With the help of the Internet, You too can be Joey Greco. According to the Huffington Post, 2012 might become the year of being caught up because of one website.
It’s called Cheaters Spy Shop, and sells all sorts of surveillance gear for suspicious minds, including recovery sticks that can pull up anything currently on the iPhone and even recover deleted information; mobile software that will send a person all texts and pictures being sent, web history, call logs, and GPS location every 30 minutes; and even motion-activated hidden cameras that record any movement and activity in high resolution.
“We also sell audio recorders that look like pens,” Allen Watson, president of the Cheaters Spy Shop, told HuffPost Weird News. “They’re great if you’re getting harrassed at work. You put them in your pocket to get evidence of harrassment for the H.R. department.”
The Cheaters Spy Shop opened three months ago and Bobby Goldstein, the creators of the “Cheaters” TV show, wishes he had thought of it years ago.
“I’m slothful,” Goldstein admitted to HuffPost Weird News. “I should’ve started soon, but it took me 10 seasons to realize that I’m a businessman, not just a TV producer.”
But it isn’t as simple as signing on and spying away. The laws regarding surveillance devices differ from the state to state and there are various ethical questions surrounding their use by average citizens, according to Mark Rasch, a lawyer who specializes in computer security cases.
“Most people misinterpret the law and what they’re allowed to do with devices like these,” Goldstein told HuffPost Weird News. “Plus, you can get yourself killed. People think they’re legally allowed to spy on their spouses and it’s probably not true, depending on how it’s done.”
A former attorney who has worked his share of divorce cases, Goldstein says he made sure to cover himself legally.
“We are very cautious about how we market our products,” he said. “We’re like a liquor retailer in that we want our products to be used responsibly.”
Walton says a perfect example of his company’s legal cover comes with the devices that allow customers to track a cell phone.
“There is a license agreement from the manufacturer that says the customer specifically can’t install it on someone else’s phone without their knowledge,” he said.
Although the spy shop is an offshoot of a show that catches “cheaters,” the show’s host, Joey Greco, is surprised at who is going to the spy shop.
“One of my friends has a kid at a particular school and there are questions about what goes on in the classroom,” Greco told HuffPost Weird News. “She is thinking about putting one of the hidden cameras in the school room.”
Walton says that the two groups who seem to be buying the products the most are women worried their man is cheating, and parents who want to make sure their kids aren’t sexting or getting inappropriate photos themselves. However, he admits the holiday season isn’t the biggest time of year at his shop.
“Christmas is the worst time of year for the spy goods industry in general,” Walton said. “People are buying electronics for other members of their family. Plus, these products are situational — you only buy them when you need them.”
“The biggest month is actually Valentine’s Day,” he said. “I’m not really sure why.”
Goldstein sees the Cheaters Spy Shop as a sound business venture and a way to help the show’s fans who aren’t able to get on the show.
“We only do 44 cases a season, but we get close to 300,000 calls a year for people who want help with their domestic relationships,” he said. “These products produce a better mousetrap.”
But a mousetrap is only as good as the person who sets the trap and some people, such as Angela Daffron, who runs Jodi’s Voice, an anti-stalking advocacy group, worry that the technology sold at the Cheaters Spy Shop can be used by stalkers as well as spurned lovers.
“I was personally affected by the use of a program called FlexiSpy which was placed on my cell phone to monitor GPS and all communications on or around the phone,” she told HuffPost Weird News by email. “The product is marketed as an option to monitor your child or catch a cheating spouse, but was used against me by a stalker.”
“Whether you believe infidelity is happening or not, there is still a level of privacy necessary in a marriage. Personally, I think, if you feel the need to purchase a product like this, either the marriage is too far gone already or you need therapy, but not spy supplies. Relationships are built on trust. Spying does not imply much trust.”
J.R. Bang Says: Aye! Just remember, Joey Greco got stabbed doing this. Don’t try this at home. My home especially.