City Cast

How To Catch A Spy

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on May 8   |   Updated on July 7

D.C. is the hub of spy activities in the U.S. because so many people have ties to the government and top secret clearances. But the work culture and suspicion also make it a hard place to maintain your cover.

Lindsay Moran, a D.C. native and former CIA agent, says “you can’t swing a dead cat in D.C. without hitting a spy,” so you should always have your guard up. Here are Lindsay’s tips on what to watch out for and how to know if someone is pumping you for intel:

Usually, spies are a little more subtle … (HollenderX2/Getty Images)

Usually, spies are a little more subtle … (HollenderX2/Getty Images)

  1. They're hot, and you're not: Face it, if you’re a five and they're a 10, but they approach you at a bar, chances are they are trying to get information. Try to keep your ego in check.
  2. They ask about your work … like a lot: If someone is asking detailed questions about where you work or what you do, especially if your job is sensitive in some way, this should be a red flag.
  3. Look out for “bumps”: A bump is when someone approaches you with an obscure excuse for a conversation. For example, someone comes up and says they lost their earring and it sparks a conversation and friendship. It’s possible it’s serendipitous; they’re a spy.
  4. Their job sounds boring: Most spies pretend to have lower-level bureaucratic jobs whose descriptions will put you to sleep.
  5. Watch out for surveillance: If you see someone multiple times in multiple places, you might be being followed. Try taking left turns to sneak a look behind you, or walk in a roundabout way.

Lindsay’s got more tips on tomorrow’s episode of City Cast DC, so be sure to tune in!

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