Figures reveal the rise of cheating partners in London

By Peter Torley, Lead Private Detective 

I happened to be on a train out of Euston recently when the lady opposite me rose and disembarked at her station. Inadvertently, though, she had left one of those glossy celebrity magazines behind her on the seat. And while I’m certainly not the target audience for this type of leisure reading, I did pick it up as we hurtled along through the, wintry, overcast English countryside. Hello, I thought, here’s something to flick through and brighten things up; let’s see how the other half lives.

And yes, it was full of the type of features you’d expect: celebrity gossip and fashion, celebrity mansions, celebrity kids’ names, the latest trends in celebrity kitchens – you name it. As well, of course, as the usual sprinkling of Celebrity Cheating.

That last one caught my attention of course. And while it was about a certain actress I hadn’t heard of, the sad photograph that went with the article brought home to me again the fact that behind all the glitz and glamour, behind all the money and expensive trappings, everybody gets hurt when a partner cheats.

A common issue

At PDL, of course, we’ve had to conduct our fair share of investigations into possible cheating by these affluent members of our society – the ‘jetsetters’ of this world. It means we often have to operate across several international borders.

But the majority of our matrimonial investigations are UK-based. From our office in London, we can work anywhere across Britain – north, south, east or west. And while you might think that cheating on a loved one might be a lot less rife among what we’ll call ‘ordinary people’, the hard facts might surprise you. Because it really doesn’t matter who you are – an A-lister on the red carpet, or a homemaker in Halifax – marital cheating is actually more common than most people might think.

Statistically speaking

I remember an article in The Standard just a little while ago which reported on some statistics from 2023.

The article stated: “According to website The Truth About Deception, 67 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women had cheated at least once that year”

There was an even bigger bombshell to come, though:

“Recently, London was found to be UK’s epicentre for affairs. One survey revealed that 168,322 of London’s eight million residents admitted they were currently having affairs.”

See – you learn something new every day!

But, I wondered, are all those figures entirely exact? Probably not. The statistics were engendered  ‘from the postal addresses of the membership at IllicitEncounters.com, a dating website for married people looking to play away from home and the self-appointed “leading authority” on infidelity’. So we have to take them with a teeny pinch of salt of course.

But with a little more research, it’s possible to delve even further into some of the statistics being quoted on matrimonial affairs and cheating partners.

Top Ten

The same source goes on to cite the Top Ten London Boroughs for marital cheating as: Kensington and Chelsea; Hammersmith and Fulham; Islington; Bromley; Brent; Tower Hamlets; Camden; Merton; Wandsworth; and Ealing.

And one of the reasons for extramarital affairs booming in London is, they claim, because of spiralling house prices. Unhappy couples, they say, cannot always afford to split up and so they are continuing with the extramarital affair because they simply cannot afford to set up two homes in London.

All of the above is interesting in a small way – especially to those who want to create click-bait and gossipy headlines about marital infidelity.

But what we certainly must recognise – what goes without saying – is the heartbreak behind every individual case of cheating by a spouse or partner.

Devastating impact

For me, as a Private Investigator in London who frequently works on infidelity cases, I’ve regularly witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of betrayal on the partner who has been wronged. And I’ve seen how that sense of betrayal runs really deep and changes a person – sometimes for life.

When people come to us in PDL, concerned about a partner’s affair, and ask for their loved one to be investigated, we know very well the feelings and fears initially involved: Shock, Betrayal, Insecurity – an Emotional Roller-coaster in every sense.

But perhaps the greatest feeling of all, however, is the pain of just “not knowing for certain”.

Our clients are seeking clarity and concrete answers from us, and they understand that the investigation may uncover painful truths. Yet they’re willing to confront that reality – whatever it may be – rather than to continue living in uncertainty.

That takes courage and I have always recognised the weight of trust that these clients put in myself and the team at PDL. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly and we always approach each investigation with immense diligence and discretion.

Uncovering evidence

We talk through a client’s suspicions in the utmost confidentiality and then, with an agreed plan of action in place, uncover the actual evidence to give them the knowledge they need so that they can then move forward in the appropriate manner.

This aspect of the Investigative Services we offer at PDL is probably the most sensitive and heart-rending of all the work we do.

Of course we are not relationship counsellors or marriage guidance specialists. Our job, instead, is to discreetly gather evidence and to empower clients with the information they need – information that will give them the knowledge they need to help them make informed decisions about their future.


Yet we cannot help but be affected by the stories we hear from our clients.

That’s why, when I see stories of infidelity scattered across glossy magazines, I always try to read past the headlines, to go beyond the tittle-tattle and see some of the betrayal and hurt that the injured party will have suffered.

It’s always there. And always will be.

