US woman runs successful business catching cheating men on social media

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The rise of social media has opened up a whole new world of job opportunities, from 'influencing' to creating content. But for one woman, social networks are the basis of her business: investigating whether husbands or boyfriends are cheating on their partners.

Madeline Smith, a 30-year-old from Los Angeles, runs a successful business where women pay her to investigate whether or not their significant others are being unfaithful. 

According to The Mirror, Smith's services involve her attempting to seduce her clients' partners on social media to determine if they're capable of or actively cheating. If they take the bait, it becomes evidence of their indiscretions. 

"I feel so much of it is intuitive. I can look at a profile and immediately know [a guy's] personality," Smith said, as reported by the South West News Service (SWNS).

The foundation of her business began when Smith and her friends would act as sleuths for people they knew to try and catch their partners cheating - with limited success. But Smith, who says she was obsessed with the reality TV show Cheaters in high school, realised there was a clear gap in the market and decided to go full-time with her online sleuthing in 2018. 

When women reach out to Smith for her services, she asks for their partner's basic information - including accounts of any past indiscretions - and how far the client is willing for her to go in the search for answers, such as sending seductive snaps or sexting. 

Smith notes her varying services also cater to differing definitions of 'cheating' and what constitutes being unfaithful. For example, for one client, her partner entertaining a conversation with another woman might be considered cheating in her books, but to another, it wouldn't be classified as infidelity until nude pictures are involved. 

When she has the information she needs, Smith will then contact the suspect and - depending on whether he replies or engages in a conversation - will adjust her technique to cater to his personality, interests and weaknesses.

The sleuth - who is happily in a relationship - owns multiple phones and runs a number of accounts on social media to track down the cheats. 

On the occasions that Smith believes the situation could be more sinister or the client is potentially in danger, she encourages the women to seek legal advice rather than confronting their partners in person. Additionally, Smith claims she has her own team of legal experts and ensures she follows cyber laws.

"I see if they take the bait and then I will tell the girl and see what they want [to do]. For some, just replying to me is enough to prove their infidelity," Smith said, as reported by SWNS. 

"When I was assessing a recent client's boyfriend, he was very suspicious - he didn't give a lot back, but was engaging and ultimately failed. He liked the attention and was smart and I ended up [talking] maths with him and he directed me towards Snapchat. I did sexting and videos with him."

The best thing a man can do is block her, she says, as it is usually indicative of their innocence. 

"The guys who pass will say 'I have a wife, girlfriend or fiancée' and she wouldn't like this. The best thing is when they say 'thank you for reaching out' and block me."

According to the news service, Smith charges a base rate of US$30 for a standard 'loyalty test', but the fee increases if the case is more complex or requires more time and effort to find answers. The majority - about 80 percent - of her cases concern repeat offenders, with Smith frequently catching out married men with children.

According to Smith, she has worked on more than 1000 cases and has loyal customers who will vet all their romantic partners with her before proceeding with the relationship.