March 14, 2013

A close friend of mine met someone over a dating website last year. The relationship started great and lasted for almost a year. They wrote back and forth to each other, used Skype and IM to keep contact, and every now and they they’d exchange photographs. They even talked on web cam. My friend, a divorced woman in her early 40’s, was so enthusiastic about her new long distance romance from Turkey, that she made plans to go and visit him in Istanbul, where they had plans to travel around Eastern Europe and get to know each other better.  But, just before the planned trip, unexpected things started to happen.  She got suspicious.  She contacted Wymoo®.

After investigators conduct a background check investigation on the subject, my friend could hardly believe the results.  Fraud?  But, how?  She had talked to this person for almost a year, he didn’t fit the profile, or so she thought.  She never gave him money, but now that she thought about it, she did provide a lot of her personal data.  Once confronted with evidence of fraud, she soon learned that she had been a victim of identity theft.  And, the criminal was now blackmailing her and demanded money.  It was a nightmare situation, and she was at least thankful to learn the truth, so she could cancel her planned trip, and start taking control of her life again.

Turkey romance scams are a growing problem and international investigators say it is perhaps one of the fastest growing countries in the world for fraud, ranking with Malaysia and the UAE. Law enforcement and private investigators say it is essencial to use extra caution when communicating with people in these countries, and understand there is an increase risk online.

All friends had warned her about romance scams, internet fraud and the risks in online dating.  How could this happen to her?  She was smart and skeptical, and careful.  Private investigators say anyone can be a victim.  Victims range from all walks of life, including lawyers, doctors and even police officers.  Internet criminals are good at what they do.  They gain your trust, and then steal your information and/or money.  Victims know the damage can be devastating. 

Romance scams in Turkey are on the rise due to the bad economy and the opportunity that criminals find from making money by scamming victims around the world on the internet.  Also, Turkey doesn’t have the bad reputation that other countries like the Philippines, Nigeria and Ghana have, so alarm bells don’t go off when internet users hear their friend is in Turkey.

When online dating, be safe and contact a professional.  Verify, and then decide. 

All the best,

S. Birch
© 2013 S. Birch

Different Themes
Posted by the Investigators

This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, S. Birch, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as stated.