5 Things to Do If You Suspect Someone Is Lying to You


When your team or yourself have the feeling that someone is not being honest with you it can be unsettling. Corporate theft is a serious issue, costing American companies billions of dollars every year. About a third of a time, these cases of theft are from high level managers. No matter the details of the situation, it is stressful and confusing.


You don’t want to wrongly accuse them, but you also want to get down to the bottom of the situation as soon as possible. If you are in a professional setting, there are also policies and laws to consider before you can take any action. No matter what the situation, the most important thing is to sort out the truth without doing any permanent damage.


So what should somebody do if they think they are being lied to? Here are five tips from the perspective of a private investigator.


  1. Gather the facts- It’s a lot harder for someone to lie to you if you are well informed of the facts. In the case of possible employee theft, go over your books immediately. If you suspect your spouse is cheating on you, go over the credit card transactions for days you suspect he or she was lying to you. Further, if you suspect a new employee might be lying about their past experience, invest in a thorough background check that you can obtain police reports, court documents, protective orders, bankruptcies or other debt. In the investigations stages, knowledge is power, and if you don’t have all the information, you will not be able to hone in on misdeed or specific mistruths. (Of course, do not tell the person in question that you are gathering this information.)
  2. Look for hints- It’s a myth that you can detect a lie by the direction in which the person looks when asked a question, or by how they hold their arms, or any of those easy options. However, it’s completely true that analyzing someone’s behavior and body language can reveal when they are uncomfortable or stressed. Try sprinkling information into normal conversations to see if you can see a reaction in your suspect. For example,  if you have a hunch that your friend is stealing your prescription drugs, try mentioning the drugs in a story when she is not looking at you and see if she pauses, looks up, or hesitates.  While this is not a 100% effective strategy for discovering a lie, it can help you find something revealing.
  3. Learn the policies- As mentioned above, if the potential lie is taking place in a professional environment, it is important to get familiar with the laws and policies surrounding investigating, firing, and pressing charges against an employee. Whether the employee is a superior or entry level, you need to make sure that his or her rights and privacy are respected, otherwise you may end up with bigger problems. Similarly, if you suspect  lying taking place in your private life, you need to make sure you don’t cross any boundaries of privacy. Logging onto someone’s social media or reading their private messages can be considered trespassing in some instances.
  4. Call an Investigator- No matter how thorough and careful you are during your investigation, if the situation is of serious importance, it’s always better to hire an outside professional to help you understand the situation. Though it might seem like a big step to hire a private investigator, it can save you a lot of stress and worry by getting you reliable answers quickly. With issues such as theft or fraud where you risk losing money, the investment in a P.I. (which usually ends up somewhere around $2,500) will seem like nothing compared to the money you save by presenting a solid case of evidence in court. Sometimes in personal situations, people have a hard time deciding to call a private investigator because they feel like it is putting the nail in the coffin of a relationship. But this does not have to be the case. Private investigators are experts at being discreet and if they don’t find anything, your partner may not even ever find out that you hired an investigator. Private investigators are not for everyone and not applicable to every situation, but it’s important to know your options if you are in trouble.
  5. Wait to confront- Whether you just suspect someone is lying to you or you have officially confirmed it, it’s best to wait to confront the person until you have spoken to professionals (police, detective, lawyer) and have a solid plan of action in place. Confrontations can be difficult, dangerous, and emotional, so it is best to make absolutely sure that you know what you want to do next (Fire them? Get a divorce? Press charges?) before the confrontation occurs. If you can, let the professionals support you during the confrontation process so that you have an objective third party present.


If you suspect someone is lying to you, you may be right, but always keep in mind that you may be wrong as well. Never jump to conclusions, it could lead you to betraying the trust of someone you care about. Instead, take the time to smartly and respectfully gather more information and get the right help.

