January 17, 2011

Background Checks Advised, Say Investigators

With millions of subscribers to sites like Match.com, eHarmony and Facebook, and with more people connecting online than ever before, it's no wonder that fraud and scams have increased. After all, it can be difficult to know who you're dealing with on the internet. This is especially true for international relationships. Private investigators say the online boom in networking and dating has seen a corresponding rise in the request for online dating background checks, which are designed to verify and investigate the person on the other end of the internet.

NBC News recently ran a story detailing the horror which can result from online romance scams. Victims can lose money and suffer serious emotional hardship from such ordeals, as criminals do and say whatever necessary to gain victims' trust, and then betray that trust. It's not uncommon for an advance fee fraud criminal or romance scammer to spend months setting the trap, establishing the relationship and building trust, all with the intention of stealing the victim's personal data or money. In the recent NBC story, Wymoo private investigators were able to uncover evidence of fraud. The victim in this case, like many victims, didn't contact a private investigator until it was too late. Private investigators and international background check companies agree that verifying early is essential.

Many people mistakenly think scam or fraud can't happen to them. Investigators caution that romance scammers and criminals operating via the internet are professional criminals, and anyone can be a victim. Some guidelines to keep you safe:

1. Never send money overseas unless that person has been verified.
2. Be careful not to reveal personal data or financial information online.
3. Remember no dating or networking site is 100% immune from fraud.
4. Be skeptical of anyone via the internet who falls in love overnight.
5. When considering a serious relationship, get a background check.

Lastly, when connecting, networking or dating online, stay skeptical and be weary of anything that seems too good to be true. Even if there have been no major red flags or signs of fraud, consider an international background check to protect yourself. In today's global and electronic world, it's easy to create false identities and profiles. Be safe. Verify, then decide.

All the Best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch

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This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, S. Birch, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as stated.