Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Investigators See More Risks in Online Dating

Private investigators report a significant increase in the demand for online dating background checks. Major sites like Match.com also have posted important scam warning information on their websites to inform subscribers in response to the increased risk for fraud and scams. Despite all the information available on the internet about the warning signs, the fact is, it can be very difficult to determine who is the real thing, and who is the scammer online. Experts say in many cases, the only to be sure is to have the subject verified with a professional dating background check.

Industry observers and private investigation firms report the problem is likely to worsen. The reason is that more and more people are now connecting and starting relationships online, often with persons in other countries. Sites like Match.com, eHarmony and Facebook have millions of subscribers, and currently there is no system in place to adequately screen all the users. The result is a percentage of the users are criminals who engage in advance fee fraud, identity theft, romance scams and other attempts to steal your money or personal data. If a person resides in a foreign country, the only way to truly verify and investigate that individual is through an international private investigator or professional international background company.

Experts warn that many companies claim to offer international background checks, but actually only search databases, which are often dated or inaccurate. In fact, outside the United States, Canada, the U.K. and Australia, searching databases is of little value, and only a professional investigation or international background check company, such as Wymoo® International, with international offices or field investigators is capable of verifying persons outside those countries. When shopping for an investigator, be sure to ask how the investigator or company will verify the individual. If they have no investigator or agent in that country where the subjec resides, keep shopping.

To protect yourself from scam or fraud when dating online or using social networking sites, investigators offer the following advice. Be very skeptical of emergencies, requests for money, accidents, etc where the indivdaul requests assistance in a foreign country. Do not reveal your date of birth, address or other information that could be used to steal your identity. If you are considering a serious relationship, contact a licensed private investigator in the area where the subject resides. If the individual lives outside your home country, hire a reputable international background or private investigation firm to verify.

Best of luck,

A. Hathaway
© 2011 A. Hathaway
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This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, A. Hathaway, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as noted.