What is ghosting?

Ghosting – it’s a missing persons experience that 80% of millennials will have experienced. While it can sound a little lightweight, being ghosted can have profound psychological effects on the vicim. What is ghosting? It’s when somebody you’ve been having an intense relationship with, often mainly or exclusively online, simply disappears without warning and leaves no trace. There are several reasons for ghosting:

  1. The other person is in a relationship already and got found out
  2. The other person has been trying to scam you for money/your identity
  3. The other person has been scamming you for intimate photographs/video
  4. The other person was never real.

So what are the warning signs of ghosting? Our experienced missing persons investigators have a checklist that may help:

  • If you’re always calling/texting/messaging first – beware! Some people are just lazy about staying in touch but if you’re doing 90% of the work and it wasn’t always that way, it’s quite likely that you’re about to be ghosted.
  • If they cut short meetings or calls – take note! This is usually a sign that they are already in another relationship, and if it gets too difficult to fit you in, they may disappear, leaving you wondering what happened.
  • If they change their phone number – it’s a big warning bell ringing! One of the most common signs of a disappearing act is that the person you’re involved with will tell you they have a new phone number. What they are actually doing is getting you off their main phone so that when they vanish, you’ll never thing to go back to their old number and find out that they are still alive and well and in touch with everybody except you.
  • When they come up with far-fetched excuses – get worried! If somebody starts having a lot of accidents, car breakdowns, having to stay late at work or being involved in public transport snarl ups, it’s often a sign that they are incapable of telling you they don’t want to see you. Instead they say yes, but never actually show up.

When ghosting happens, private investigators often get called in because the victim believes their must have been foul play. Very often we find the ‘ghost’ is still thriving and simply didn’t have the guts to end the relationship decently but sometimes we also discover that they have taken their victim for a ride, obtaining money or intimate photos that they then use in ways that would never have been agreed to. Fortunately we’re also often able to regain property and to make clear to the ghost that if they continue in their action they will face criminal proceedings which usually puts a stop to their activities, at least as far as our clients are concerned.