But at PDL, our investigations certainly give the betrayed partner a welcome beacon of clarity. It lights the way forward for them and guides them on to the next step they should take… whatever that may be.

If you are you concerned about a Cheating Spouse or Unfaithful Partner, Contact Us Now. We’ll begin with a Free Consultation regarding your situation.

Simply complete our Contact Form. You will then be able to speak to one of our Specialist Matrimonial private detective who will listen carefully and advise on what steps we will take to examine your case.

The importance of background checks

Our diligent background checks have saved almost £1,000,000 for our clients this year. When you’re making any transaction involving trust, cash, or assets, a background check could significantly reduce your risk.


The importance of choosing a reputable investigator

When a casual user searches online, they are served by a search engine which provides just a small percentage of the available data. This isn’t adequate to fulfil a thorough background check. We use a sophisticated algorithm which enables us to reach the whole internet. To reach additional data, PDL maintains subscriptions to intelligence services with information that isn’t available to the general public.
Background checks can range in depth, from expert desktop investigations to covert surveillance or detailed reporting (in the case of corporate background checking), which can take a number of weeks.
We’re often asked: “What can you do? What information can you find?”
When a client contacts us about our background check service, we ask what they already know and, more importantly, what they need to know. Our detectives are extremely skilled investigators who can focus on extracting the information needed by each client.
So rather than offering packages, we provide a service that is tailored to each case. This ‘bespoke’ approach is based on decades of experience.
In which cases would we advise commissioning a background check?


The importance of protecting your business transactions

We cannot overstate the importance of background checks when you’re making a business transaction. In 2023, the FT carried a report from the Home Office revealing that one in five UK businesses have been victims of fraud between 2018 and 2020.
After fraud has taken place, we’ll work to identify the perpetrators, enabling our clients to take action against them. To build a legal case, you need evidence of dishonest conduct as well as intention to defraud.
But if clients call before conducting a transaction, our detailed background investigation can prevent losses – which have been up to £100,000 in some cases.
During January-May 2023, PDL has already saved more than £890,000 for our clients by carrying out thorough background checks.  We provide this background check service to clients all over the world – as evidenced by numerous cards and gifts received in the office.
When weighing up the cost (in time and money) of a background check, you must compare it with the value of potential losses. When trust or cash changes hands, it’s important to minimise the risks. Take steps to contact us sooner rather than later.
The importance of partner background checks
“Romance fraud” is increasing. The London-based group, Action Fraud, reported that this type of fraud cost victims £88 million in 2022 – affecting 7,938 men and women.
Relationships which have been nurtured online (as well as offline) must be treated with caution, particularly if a contract or transaction will be made. This is where a background investigation becomes important.
Pre-nuptial background checks prevent losses (financial and emotional) and, in many cases, turn out to be vital.

The importance of partner background checks

“Romance fraud” is increasing. The London-based group, Action Fraud, reported that this type of fraud cost victims £88 million in 2022 – affecting 7,938 men and women.

Relationships which have been nurtured online (as well as offline) must be treated with caution, particularly if a contract or transaction will be made. This is where a background investigation becomes important.

Pre-nuptial background checks

The importance of employee background checks

In the current economy, employee fraud is also rising – and can cause high levels of loss for businesses. Zurich reported a total of 500 incidents every month, costing employers an average of £140,000, in 2022.

Many HR departments already undertake DBS checks and reference checking. But when you work with sensitive or confidential data, or entrust your employees with high-level financial access, it is important to commission additional checks: your new employee’s employment history, criminal history, and credit history may all be relevant.

Our background checking service is bespoke and we will search for the data that meets your requirements.

Our background checking service is bespoke and we will search for the data that meets your requirements.


When is background investigation important?

In conclusion, given the escalating levels of fraud all over the UK and beyond, background checks are indispensable when you are:

  • Hiring an employee who will have access to confidential or high-value assets;
  • Preparing to make a business transaction with a new associate;
  • Concerned about the validity of claims made by a personal connection, particularly if they are about to enter into a contract or marriage; or
  • Considering an investment opportunity or venture.

Armed with accurate information, you can make the best decisions to protect yourself and your business. 

To discuss your case, call the office or use the contact form here.

What makes a good investigator?

Hiring a Private Detective is an important decision, but knowing who to work with is not always easy. Here, we share our experience working with clients and the elements that we believe will give you the best chance of reaching a successful outcome.


At Private Detective London (PDL), our clients span both the corporate and private worlds, but in both cases, at the heart of every successful investigation is trust.

We understand that when you are working with a private detective, you need to have confidence in their ability to carry out the work required of them.

That’s why we offer our potential clients a free, no-obligation appraisal.  We listen carefully to what you tell us about your situation; then we give you an honest answer about what is achievable.

If we take on your case, we want you to feel reassured that we have the skills and experience to investigate your situation, and we will only take on instructions that we know we can help you with.

