Romance scams are growing risk for online dating subscribers and social networking sites. Sites like Match.com and Facebook offer a lot of benefits, but the risks should not be ignored. Many scams are originating from countries like Ghana, Nigeria, the Ukraine, Russia, the Philippines, Malaysia, the U.K. and even China. Law enforcement agencies like the FBI are receiving daily complaints and reports of victims across the United States, and Canada and Australia law enforcement agencies report a similar and alarming increase in online fraud and scams. The global economic problems are fueling the problem, as criminals seem to be coming out of the word work. Since the internet began, access to global markets and the global economy has increased beyond all estimates. Criminals too, unfortunately, now have access to individuals around the globe and are taking full advantage. International background checks are advised for relationships that are initiated online and when the person on the other end resides in a foreign country, or is traveling in a foreign country. Experts say verify first.
No county is immune from fraud. Even the U.S. is now forming internet criminal organizations and private investigators and law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep up with the rising crime. Wymoo® International, a full service private investigation firm based in Florida, United States, reports that internet fraud and romance scams are rising faster than most consumers realize. A company spokesperson said that subscribers to social networking sites and online dating sites have a false sense of security when they publish their information on Facebook or Match.com or similar sites, and even the most skeptical consumers can be a victim. Law enforcement agencies agree. Internet users should use caution when publishing details about their personal life on the internet, such as date of birth and address. These details can be used to steal your identity. In addition, a seemingly harmless relationship online can be more dangerous than you might think. Only a professional international private investigator can verify the story behind the profile. Especially in cases involving a foreign country, it can take an expert to verify if your internet flame is who he or she claims to be, and if the photos really match the identity.
Most of the time, online crime organizations are run by men; but this is an equal opportunity world, and women are now starting their own scam operations. The potential monetary reward is significant, so men and women in many developing countries and even countries like the United States are being enticed to commit these types of crime. One of the famous is based out of Chicago.
“The Sweethearts” is a group of women in their 20s to 40s targeting men in their 60s. They go after men who are vulnerable and lonely, and strike on their ego, making them feel that they are back on their game again. Once they make contact, the women work hard to gain the victim’s trust. It can take a week, a month or even a year. Once the trust is establish, the bait and trap is set to request the money, which can come in the form of an emergency or otherwise dire situation, such as a medical condition or accident or economic problems. One of the known victims reportedly lost $400,000 USD in a week! This criminal
organization operates nearly in the open, and Chicago Police Department officers say that many victims don’t press charges against these women, because victims willingly send money.
Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. is in a period of decline, economically and from a cultural standpoint. All superpowers and great nations fall, and the U.S. is no different from Rome, Spain or England. As conditions worsen, criminal activity will rise.
© 2011 A. Hathaway