Is Technology Killing The Cheater? PI's Reveal How They Track Digital Infidelity Trails

To Catch a Cheater: PI's Track Digital Footprints
ABCNEWS.com

Technology is killing the cheater.

Texts, tweets, posted photos can lead to trysts. Social networking sites like Facebook get a bad rap as marriage breakers, allowing us to rapidly reconnect with that high school sweetheart or meet a total stranger the minute marriages hit the doldrums.

Some say 30 percent of dating site users are cheaters.

But there is a flip side -- lipstick on the collar is no longer a cheat's biggest problem because an electronic infidelity trail is now almost impossible to erase. "Nightline" spoke with two private investigators who delve into suspected cheaters' digital footprints. They revealed what red flags they look for and how they do it.

"Privacy doesn't exist anymore," said John Nazarian, a private investigator in Los Angeles. "Technology is going to get you caught at some point."

1.
Deleted Stuff On Cell Phones Can Be Retrieved

Ed Opperman, a Colorado-based PI, said he has recovered deleted text messages, calendar updates, memos, incoming and outgoing call records and other information from cell phones of alleged cheats.

"There's a lot of information in a phone that is excellent for an infidelity investigation," Opperman said. "We want the deleted stuff, that's what we're looking for."

2.
Website Registries Can Be Combed for Email Addresses

For a fee, Opperman offers to scour dating, escort services, porn and personal ad website registries for a suspected cheat's email address through his website, emailrevealer.com.

"It is very quick," he said. "The whole search takes about 20 minutes."

3.
Long Phone Call Records Can Be a Red Flag

Don't forget about those good old fashioned phone records. Some private investigators will look through those too for clues. Nazarian said when he looks at phone bills for someone who is suspected of cheating, he takes note of the number of minutes someone is talking.

"Most cell phone calls are like a minute, two minutes, three minutes max," he said. "When you see a 30, 40, 50 minute cell phone call and that number keeps popping up, there's a problem."

4.
Cyber Honey Traps Can Be Set

Some private investigators will also try to approach a suspected cheater online to lure them or catch them in the act.

"In general, on the Internet, people think they are invisible," Opperman said. "They think they can get away with a lot. The older ones, they aren't that tech savvy and they don't realize the trail that they are leaving behind."

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