Private Investigators and Honeytrapping

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Is honeytrapping an effective way to test the loyalty of your partner? Susanna Speier investigates.

Although it has been associated with everything from espionage to gold digging, Urban Dictionary’s #1 definition of “honey trap” is a scenario “where a woman pays another woman to flirt with her boyfriends to see if he flirts back, a way to check if her boyfriend is faithful.”

While determining whether or not a partner is capable of infidelity may be less common than an actual infidelity investigation, there are PI firms, domestic as well as abroad, that make both services available to customers willing to pay.

According to Ryan Ross, principal investigator of Ross Investigators and founder of Fidelity Temptations, a client can be “anyone who isn’t sure they can trust a romantic partner who has promised to be faithful.” [Disclosure: I am a freelance journalist and content writer, and Ross Investigators is one of my clients.]

Fidelity Temptations will “customize proposals for each of our clients, containing per-day rates for the deployment of agents and hourly rates for travel, writing reports and preparing other work-product such as DVDs, plus reimbursements for travel and other expenses. Retainers are required. The minimum retainer is $1,200.”

There are less expensive options if you don’t have robust financial resources at your disposal, however. A Daily Mail online article by Emily Hodgkin describes an online service that a Surrey (UK) pharmacist provides in her spare time through the service Cheatingrat.com. For £20 a week, a pharmacist named Amy Wade flirts online with your subject. “Honeys never meet rats in person or speak to them on the phone,” according to Hodgkin.

“Instincts only go so far. When someone is trying to determine whether a promise can be relied on, they should have the option of testing it — confidentially.” —Ryan Ross 

Honeytraps aren’t only for men. Richard Martinez, a UK-based investigator and founder of the Expedite Detective Agency on the outskirts of Croydon, provides a service retained by men as well as women to test their partners’ fidelity (or lack thereof): the service sends someone to a physical location to “flirt with (their) partner and offer them their phone number, usually in a bar, to discover the likelihood of them cheating.” And according to a 2008 Reuters article, Martinez has even deployed himself as a honey targeting female subjects.

Martinez also offers more traditional surveillance assignments targeting individuals suspected of having affairs. A New Statesman article published last month about the service quotes Martinez as saying “nine times out of ten his (marital investigation clients) were correct to worry.”

To detractors who feel that honeytrapping is essentially entrapment, Martinez says he only deploys a decoy when a client already suspects a partner of cheating. He operates according to certain “rules of engagement” — the decoy shouldn’t push too aggressively, no physical contact is allowed, and the target can’t be intoxicated.

Martinez contends that his service can provide the assurance some people may need in order to move forward with a marriage or engagement.

“Instincts only go so far,” adds Ryan Ross. “When someone is trying to determine whether a promise can be relied on, they should have the option of testing it – confidentially.”

Honeytraps may offer peace of mind to folks who aren’t certain of a partner’s loyalty. But can a honeytrap assist a divorce lawyer in an infidelity case? “Divorce laws vary state to state,” explains Karen Covy, a divorce lawyer, educator and mediator, and author of When Happily Ever After Ends. But in many states, proof of infidelity plays little or no role in the case. “Every state has ‘irreconcilable differences’ as grounds for divorce,” she says, “and you don’t have to prove infidelity anywhere to get a divorce.”

Covy points out that in all her years of practice she has never heard of a divorce attorney using a honeytrapping service, since evidence of an affair doesn’t really affect alimony settlements.

“If you took your paramour on a trip to Fiji for $10,000, and that was marital money, theoretically you have to put that $10,000 back in the pot and divide it up.” She explained. “So that’s how infidelity can have an effect on money in Illinois.”

About the Author:

Susanna Speier is a blogger for Ross Investigators of Denver, Colorado, which provides investigation services for attorneys and citizens, conducts workplace investigations for businesses, deploys undercover operatives for competitive business intelligence investigations, and uses sexy decoys for fidelity investigations. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook

Speier is also a freelancer for hire and can be reached through Linkedin.

 

Sources:

Private eye defends integrity of “honey trapping” (Reuters)
The Last Private Investigator in London (New Statesman)
Is this the girl you’re chatting up online? (Daily Mail Online)