June 15, 2012

As the use of internet increases and people are getting more involved in the virtual world, they find that what seems harmless and a wide open door to information, contacts, relationships and business.  In this new lawless world, caution is advised.  It can be hard to know which people and companies are real behind the website or email or dating site. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and almost 2.5 billion people have internet access.  Asia holds 50% of that internet usage. And while developed countries use internet to research, learn and connect with others, in some developing countries the use is more for fraud and scams.

Philippines is considered one of the highest risk nations for fraud and internet scams, along with Nigeria, Ghana, Malaysia and Russia.  The Philippines and the Southeast Asia region have put the northern hemisphere in jaque mate, in any thinkable scenario, from online dating scams to telemarketing cheats and employment opportunities of internet companies that do not even exist. The beautiful island nation is a high risk nation for fraud.  Victims and skeptical people dealing with the Philippines often get the assistance of a private investigator. Be aware that a good private investigation firm in the region is not easy to find, and there are even private investigators and websites who are scams themselves, and offer no real service or trained investigators.  Doing your homework and choosing your investigator carefully, is of utmost importance.

Romance scams, business fraud and infidelity are serious problems in the Philippines.  Many turn to reputable private investigators to conduct Philippines background checks or even surveillance to lower their risk and verify their online partner or business in Asia.  Experts say NEVER SEND MONEY to anyone you have not met in person.  Reputable private investigators and law enforcement say skepticism is required for investigators as well.  Never send money to a so-called investigator in the Philippines via Western Union, and be aware that PayPal usually means you’re dealing with an individual, not a real company.  Check for privacy and trust seals like Better Business Bureau, Truste, McAfee and Verisign to verify it’s a real company.  Lastly, search Google for the company name to see what others are saying about the Philippine PI.

In cases when you already have met the person in question, but you have gut feelings that something is not going right, or the person may not be truthful, or the business may not be what it claims to be, it may be time to proceed with discreet Philippines surveillance.  Surveillance can be costly and should only be engaged by a team with former training in law enforcement or military, and using a team with proper training, resources and equipment.  If conducted or attempted by amateurs, the results can be devastating, and may not be discreet as needed.

There are some other areas in which private investigators can be of great help. When you’re missing a family member, or the police is reacting slowly to a crime, or you just need confirmation that a company or person in the Philippines is who they claim to be, or that your girlfriend or wife is being honest with you.  These are the times to consult with a professional.

All the best,

S. Birch
© 2012 S. Birch

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