Online dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony, Cupid.com, and even social networking sites like Facebook and Linkedin seem to be great ways to meet new people and connect with potential mates from all over the world. Meeting new friends, professional contacts or even romance online is now the norm. The benefits are clear and plentiful. Seemingly overlooked, however is the rapidly increasing rate of fraud and scam being committed on such websites.
Opponents say major social networking and match-making sites have no interest in warning their users about the high risk for scams and fraud. No internet site is immune from fraud, after all. But, skeptical says these websites should be doing much more to educate, warn and protect their subscribers. Management at most companies say they lack the expertise and manpower to verify all new subscribers, and because large sites like Match.com and Facebook now have millions subscribers, there simply isn’t any realistic way to verify and screen all users on online.
How to stay safe online when online dating and social networking sites don’t aggressively screen their users? Most sites offer tips and information about fraud and scam prevention. (Although this information is very easy to overlook and usually not enough, say experts). Industry observers say at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the consumer and website subscriber to know the risks, unfortunately. Media and law enforcement agencies routinely give consumer advice on how to stay safe online, but with criminals evolving and changing their tactics constantly, it’s hard to stay up to speed. In most cases, online dating and social networking site subscribers will turn to a professional investigation firm such as Wymoo® International for an international background check. Demand for such verification services continues to grow with the risking risk.
Most scammers today operate from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, the Philippines, Russia, the Ukraine, South Africa, Benin, Colombia and Malaysia. However, due to unchecked immigration in developed countries, Nigerian and Chinese criminal groups now operate from the U.S. and U.K. No country is immune from such groups thanks to globalization and overpopulation. The easy flow of people and information across borders is now a fact of life, so online criminals can move easily and have criminal accomplices or cells operating from other countries. Operating from internet cafes or hiding behind proxy servers (rendering IP address tracing obsolete), the groups are hard to identify, hard to locate and hard to prosecute. Because they hide in countries with significant corruption and lack of rule of law, getting an arrest is a major challenge.
Dating background checks are the key ingredients in the recipe for avoiding fraud online. Even when Mr. or Ms. Perfect seems to be so innocent, so perfect, and you have no reason whatsoever to doubt the person, expert advise caution. Professional scammers know how to get your personal information and your money, and they are willing to take the time to gain your trust, and slowly gather your information, without you ever realizing what is happening – even if it takes months. A typical response from a scam victim is “but, he never even asked me for money.” Stay safe online and keep your personal data private, and if in doubt, contact a professional investigation firm for a dating background investigation to have the person verified.
A true dating background check is a professional private investigation, carried out by trained and experienced investigators. Such services can include fraud screening, travel records, civil and criminal records, marriage records, identity verification, education and employment verification, address verification, public records and ID or passport verification, and much more. Don’t be fooled by a website claiming to conduct a “background check” for $39.99 by searching a generic database on the internet. Contact a real investigator and find out the truth.
All the best,
© 2011 S. Birch