We hear hundreds of thousands of stories about online dating. And there’s a wide range of stories between whopping failure and ultimate success. Some of them, are sad stories full of deceit and financial loss. Investigators have written many articles on how to prevent internet users about the serious risks of online dating and internet use. The risk is there and is getting higher and higher, and it doesn’t matter what professional private investigators or the media do to warn people, new fraud and scam cases are forming every day. The secret to criminals’ success is the fact that there are endless combinations and way to scam their victims, and thousands of websites to choose from. There is no easy way to describe romance scams, because criminals creativity enables them to stay in business. What works one month, may not work the next. Internet criminals can change their approach and identity easily and frequently, leaving consumers at risk.
Dating sites like Cupid.com, Match.com. Christian.com etc; are full of fake profiles or stolen identities mixed in with the real subscribers and honest users. Sorting through this mess can be frustrating and a costly adventure. Scammers often claim to be travelling or working abroad, and can present an elaborate story of success. They seem to be the perfect match, and they may spent months gaining your trust and building that story. Is it believable? Absolutely. That is the secret to their success. Private investigators say they seem victims from all walks of life, including lawyers, doctors and police officers. Hence, it can be expected that retired people and new people to the internet are especially susceptible. Bogus profiles are a growing problem.
International private investigators say that sites like Match.com ask simply don’t have the ability to screen their millions of members. It’s not practical and it’s not their job. It’s up to the consumer, unfortunately, to know the warning signs and stay alert, constantly on the lookout for anything suspicious. In the electronic world of the internet, this is not an easy task. Online dating sites ask users a questionnaire, where you let them know who your perfect match would be, his or her looks, traditions, costumes, hobbies, likes, smoker, non smoker, social drinker , social life of the party, etc. Scammers and internet criminals in turn use this information to their advantage.
Scammers often create bait profiles, where they are trying to attract paying members of the site to initiate contact, or take the bait. When the victim contacts the criminal, he or she is far less likely to see the red flags, because, after all, they are the ones who contacted the criminal.
What to do in this high risk environment o to find love? Well, some of the best advice could be, get up from that chair, leave the PC and go out to a bar, café, club, neighborhood event, party, work or school gathering, church, etc and meet real human beings that live nearby. The internet is changing lives, no one disputes that, but unfortunately not all of the changes are for the better.
If you do meet someone special online, know the risks and be safe. Consider a confidential dating background check by a reputable private investigation firm to minimize your risks.
All the best,
© 2011 S. Birch