Finding the right fit

For many of our clients, hiring a private detective is a once-in-a-lifetime situation, and our approach reflects that: we will handle your case with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity from the outset.

As an unregulated industry, standards can vary, so we recommend that if you need to hire a private investigator, you look at who you would be working with, and their methods before entering into any sort of agreement.

In addition to checking whether a private detective has the necessary investigative skills to handle your case, we advise our prospective clients to spend some time thinking about the kind of person they would like to work with before trying to get quotes or comparing different providers. 

At PDL we make sure we can provide an appropriate perspective on cases, whether personal or corporate in nature, and we work hard to make sure our clients are comfortable confiding in us – whatever their situation.

How we work

Where possible, we meet our clients in person.  We believe this is an important part of each investigation – building the client/detective relationship and gathering as much background on the case as possible. 

Once we agree to take on a case, we provide a formal contract. This protects all of us, and provides peace of mind that we are on the same page regarding the scope of the investigation, the fee structure and any other specifics of our working relationship.

Our clients always know who they can contact during an investigation and how the process will work: this is part of our commitment to providing safe, ethical and legal outcomes for all our clients.


Why we work this way

We have over 25 years of experience working in this industry, so there’s not much we haven’t seen, and we know what works and what doesn’t.

Our approach is built on a foundation of honesty and transparency; we believe it’s vital to appraise and qualify every enquiry we receive before accepting instructions, and our success rate reflects this.

Clients do sometimes come to us with preconceived ideas about what we do and how we might do it (perhaps the result of so many popular TV, film and book detectives), but we always focus on what we do best and know will yield results:

  • A team of experts with the skillsets necessary to cover the varied nature of the cases we’re asked to investigate
  • Building trust with our clients
  • Working in a way that is both legally and ethically sound

What makes a good investigator stand out from the crowd is often simply their approach to communication. So, if you are looking for an investigator, it’s worth thinking about the following questions before you make your decision:

  • Are they listening to me?
  • Are they paying attention to the detail of what I’m sharing with them?
  • Would I feel comfortable confiding in them?
  • Are they upfront about their fees?
  • Will they give me a contact for the duration of the investigation?
  • Do I feel reassured that they carry out their work in an ethical and legal manner?

If you think we could be the right fit for you, get in touch:



Investment scams – what they are and how to spot them


Investment scams on the rise

Investment scams aren’t new, but people are being caught out by them more than ever before. Here at PDL, we’ve noticed an increase in clients looking for help from our fraud investigation services, either because they fear they may have fallen victim to a scam or because they suspect an investment they’re being encouraged to make may not be entirely what it seems.

This rise in demand for the services our team of expert financial fraud investigators provide is not entirely unexpected – given the turbulent economic environment of recent years, as well as the ongoing effects of the pandemic.  The clients we see have all been keen to maximise their earnings and, in some cases, have already invested (or lent,) significant sums of money before carrying out any checks on the individuals or company involved.


What is an investment scam?

Financial fraud comes in all shapes and sizes, with phishing and tech support scams at one end of the scale and investment scams, for example pyramid schemes or so-called boiler room scams at the other. 

Although the details may vary, most scams of this kind involve the scammer convincing would-be investors to part with cash for products or schemes that either don’t exist or are essentially worthless.

The criminals carrying out these frauds will usually maintain a sustained campaign of contact with their victims, nurturing the relationship and building trust, before abruptly breaking all contact once a financial transaction has been made.

All of these scams exploit the vulnerabilities that make us human – whether that’s a desire to provide for our families, or simply wanting to ensure a comfortable retirement. 

Official statistics show that in 2021 more than £1.3bn was stolen by fraudsters*. This is a tremendous amount of money, and evidence from financial investigation services points to investment scams as the second most common type of scam, second only to impersonation scams. 

Investment scams

Our financial fraud investigation services

Like other types of criminal behaviour, anyone can find themselves targeted by financial scammers – not just those who might be considered vulnerable or lacking in street smarts. In fact, as these criminals grow in both confidence and sophistication, even people who are experienced investors and aware of the risks are finding themselves getting caught out.  

The majority of our clients come to us because they have a sense that something isn’t quite right: “It seems great, but something feels a little ‘off’” is something we hear often. 

Our clients don’t want to risk missing out on a potentially profitable opportunity, but they also want to be 100% certain of its legitimacy before making a commitment.  We look into the matter for them, identifying any issues or concerns.

If you have any doubts, taking the time to carry out some due diligence before moving forward with a new financial venture is always the best way to avoid falling victim to criminal activity.

If you’re worried you’ve already been the victim of a bogus scheme, a private detective agency such as PDL can look into the details for you.  But a preventative approach – carrying out appropriate due diligence checks before making new investment decisions is always more effective. 

