Saturday, August 25, 2012

As internet scams become more and more prevalent around the world, internet users become more educated about the risks.  There are many articles and warnings out there, but for some reason, the criminals keep finding victims, and the crime is actually growing.  Among internet crime types, romance scams are still the leading cause of identity theft and financial loss online.  The scams have a major financial impact for citizens and businesses in countries around the world, but the hardest hit are the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, where English speaking targets are plenty.  Scammers in developing countries are targeting users on social networking and online dating sites.  To avoid detection, criminals continue to develop and change their tactics.

With more lonely hearts and eligible partners joining match-making and online dating sites, as well as social networking sites around the globe, there are now hundreds of millions of potential partners online.  It is tempting and there are certainly honest and rewarding relationships to be found!  The potential reward is real, as is the risk.  Social networking and online dating sites simply have no way to screen all of their users.  That isn’t their business, after all.  It is up to the users to carefully screen their new contacts and romantic partners online.  Be skeptical and be very cautious about sharing information online.  Remember the more a criminal knows about you, the more at risk you are for financial loss, identity theft, and even physical hard.  Share less when possible.

In the developing countries around the world, more internet users are turning to reputable private investigation companies to verify their online partners. Dating background checks  are now a valuable risk management tool available to internet users to verify their new partner or online romance.  Investigators can screen your case for fraud, verify the subject’s information such as passport or documentation, verify education and employment; check address and public records, search criminal and civil marriage records, and more.  In short, professional investigators can verify if your new online romance is who he or she claims to be.  Experts caution that such a service is best applied when done early in the relationship, rather than later when it’s too late.

Is the risk from romance scams really worth worrying about?  Doesn’t it take a fool?  What is the worst that could possible happen?  There have been multiple cases of suicide that have resulted from devastated victims left ruined after a romance scam.  Bank accounts can be drained, hearts can be broken, identities stolen.  In short, an honest visit to an online dating site can lead in utter ruin if you become the victim of a romance scam.  The risk and crime is serious, and should be taken seriously.  Screen your contacts carefully, and verify to be safe online.

Best of luck,

A Hathaway
© 2012 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.