Here’s how to spot liars — a certified fraud examiner explains!

Here’s how to spot liars — a certified fraud examiner explains!


If you’re like me, you hate liars. I mean, how hard is it to tell the truth?

Deception will get you nowhere. Unfortunately, everywhere you look there are liars these days.

So, would it be great to tell when someone is lying? Imagine the look on their face when you’re able to call them out.

This is a superpower that I’d love to have! Luckily, it’s a superpower we can all have, according to the certified fraud examiner, Pamela Meyer.

Pamela says that the first rule of a lie-spotter is to realize the following:

Lying is a collegial act.

Why? Because when someone agrees to believe it, the lie becomes powerful.

But, if at some point you got lied to, it’s because you agreed to get lied to.

It’s important to remember that not all lies are damaging. A classic example is  “Honey, you don’t look fat in that!”

Yet, serious deception is big business according to Meyer:

989 billion dollars in corporate deceit alone last year, in the United States. Deception can cost a lot of money.

Henry Oberlander was such an impressive character that British authorities say he could have crippled the entire banking system of the Western world. In his interview, he said:

Everyone is willing to give you something. People are ready to give you something for whatever it is they’re eager for.

While we may not like to admit it, we’re all looking for something. We all want to be smarter, richer, better wives, better husbands, and it’s a long list.

According to Pamela, most of us are willing to fill those gaps in our lives with lies.

Also, she says that you hear a lie from 10 to 200 times per day on the average.

Lying is very common.

Pamela further says:

According to research, we lie more to strangers than we lie to coworkers. Extroverts tell more lies than introverts. Men tend to lie eight times more about themselves than they do about other people. Women lie because they think they protect other people. For an average married couple, there are going to lie to their spouse in one out of every 10 intercommunications. But if you are not married the number drops to 3.

Lying has been part of our culture for as long as humans have been alive, but we all say we don’t like it.

Lying has an evolutionary value to us a species:

The larger the neocortex he more intelligent the species, the more likely it is to be deceitful.

She also says that we’re hardwired to become leaders of the pack. The fake crying of babies, one-year-olds learn concealment. Two-year-olds can bluff. Five-year-olds lie outright. And one in five interactions with your mom will be a lie by the time you get to college.

Once you enter the so-called real world, you get crowded with spam, fake digital friends, one-sided media, and a deception epidemic. This is the post-truth society we live in.

So, what can we do?

There are some steps we can take to spot deception. These are some telltale signs of deception:

Let’s take the speech of Bill Clinton as an example when he said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”.

I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

First, she says that with Bill, there was a non-contracted denial. Studies show that people who are over-determined in their denial will resort to formal rather than informal language.

We also heard distancing language: “that woman”.

Meyer says that if Bill Clinton had said “Well, to tell you the truth”, it would have been even more of the dead giveaway as of its qualifying language.

If he had repeated the question in its entirety, it would have been a dead giveaway. And also, too much detail is a dead giveaway.

However, lying is more than just the language.

Body language signs.

Maybe not for the reasons you think, but, body language can also be the dead giveaway.

While you might think liars jitter all the time, they don’t. They are known to freeze their upper bodies when they are lying.

We think liars won’t look us in the eyes, but again we are wrong. They look you in the eyes a little too much to compensate.

Meyer says that a trained lie-spotter can spot a fake smile a mile away.

The muscles in our cheeks can be consciously contracted, but the real smile lies in the eyes — they rarely can be consciously contracted.

The most overlooked factor of lying.

Meyer also says that attitude is by far the most overlooked factor in lying.

An honest person is usually cooperative, enthusiastic and willing to get to the truth. A deceptive person tends to be withdrawn, look down, lower their voice, pause, be kind of periodic.

Putting too much detail in all kinds of irrelevant places is a sign. It’s important to look at what someone says and their expressions. Is it compatible?

They also tend to shift their blink rate and point their feet towards an exit.

However, it’s important to realize that these are red flags, but not proof of deception.

Don’t be too aggressive with your armed knowledge, according to Meyer. We all make flailing gestures all over the place, all day long. These signs don’t mean anything by themselves, but when you see a bundle of them, that’s your signal.

This story was inspired by Ideapod.

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