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'Off the charts' year for cheating: Private eye

By Jessica Nyznik, The Peterborough Examiner
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 12:44:14 EDT AM

A local private investigator has had so many calls for infidelity cases this year, he's had to turn some down. "This year is off the charts," said Peter Moore.

Moore has worked about 50 cases since January.

With evolving technology making it easier for couples to form relationships outside the marriage, Moore isn't surprised business is booming.

Recently, Toronto-based infidelity website Ashley Madison, whose tagline is "Life is short. Have an affair," was hacked by a group threatening to release information on its more than 37 million members.

Unlike the old days of one-night stands, Moore said he's noticed a shift in extramarital relationships.

They're often longer lasting and formed over time, through workplaces, kids' sporting events, online and through friendships.

Cellphones and online communication allow for relationships to grow more quickly than years past and can even grow out of what started as an innocent message or two.

"People that are texting or sexting get close to the other partner and it builds and it builds so that they can't take it anymore and they go and they do their thing," Moore said.

Cellphones are usually the easiest link to identifying an affair, said Moore.

"When there's cheating going on, the first thing that seems to happen is the cellphone is completely locked up and suddenly it's a big issue."

Phone usage also increases and cheaters will often leave the room for short periods of time to make a call or send a text.

Some cheaters will even have a second phone they leave at the office to ensure they don't get caught, Moore said.

Because Moore gets so many calls for infidelity cases these days, he said he tries to guide callers through a series of questions to see if they can come to their own conclusion first.

Some obvious signs of extramarital activity are changes in the sexual relationship, better upkeep of physical appearance like going to the gym or personal grooming, going out at strange hours, a decrease in family outings or another sign: The suspected cheater can't sit still at home and appears edgy.

To get out of the house, especially on weekends, Moore said he's heard of cheaters picking fights to be able to get away and do their thing.

Though many of Moore's prospective clients already seem to know in their gut their spouses are cheating and may even have found evidence, Moore said they always want surveillance. "They need validation, they need closure."

More often than not, Moore said, the person is cheating with someone the spouse knows. "Most of these events, I find, are often very close to home, a best friend or a neighbour."

Factoring in the 50% divorce rate along with his experience, Moore said he thinks about 50% of couples experience cheating.

He estimates he's had more than 400 cases involving adultery since he started his business in Peterborough 10 years ago, with numbers getting higher every year.

Though his calls used to come primarily from speculative wives, Moore said it's evened out throughout the years.

Proving a case of infidelity can take anywhere from one night to three weeks, depending on how much information the spouse has gathered ahead of time.

Alternatively, the hardest case to prove is a spouse that is not cheating.

"Those are the ones that give me the most stress," he said of when he comes up with nothing, often wondering if the suspected cheater is just on a break.

Though that's not the case for most of his clients, with only three out of his 50 cases this year coming up empty.

For those who think their spouse might be unfaithful, Moore recommends being careful and not jumping to conclusions.

He also says most people know deep down what's really going if they ask themselves the first question he'll ask them: "What does your heart say?"