New Year’s Resolution or Red Flag?!

January is over, and you may find that a lot of people are just about ready to give up on their New Year’s resolutions.

Whether it was eating healthy, going to the gym, saving money or numerous other hopeful ideals, a New Year sees a host of ‘New Me’s’ as people adopt strange habits outside of their usual patterns. But if someone suddenly changes their behaviour at any other time of year, this can raise alarm bells. As a PI, part of my job is noticing these changes and figuring out what influenced them. Whether it is something innocent like a new number on the calendar or something more suspicious. In this article I will exploring some of those red flags to look out for.

Change in Spending Habits

Suspicious spending habits are typically one of three things. Spending more than they usual do, or living beyond one’s means, is one indicator that something significant has changed in someone’s life. Particularly if that someone is reluctant to say where their newfound wealth has come from or their reasoning sounds overly convenient –  alottery win, a long lost relative passing away – this may suggest some kind of corrupt dealings. – Spending less money can be equally troubling. This tends to point towards something going wrong at work or with investments. It could also indicate that a substantial amount has been spent elsewhere such as a loan to a friend, an insurance claim or, in extreme instances, something like a bribery. – It may not even be the amount someone is spending raises alarm bells, but the method of payment they are using. Cash is untraceable, so if a bank statement reveals that someone is withdrawing more of their money from ATMS, this too can be classed as suspicious behaviour.

Change in Schedule

As human’s, most of us actually live very boring, repetitive lives. Creatures of habit, we go to the same office, the same supermarket, the same restaurants, all the same places. We also tend to do these things on a regular schedule – how many of us have a specific day to do ‘the big shop’? So if you notice someone suddenly deviates from their usual plans, such as avoiding a particular establishment, staying at work later or taking a sudden holiday, this often suggests something much bigger has changed in their lives.

Change in Relationships

No matter how hard we try, stress in one part of our lives will invariably seep into other areas, like our relationships and homelife. It can become difficult to hide our emotions, particularly if we are already trying to hide something else. We can become paranoid, easily lose our temper or even overcompensate in an attempt to cover our tracks. Alternatively, instead of being vulnerable in this way, someone may do the exact opposite and cut ties, becoming isolated. If you notice someone’s relationships or general demeanour suddenly changes, this can be a symptom of a number of things, from simple workplace tension to something more complex like drug addiction. This is often when people need the most support, and finding out the cause of their emotional turmoil is a good place to start.

Identifying patterns in behaviour is only part of the job. Spotting these types of red flags leads to answers. If you notice someone behaving differently (beyond January’s resolutions!) I can help you get to the root cause.