September 12, 2011

The Ukraine is one of the most beautiful countries in the Eastern Europe, and Kiev is a growing fascinating city. Its citizens are known as friendly and welcoming to foreign travelers. The national has been expanding economically despite the global recession, and it is indeed a fast developing country. There is significant potential here for business and investment, and yes, person relationships with beautiful Ukrainian women. Perhaps this opportunity is what has fueled an ongoing problem with business fraud and romance scams. Investigators are fighting the problem.

Like its counterpart Russia, Ukraine has been investing in its automation and computerization of record keeping systems, to streamline access to information and government and public records. Emerging from the inefficient days of communism, socialist policies embedded severely slow and inefficient processes of accessing and searching for data and records. Slowly, things are changing. In Kiev and Moscow and St. Petersburg, many government offices are developing modern database technologies to manage and cross check civil records, business registrations, criminal and court records. This automation has enabled investigators to improve their accuracy and reach when verifying businesses and individuals in the Ukraine. Verification is now possible.

On the flip side of the same coin, the technological advances have also landed in the hands of the criminals, and scams and business fraud techniques are becoming more complex and difficult to detect. Scammers in the Ukraine use savvy email and phishing approaches, and create (or steal) official or official looking documents to convince their victims. Very authentic looking websites and Linkedin and and Facebook profiles are created to gain your confidence. Many of the tools that have been made available to investigators are now in the hands of criminals. It has become a game of cat and mouse, and investigators are working overtime chasing the crooks.

Ukraine private investigators acknowledge that an ongoing threat from online relationships from Eastern Europe, specifically the Ukraine or Russia, should be taken seriously and relationships begun online must be verified. Even if you have a harmless relationship with a business contact or romantic relationship online, and there has never been any request for money or personal information, investigators urge caution. Scammers are using email correspondence as easy ways to send their “friends” viruses which can reveal your passwords and other sensitive information you may have on your computer. Next thing you know, your online bank account has been breached and/or your identity has been stolen. Online relationships should be verified.

Russia private investigators admit cybercrime has really damaged the public image of Russia and the Ukraine, and law enforcement and government agencies have been slow to react to the threat and costly problem. The government has its limitations, and budgets and officials have not yet address this concern, and frankly, don’t know how to handle the threat. Even in the developed nations like the U.K. and U.S. and Australia, scam cases are escalating at alarming levels, so it’s understandable that countries in Eastern Europe are even more susceptible to internet criminals, who often work from home behind proxy servers, or internet cafes. Bin Laden himself used internet cafes to transmit his Muslim hate messages and was undetected by the CIA. The internet has created an unlevel playing field, and law enforcement worldwide is catching up.

Faced with increased risk, demand for private investigators in the Ukraine is up. Individuals and businesses are becoming aware of the high risk for online relationships and doing business in Eastern Europe, and many people now rely on the expertise of a professional Ukraine or Russia investigator to verify people and business. It’s a smart way to lower your risk.

All the best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch

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