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7 Warning Signs of Someone Withholding Information

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Spotting the telltale signs that someone is withholding information from you is easier than you may think – it just takes some practice and a little know-how. Here we provide seven warnings signs that you can look out for when talking with someone whom you believe is withholding information.

They Only Provide Vague Details

When people are withholding information from you, they will often answer in a very vague manner. They will also answer your questions with as little detail as possible to avoid divulging any details that could implicate them.

They Refuse to Answer Questions Directly

When you’re communicating with someone, asking direct questions to which the reply is overtly unrelated, this is another stark indication that they are withholding information. Those who refuse to answer questions directly are more than likely not telling the whole truth. It’s a simple tactic that’s used to conceal information and avoid telling a falsehood that they can get called out on later.

They Provide Irrelevant Details

Additionally, when an individual provides excessive details that are irrelevant to the topic, this is a common indication that they are attempting to divert the attention from the original question. Someone who is telling the truth will provide direct details to the questions asked without talking excessively about overt irrelevant information.

They Touch or Cover Their Mouth

Another sign to watch out for when pinpointing falsehoods or diverting answers and information is when a person begins to habitually place their hands up over their mouth to seemingly cover it. This is a relatively common subconscious reaction when someone does not want to disclose information that you are seeking.

They Prefer Online Communication

To avoid giving away any non-verbal clues, liars will avoid face-to-face meetings and have a preference for email or online communication instead. This way they can keep all of their facts straight, plan out their answers without being placed directly on the spot, and provide as little information as they can. It’s much harder to read someone’s reaction when they have time to think the answers beforehand.

They Have the Perfect Story

Sometimes, when a storyline of events seems simply too good to be true or even rehearsed, it’s usually is. Recalling the chain of events usually isn’t such a crystal clear thought process – it will often require us to go back and fill in information that we remember along the way. So if a person has a strict storyline they’re sticking to with details aligned in perfect chronological order, you should be wary.

They Repeat Words and Phrases

Another telltale sign that someone is trying to withhold information from you is when they repeat the same phrases over and over again. This is a common way of helping convince them, while also driving home the facts they want you to believe.

When you need key information, but believe a person is withholding this from you, we can help. At Smith Investigation Agency, we provide superior investigation services to get to the truth of the matter. Talk to us today.

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.


The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.

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