Article

Cell phones call out Italian cheaters

Margie Semilof

Ahh, Italy. Food. Fashion. A tower that leans.

And cell phones that call out cheaters.

It's true. Though there is something very unromantic about sending or receiving a love letter via text message, apparently Italians send them in droves -- to people other than their spouses.

That's amore?

Now the nosy spouses are finding love notes and unexplained phone numbers with greater frequency because they are stored in cell phone memory.

It's not clear why cell phones are doing such a bang-up job busting adulterers, but the fact that the Italian mobile phone marketplace has about 92.4% penetration may have something to do with it.

One reason people use their mobile phones to call and SMS to page their paramours is that it's so easy to do, said Mariam Tomponzi, a private investigator. The cheater can type in an illicit message while talking to anyone, including the unknowing spouse, without anyone ever realizing.

Tomponzi's firm conducted a study and found that, in about 90% of cases, the cell phone exposed the affair.

One divorce lawyer said that divorces in Italy are up, particularly in September and October, just after the summer holidays. This is when spouses tend to discover their partners' infidelities. Instead of the cheater dropping the affair for the summer, it continues via cell phone and SMS, creating more opportunities to get caught.

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