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Former undercover agent for the CIA reveals how YOU can make yourself a more convincing LIAR – and shares the key signs that indicate if someone is being dishonest


A former CIA agent who served as an undercover spy for seven years has lifted the lid on the key signs that someone is lying to you and how you can become better at fabricating the truth.

Andrew Bustamante, 45, who worked as a captain in the Air Force before becoming an intelligence officer, opened up about his time in the Central Intelligence Agency in an episode of the podcast The Diary of a CEO, hosted by Steve Bartlett. 

The ex-spy dished on his extensive training, which involved him learning how to become a skilled liar – revealing that the CIA only recruits people who already have a natural talent for being dishonest. 

In the podcast, Andrew revealed how you can become a better liar while also sharing the signs that will tell you if someone is trying to manipulate you. 

Andrew Bustamante, 45, is a former CIA agent (pictured while in the agency) who served as an undercover spy for seven years

Andrew Bustamante, 45, is a former CIA agent (pictured while in the agency) who served as an undercover spy for seven years 

He has lifted the lid on the key signs that someone is lying to you and how you can become better at fabricating the truth

He has lifted the lid on the key signs that someone is lying to you and how you can become better at fabricating the truth

He opened up about his time in the Central Intelligence Agency in an episode of the podcast The Diary of a CEO, hosted by Steve Bartlett

He opened up about his time in the Central Intelligence Agency in an episode of the podcast The Diary of a CEO, hosted by Steve Bartlett

Are YOU a bad liar? Here’s how to spot if someone is deceitful  

  • They struggle to sit still
  • Liars tend to talk a lot
  • They make a lot of statements, instead of asking questions

Andrew began by explaining that you can’t truly know if someone is lying unless you have known them long enough to establish a ‘baseline,’ which is known as their normal behavior. 

He added that in the CIA, learning about someone’s baseline was known as spending ‘time on target.’ 

When dishing on being recruited into the agency, he said: ‘It starts with a foundation of making sure to recruit people who are already liars.’ 

He then began discussing the key details that can help you spot a bad liar. 

Andrew first said that someone who isn’t good at being dishonest will run their mouth. 

‘Bad liars talk a lot. Good liars talk a little, because the more you talk, the more you run the risk of undermining your own lie,’ he explained.

He also shared that good liars will try to shift the conversation to make it about someone else, while bad liars will focus on themselves. 

He added: ‘Bad liars make a lot of statements, good liars ask a lot of questions because if you ask questions, you’re not really disclosing anything about yourself. ‘

In the podcast, Andrew revealed how you can become a better liar while also sharing the signs that will tell you if someone is trying to manipulate you

In the podcast, Andrew revealed how you can become a better liar while also sharing the signs that will tell you if someone is trying to manipulate you

Andrew first said that someone who isn't good at being dishonest will run their mouth

Andrew first said that someone who isn’t good at being dishonest will run their mouth

Andrew explained that if you have ever been in a social situation where there was somebody there that made you feel so interesting but you didn’t know anything about them, you were talking to a very good liar.

In addition to running their mouths, the former spy said that bad liars often can be spotted through their body language. 

He said: ‘A skilled liar knows how to appear like they are telling the truth with their words and their body, whereas an unskilled liar often has a disconnect and their body will give a different message than what their mouth is.’ 

Andrew noted that unskilled liars will struggle to sit still and keep twitching, like they are sitting in a ‘hot seat.’

The former undercover spy also discussed the various tells that have been spread around on social media that are false. 

He explained that many think if someone moves their eyes around while speaking, they’re lying. However, this isn’t the case.

He said: ‘You can’t actually tell if someone is lying to you based on where they place their eyes.’

He noted that if you can speak to someone 'through the lens of their ideology,' you can get them to do anything you want

He noted that if you can speak to someone ‘through the lens of their ideology,’ you can get them to do anything you want

Moving on to the habits of good liars, Andrew said that in addition to sitting still, asking questions and keeping their lies brief, a skilled deceiver will mirror the person they are trying to fool. 

‘The first thing you do is you mimic the person,’ he said.

He explained by mirroring the person you’re lying to they’re more likely to believe and trust you. 

The ex-CIA agent also touched on how to get anything you want from someone – adding that people have four basic motivations, ‘reward, ideology, coercion, and ego.’ 

He noted that if you can speak to someone ‘through the lens of their ideology,’ you can get them to do anything you want. 



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