Affair-busting private investigator claims there’s more infidelity than ever under the COVID-19 lockdown – and reveals how cheaters are getting away with it
- Private investigator noticed a rise of infidelity cases despite COVID-19 lockdown
- Julia Hartley Moore has been carrying out surveillance jobs over two decades
- But with the world in shutdown, many are starting to notice signs around home
- She said couples are being forced to live in close proximity during isolation
A high-profile private investigator has claimed there’s been a startling rise in infidelity cases during the coronavirus lockdown.
Julia Hartley Moore, from New Zealand, charges up to $5,000 per client for her services with her private investigation company where she has been carrying out surveillance jobs for two decades.
But with the world in shutdown, she said many suspicious partners are starting to notice things about their spouses they would normally overlook as they’re being forced to live in close proximity during isolation.
A growing number of her clients are suspecting their spouses are having an affair because it’s ‘becoming increasingly obvious they are not just taking work calls’ while cheaters are using things like exercise or grocery shopping as excuses to leave the house.
‘Changes in behaviour are often a key indicator of an affair. Things like never letting you near their mobile phone or being secretive about its use, for instance,’ Ms Hartley Moore told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The coronavirus lockdown means people who are having affairs will be desperate to concoct reasons to get away from their partners. A classic is to start an argument and then claim they need to go out to “cool down”.’
High profile private investigator Julia Hartley Moore (pictured) has noticed a startling rise of infidelity cases despite the coronavirus lockdown
The signs your spouse is cheating on you during isolation
- Changes in behaviour
- Things like never letting you near their mobile phone or being secretive about it’s use for instance
- People who are having affairs will be desperate to concoct reasons to get away from their partners
- A classic example is to start an argument and then claim they need to go out to ‘cool down’
- They show signs of resentment because they are now having to spend so much time with their wife or husband instead of their extramarital partner
She said cheaters tend to be risk takers as ‘all sorts of unseen consequences result from a normal affair’, so may be undeterred by self-isolation or the chance of contracting COVID-19.
‘The risk of STIs and pregnancy, not to mention the emotional damage affairs can cause to whole families,’ she said.
‘But people take that risk every day. Adding a potentially life-threatening disease to the mix no doubt makes some stop to think, but not all.’
Despite travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines put in place, she said cheaters are still continuing on with their affairs knowing they are risking their own health.
‘Of course they are. Are people really capable of putting intense physical relationships on hold for months? Where there is a will, people will always try to find a way,’ she said.
‘Even with travel restrictions, cheaters who are also owners of investment properties, holiday homes, boats or businesses have ready made locations and potential excuses to use them as cover for affairs.
‘An affair at the moment will mean close physical contact with someone outside your bubble, potentially exposing your loved ones and others to COVID-19. I don’t even want to think about how selfish that is.’
She said cheaters are now online in ‘bigger numbers than ever before’, using apps such as Viber, WhatsApp and Zoom to communicate with their lovers.
But with the world in shutdown, the PI said many suspicious husbands and wives are starting to notice things about their spouses they would normally overlook
One of Ms Hartley Moore’s clients, Mike* revealed an elderly couple caught his wife and her lover having sex in a wooded area metres from a walking path just last week.
‘She’s got a very responsible job for goodness sake, the betrayal’s bad enough but I can’t believe the stupidity of it,’ Mike said.
Mike said his wife would insist she did the grocery shopping or go out for a walk by herself claiming she needed ‘me time’.
Since the outbreak, Ms Hartley Moore has seen a spike of online enquiries at her firm.
‘I put that down to the fact it’s harder to make a phone call to us when your partner is in the same room,’ she said.
Ms Hartley Moore said the coronavirus crisis has also impacted on the way private investigators can operate.
‘For instance one of our most useful tools is physical surveillance but with the lockdown, that’s no longer an option for us,’ she explained.
‘So we are focusing on GPS tracker cases for instance, and tracing, background checks, anything we can work on remotely – the enquiries for that stuff are through the roof.’
Julia Hartley Moore and her team work in a range of services, including infidelity investigations, missing persons cases, and computer and mobile phone forensics.
*Name has been changed