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Detecting Deception as a Process Server

  • November 04
  • by ServeNow Staff
  • Articles

While some serves go off without a hitch, others are more of a challenge especially if the person being served doesn’t want to be served. Often, these people will lie about their identity in order to avoid service. But confirming a person’s identity is essential to completing a serve so how can you identify when someone is lying?

Utah process server, Bret Bateman hosts a Youtube channel called How to serve court process, and features videos like How to become a process server which has nearly 10,000 views. In Bret's latest addition to his video series, he shares some quick tips you can use to determine whether your subjects are lying and how you can avoid deception.

People will always display incriminating behavior and they will give out verbal cues that, if you know how to read them, you will know what’s up and detect their deception with a few easy steps.”

Step 1: Look for stall utterances

A stall utterance is a pause filled with conventional, non-word expressions and is typically used to pause for thought during conversation. This commonly includes phrases like “um” or “uh”. Dishonest subjects will often resort to stall utterances while they try to fabricate a story or excuse.

Step 2: Notice when they answer a question with a question

Dishonest subjects will often answer your questions with more questions. For example, they might respond to “Does this person live here?” with “Why are you looking for them?” Or they might repeat your question. This is to buy themselves time to think over an excuse or deniability.

Step 3: Get them to answer a question first

You want to get as much information as you can before they realize you’re a process server. This will make it harder or impossible for them to backtrack with lies later. Start off by asking if the person in question is home rather than if they live there. If they confirm he’s home, ask if you can talk to them. Make them simple yes or no questions so they’ll be quick to respond without thinking.

Step 4: Call the subject by name

This isn’t always an option since sometimes you don’t know the faces of your subjects, but if you have the ability, refer to them by name before asking any questions. This automatically confirms their identity without giving them an opportunity to lie, as well as builds familiarity even if you’ve never actually met them before.

Step 5: Observe their body language

Though a person may lie confidently, body language is often involuntary so watch your subject’s mannerisms while you talk to them. Posture changes from casual to defensive and shifts in the tone of their voice could signal that they’re lying. Dishonest people will also cover their mouths or other parts of their face and avoid eye contact by looking down or around them.

Step 6: Catch them off guard

The more the subject has to come up with on the spot, the more obvious their lies will be so try to catch them off guard as much as possible. Ultimately, ask yourself whether they are behaving the same way that you would, given the same situation.

About the Author

Bret Bateman

Bret Bateman lives in Northern Utah with his three small children and wife of 11 years. He has a law enforcement background and has been in business serving court process for the last six years. Bret is also a content creator who makes process serving tutorials on his YouTube channel, High Gravity Adventures.

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