How to Prevent Employee Theft at Car Dealerships

How to Prevent Employee Theft at Car Dealerships

Neighborhood car dealerships are often a victim of theft in many formats. For Lauth Investigations investigators there appears to be an uptick in handling these cases. Employee theft is common in general, with 50 billion dollars lost annually to employee theft in the U.S., but it is especially common with auto dealers due to the access employees have to vehicles and the high value of the product.

Employee theft is something dealers need to be constantly vigilant about. With merchandise going on and off site on a regular basis and with keys switching hands frequently, actual physical theft of a vehicle is common. If it’s not an issue of physically stealing the car, it’s a question of an employee tampering with invoices and checks. Whatever the strategy, car dealerships are losing big time to employee theft, which is a compounding problem since outside theft is already such a big issue for dealerships in the first place.

This week’s blog offers tips for dealers looking to prevent inside theft from their dealerships, with tips on how to handle it if you suspect something.

You need to have a good security system- This is a non-negotiable. Video surveillance at your dealership should be one of your top investments. There are a lot of good options out there including high quality video that focuses on internal processes and is meant to be used in the case of an investigation. Basically, you want a security system that is going to not just scare your employees into behaving, but that is also advanced and clear enough video to act as official evidence if you need it. Security goes beyond video as well. Whether you decide to invest in physical guards, or rely on keeping your facilities locked and changing codes frequently, make sure your security is as personalized as it gets. If you have guards, make sure they know all of your employees by name. If you have smart technology locks, make sure they have voice recognition or thumbprint recognition so that your employees are always identified. Of course money is an issue when investing in security and these options are not always possible, so we suggest at the very least making security a part of the company culture and conversation so that your employees know that they are being watched.

Nobody should have too much control- One of the most common ways that employee theft occurs is that somebody you trust is given too much freedom and control. We see this over and over again, and it feels like the same situation every time. Just because someone has been working for you for years does not mean that they are incapable of betraying your trust, on the contrary, these are the most common cases of employee theft because the employee feels comfortable enough in the environment to begin stealing. Everyone should have some form of check and everyone who handles money should have their books randomly reviewed at different points in the year. Many cases of insider theft are discovered once an employee goes on vacation and a new employee discovers a discrepancy that leads to an investigation.

Take discrepancies seriously- When anything in your bookkeeping doesn’t match up, it needs to be investigated immediately. If you have the least bit of suspicion that something might be going on, invest the time and energy into getting to the bottom of it. We see too many cases where proof of theft appeared early on but it was written off as mistakes in bookkeeping. Hiring a private investigator to research such discrepancies will set you back a couple of thousand. Being victim to employee fraud for a few months can cost you tens or hundreds of thousands. Don’t feel paranoid or ridiculous by choosing to play it safe.

Change patterns frequently- The key to avoiding theft, whether it’s inside or outside, is never letting anyone get to comfortable with the way things work. Make sure that the procedure for locking up, exchanging keys, and moving cars stays air tight, but also changes every few months. This will keep both employees, and outside observers, unable to take months strategizing how to steal from you.

Conduct thorough background checks- This seems like a no-brainer, but a surprising amount of dealerships do not conduct thorough background checks of potential employees. Just because someone makes a good impression or is a friend of a friend does not mean you don’t need to check into their past before you hire them. Many cases of employee fraud could be prevented by simply being thorough ahead of time.

Now if you are reading this and thinking, “All of this checking and suspicion is horrible for office morale,” you’re not alone. Many business managers need to learn to weigh protecting themselves from theft with creating an environment of culture and trust at the workplace. If you think that it is bad for company morale to have your employee’s feel like they are always being checked on, then frame the checks as a way to protect against accounting mistakes, instead of making references to theft. Also, be as transparent as possible with all other aspects of employee life such as salary, promotions, and rewarding hard work.

No employee can fault you for wanting to protect against theft as long as they are being treated with respect. Implementing these habits into your management will lead to a healthier and more efficient environment for both yourself and your employees.