A change in tone, increase in blink rate and ‘fake’ smiling are three common tell-tale mannerisms of deception, according to ‘human lie detector’ Steve van Aperan.

Van Aperan worked as a criminal investigator in Victoria Police Force. He is also a certified Forensic polygraph examiner.

Daily Mail Australia’s body language expert in Melbourne said that identifying if someone isn’t being honest is as simple as looking for body language conflict.

A change in tone, increase in blink rate and 'fake' smiling are three common tell-tale mannerisms of deception, according to 'human lie detector' Steve van Aperan (stock image)

A shift in tone and an increase in blink rates are common signs of deception according to Steve van Aperan (stock photo).

Steve van Aperan (pictured) has worked in the criminal investigation branch of the Victoria Police Force and is a certified Forensic Polygraph Examiner

Steve van Aperan (pictured), is an expert Forensic Polygraph Examiner and has served in the Victoria Police Force’s Criminal Investigation Branch. 

“We know our loved ones well so changes in their normal behaviour could indicate they’re uncomfortable or feel the need for lies.”

It comes after research by Italian coffee brand Lavazza predicts eight million Australians will regift this Christmas after receiving a present they disliked. 

“Fake” smiling 

Van Aperan explained that facial expressions can be called’micro-expressions,’ which are small indications of hidden emotions. The most common is a fake smile in comparison to a real smile.  

“A fake smile occurs at the nostrils and activates no muscles, while a real smile does,” he explained.

“With a fake smile you are simply lifting your corners to appear happy, as though you were taking a picture.”    


What would your reaction be if you got a gift you don’t like?

  • Thank you for your kindness and gratitude 3 votes
  • Don’t tell the recipient that you don’t like the gift 0 votes
  • Say that you are grateful, but would prefer something more 0 votes

Increased blink rate

An increase in blinking is a lesser-known sign of deception.  

A fib can cause a person’s blink speed to increase by as much as eight times normal.  

“Many people believe that liars are oblivious to the fact they lie, but it is actually quite the contrary,” Mr van Aperan stated.

“Through our research, we have discovered that the blink rate of a person who lies is six to eight times higher than it would be for someone normal. 

“Interestingly, they don’t do this while telling lies. It happens in milliseconds following the presentation of deception.”

How to tell if someone is being deceitful:

“Fake” smiling

Modify your voice tone 

Behavior changes 

Blinking rate increases 

It is best to avoid answering any questions 

Being vague 


Body language that is inconsistent 

Do not answer the same questions twice 


People lie to minimize the chance of their lies being caught or exposed. This is why ‘aversion’ is a popular tactic to prevent this.

Van Aperan stated: “If you gift a gift to someone and they look disappointed, then you might ask them if you liked it.””.

To be polite, a friend might engage in aversion or try to divert conversation away from original question.

He also mentioned that people might start to add unnecessary and irrelevant information to try to alter the conversation.

They may respond with something along the lines of “Oh wow socks!” I had been meaning to get some socks in the shops but didn’t manage to do it. They will definitely be worn by me!”,’ Mr van Aperan said. 

Modify your voice tone

Tone of voice, also known as a “paralinguistic cue”, is a non-lexical component of speech communication.

Van Aperan stated that when someone lies, they will often try to alter their tone to make it more convincing.

He explained that many people do it by altering their pitch, voice modulation, and speed of delivery. This can make the lie seem more casual or deliberate. 

Take note of the tone or pitch of your voice after you have given someone a Christmas present.

It comes after research by Italian coffee brand Lavazza predicts eight million Australians will regift this Christmas after receiving a present they disliked (stock image)

After Lavazza’s research, eight million Australians are expected to regift Christmas presents they don’t like (stock photo)

Lavazza has released new data that shows an estimated 3.3 Million Aussies have been caught gifting. 1 in 5 respondents said they were also guilty of regifting. 

The country is expected to spend $17.3Billion on Christmas in 2018, and the research revealed that Australians spend an average of 76M hours looking for the perfect gift for loved ones.

75 percent of people think they know when someone doesn’t like a gift, despite trying to find the right one. This is based on facial expressions changing (45%), hesitation in responding (33%), making eye contact (22%), or switching the topic quickly (20%).