Unspeakable Times

How Cops Know When You're Lying to Them

For the longest time one of life’s greatest mysteries was how cops know you're lying, but thanks to the wonders of Reddit, we’ve finally cracked the code. It turns out that there’s no magical way to tell if someone is fibbing, but rather it’s common sense that informs most of the basic decisions that beat cops make when they’re identifying their suspects. That being said, this collection of stories from police officers discussing how they catch criminals should help you learn how to spot a liar - or how not to get caught lying. While most of the concepts on here are pretty obvious, you would be surprised to learn how many people still fall into these simple traps on a daily basis.

Even if you don’t plan on getting stopped by the cops any time soon, these stories are a good way to learn how to tell someone is lying for use in your everyday life. Do you think your babysitter is eating all your fancy eggs? Are your kids spray painting your car? Use these tips to learn classic lying tells so you can differentiate from a nervous nelly from someone who has legitimate lying body language. Keep in mind that these tips aren’t 100% foolproof. We don't know how good of a liar you are, and the officers you run into might be amazing at their job. So for now, try not to do anything your mom wouldn't do. 


  • Your Bloodshot Eyes

    You would think this is obvious, but if cops are posting on Reddit that they use bloodshot eyes as an indicator for who's up to something, then apparently it's not obvious enough. So if you get red eyes from allergies, it may be a good idea to take your meds before heading out. 

  • Uncontrollable Or Strange Laughter

    If you're the guy who completely loses his cool when he sees a cop, you need to work on that because it's a huge tell. According to one seasoned officer, goofing around but then reacting like a deer in headlights is a tell: "Generally, if someone is giggling like a school kid and surrounded by others, they are typically just nervous but aren't worried about your presence. It's when you see someone joking around and they suddenly freeze up when they notice you, those would be the people I'm interested in."

  • Excessive Sweating

    The same officer explains how "sweat is another good indicator of truly suspicious behavior. You would be surprised how much people sweat when they are trying to hide something." We don't have any advice for how to get around this one. Either you're a sweater or you aren't. 

  • Not Looking The Cop In The Eye

    If you want to get away with a lie, make sure you lie to someone's face, according to one deputy sheriff: "When you talk to someone you usually look at them right? Even if you're just nervous you still look at the person talking to you or the floor. The people who I get a 'gut feeling' about are always looking at anything but me. It a weird kind of subconscious mental process where the person's eyes are always looking for a way to escape."