So, the question is, how can you avoid investment fraud?


How to spot investment fraud

  • Question unexpected contact. Financial fraud investigators usually notice a familiar pattern: scammers get in touch with their victims out of the blue, usually with an opportunity they claim to be sharing because “it’s just too good to miss out on”. If you’ve been cold-called or received an unexpected email outlining a fantastic opportunity, always check whether it’s legitimate before handing over any money.
  • Say no to pressure. Another common tactic scammers use is to pile on the pressure. You may be told what they’re offering is time limited or even “one time only”. There may be a very short deadline, or sometimes bonus or discount incentives are offered for getting involved quickly. A legitimate investment opportunity will never be marketed in this way. You should always question any so-called opportunity that makes you feel pressured or uncomfortable.
  • A new best friend. A frequent finding in financial fraud investigations is the lengths criminals will go to to get their victims to commit. Common tactics include prolonged and frequent contact, bombarding the intended ‘investor’ with unsolicited phone calls, email and text follow-ups. In some instances, the relationship may seem more like that of a friend rather than someone trying to make a business deal. This should always be considered a red flag.
  • Confusing terms, jargon, and returns that are too good to be true. All these things should be concerning if you want to invest your money. You should always understand exactly what you’re investing in and using regulated firms or individuals is advisable.

Get in touch if you’re concerned about anything we’ve covered in this article. We’ll provide free, honest, ethical, legally–sound advice with no obligation.



*as reported in the Guardian, 29 June 2022

Is Phone Hacking Legal?

At PDL, potential clients ask us very frequently – probably around twice per day – if we
will ‘hack’ a phone, meaning to illicitly and remotely gain access to a device and its data.
With phone hacking scandals in journalism and government in relatively recent memory,
the concept is certainly within the zeitgeist and public consciousness.
However, many people have questions around the legality of phone hacking: Is it legal?
Is it only illegal under certain circumstances? Are there alternatives?
As such, we wanted to address these questions and more in a clear and simple manner,
via this blog. Please read the below – we hope it’s helpful.
If you have any questions about anything within this article, or relating to our services or
company as a whole, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

is phone hacking legal?

Why Do People Request Phone Hacking?

Ultimately, when an individual or organisation approaches us looking to instruct a private detective, they do do so because they want answers.

With phone hacking requests, corporations do occasionally enquire, but the vast majority of the time it’s an individual wishing to conduct a matrimonial investigation – and feeling the answers they want lie on a phone.

Is Phone Hacking Legal?

No, phone hacking is not legal. It is illegal. A phone is essentially an asset that a person or company has acquired ownership of. If you don’t have access to it, then there lies the simple answer.

The government can’t access your phone, and nor can the police – without sufficient reason and thus the granting of the right to do so.

The phone’s owner has the right to the ownership and privacy of their own device and data. Of course, there’s a big conversation currently going on about the sharing and purchasing of data, and the various tactics companies employ to seek individuals’ agreement to share their data. 

However this is a separate issue that doesn’t change the simple fact that phone hacking is illegal. Even the word ‘hack’ points towards underhand or illicit intentions.

Completing phone forensics of a phone that our client should and does have access to is another matter. However the questions are always: Do you – and should you – have access?

The Ethics of Phone Hacking

At PDL, an exemplary ethical code has always been at the core of our ethos. We’re proud of our high standards and uncompromisingly ethical approach to leading the way in the UK. We often say of phone hacking: Even if we could do it, we wouldn’t. 

Phone Hacking Alternatives

Just because phone hacking is not a route we can or will take, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t available ways to get results. 

We can almost always achieve the answers our clients seek – and via legal, ethically-sound methods, without exception.

We are very happy to discuss alternative approaches with any potential client, any time. 


Our Advice 

To reiterate, we – just one company – receive in the region of 800 phone hacking requests per year, every year. So please don’t be embarrassed about having tried to seek a phone hacking service before knowing it was illegal.

The need for answers can feel overwhelming, and it can be difficult to find clear advice on phone hacking’s legality – one of the reasons for this article.

If you don’t choose to explore alternative methods with us, or another reputable company, then our primary advice is to be careful. 

There are companies purporting to offer phone hacking services. They may be being dishonest about their methods, i.e. Taking payment for one service then doing another.

Alternatively they may take an initial fee to secure your instruction, not actually complete any investigation, then return to you to state the operation was simply unsuccessful – but the payment is still required for their time.

Or they may be actually undertaking illegal hacking practices, which is of course absolutely not something to be involved with.

Steer clear of any detective or company who states that they can and will hack a phone, and allow a trusted, expert detective to advise on methods.

Feel free to contact us via the details below for free, honest, legally-sound, ethical advice – at no obligation.