April 21, 2011

High levels of unemployment and poverty have made the Philippines country ripe with diverse types of fraud activity. From online dating scams to Medicare fraud to identity theft, widespread corruption helps criminals to get away with the crime on a routine basis, and law enforcement is slow to act. Recent reports show that theft identity is a rising form of crime in the Philippines and usually can be traced to online dating scams, as many profiles on Filipina match-making or internet dating sites now include false profiles. In many cases, there is no way for the victim to verify the information on his own.

Con artists steal identities in order to access resources like credit lines or unemployment benefits in that person’s name, and organizations or individuals that are defrauded with identity theft also suffer the consequences, therefore, they also become victims. Scammers may take the information of someone they know, and even have stolen or false identification to assume an identity of someone else in the Philippines, making it even harder for a background check to confirm evidence of fraud. In some cases, having a professional Philippines private detective in the local area is the only way to verify.

These cases result in more than one victim, as the target of the scam gets taken, as well as the individual who has his or her identity stolen. Because it is very hard to find out when or where your personal information has been stolen, once the identify theft is discovered, the damage is usually done. Assuming a false identity or stealing a true identity in the Philippines is a sign of increasing criminal savvy.

Online dating scammers specialize in stealing and falsifying passports, visas, bank statements and photographs of the person they are pretending to be. In most cases, the girl of your dreams is usually an related man or woman who cares little about your feelings, but is most interested in your money. Even when a web cam is used, it is not necessarily an indication that the case is clean. Criminals and scammers are now using pre-recorded video feeds to increase confidence and trust in their victims. Or, the girl online may be real, but may be using a false name or stolen identity to get aware with her crime. Such scams can be run be older women or men, who handle the business and might be the one receiving the gifts and money you send her for education, medical expenses, or that business you will own.

To be on the safe side, consumers should consider a professional Philippines background check. And be sure the company or the investigator you are contacting has all the credentials and is a well established business, because there are also so-called private detectives that will charge less for their service, but not necessary fulfill the request, or even worse, might contact the subject, extort money from you or the subject, and provide you with false information that will lead to even further frustration.

Philippine PI is one of the largest and most reliable private investigation agencies in the Philippines, and the company is verified by the United States Better Business Bureau. With zero complaints on file for the past 3 years, the firm sets a prime example of level of trust and professionalism private investigators should strive for. With professional field investigators based in Manila, Quezon City, Cebu City, Davao and Cagayan de Oro, investigation services include background checks, due diligence and surveillance, and more. Know the risk, be skeptical, and if in doubt, contact a reputable private investigator.

All the best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch

For further reading: See the Philippines private investigator article by John Wallace.
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