June 29, 2011

They’ve been here for years, and don’t seem to be going away.  Quite the contrary, fraudsters and romance scammers are here to stay, as the global economy staggers and criminals seek easy money.  Scams and fraud have been a part of society since Ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago.  The difference now is the internet and the computer, but the concept remains the same: steal money or valuables from the victim by means of deception and misrepresentation.  This evolving crime and internet fraud takes on both genders, and anyone can be a victims.  The criminals themselves can be male or female.  It’s an equal opportunity crime industry.  Increasingly, consumers around the world are relying on international background check services to screen for fraud, and verify their online romance, friend or partner.  It’s a prudent way to lower the risk.

Professional private investigators around the world advise men, women and even businesses on the risks and verification services available when looking for love, friendship or business opportunities via the internet.  Experts say it’s wise to be skeptical, and be aware of the risk for fraud and scams when initiating relationships online.  Online dating has significant risks for fraud and romance scams, because criminals can so easily assume a false identity, or misrepresent the facts and their intentions.  They add fake photographs to their profiles, which are usually taken from one of the millions available on the internet, and come up with stories of success, have a great job, are attractive, and may even match public records when you search for the name and profile.  Investigators warn that even if the name and profile is real, that doesn’t mean that the person behind the profile is real.  Identities are easily stolen, and criminals often take a real name from a phone or internet directory, so they start out by using a real name and address.  In short, it can be hard to verify a person is who he or she claims to be.  International private investigators are especially important in cases which involve a person living or working in another country. 

Scammers are professional liars who go after your money. They claim to be successful business men or women living in the U.K. or New York or Australia, but suddenly have to travel to Africa or Eastern Europe or Latin America to finish a project or business deal.  Internet criminals are creative and create complex stories so that their victims are lost in the drama and details.  They may ask for money or a loan while traveling or for other complications abroad.  You’ve been talking to this person for months and he’s never asked for money.  You checked his name and address on the internet, and the person does exist, you say.  The FBI and reputable investigation firms like Wymoo® International warn that this is the red flag people need to watch out for.  To be safe, investigators advise never to send any money to anyone who hasn’t been verified.  For online dating, if the relationship shows signs of potential, consider a dating background check.

Fraudsters may hired by an organized crime cells anywhere in the world.  Although countries like the U.K., Spain, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Russia, the Ukraine, Colombia, the Philippines, Malaysia and South Africa have reported the largest incident of internet fraud and scams, consumers are advised that no site, and no country is immune.  A background screening or verification service conducted by a professional investigator is a vital tool that will bring you peace of mind.  Know who you’re dealing with, and lower the risk.
All the best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch

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