time that can't be accounted for.
  20. Most affairs are with co-workers; may bring the other person up in conversation.
  21. Money in joint accounts unaccounted for. 
  22. Finding items (mistresses have been known to "mistakenly" drop an earring in the car).
  23. The radio station; passenger seat, or mirror position changed.
  24. If your GUT tells you!  Listen to your instincts

Axiom investigations

Men & women cheat for very different reasons.  It is generally assumed that men cheat for sex but this isn't the reason, (i.e. excuse), they have given for straying.  It's also a myth that the mistress is sexier, skinnier, kinkier, or makes better chicken parmesan.  Men who have had affairs report that their wives are actually more beautiful, have better bodies, and are nicer people than the "other woman". WTF?! So these guys are cheating with a bunch of fat, ugly, bitches?!
These men explain that they missed the little "gestures" & feeling appreciated.  They say they no longer felt wanted, needed, or noticed.  Men show their love by being the protector & they love it when their woman notices & appreciates it.  Great news ladies; no more over-priced lingerie, just let them renovate the bathroom, (but don't forget to say you really, really appreciate it).