Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Demands of modern life have made dating complicated. Single people find it hard to cope with work, meetings, shopping for groceries, meeting friends and trying to find the perfect match.  Time just slips away from us, and often the internet can seem like an attractive opportunity to meet someone for those that have hectic schedules.  Internet dating sites and social networks more recently have become common places for those looking for love and relationships.

Many people join Match.com or Facebook or similar sites to meet new people, friends or possible partners.  Statistics show that the usage is widespread and all types of people from mostly developing countries use online dating or social networking sites for this purpose.  Facebook is not only about connecting with friends.  Many now use the platform to find love online.  Mixed in with the honest users on the internet are seasoned criminals and con artists who are targeting you, and they are becoming more sophisticated in their scam tactics.  Today’s romance scams can be difficult to detect and internet criminals can now fool even the most skeptical.

How to avoid being a victim of romance scam?

Reputable private investigators say it’s important not to look over the real world option.  Looking for love in the real world, in coffee shops or bars, university or school, bookstores, gyms or sports clubs, or through friends and co-workers, or parties, is clearly the safer option when it comes to scams and fraud.  Investigators say there is no safer way than to see in person who you’re dealing with.  Five minutes in the real world can be worth one year on the internet trying to get to know someone, experts say.  If your schedule allows, try to make time for this healthy option.

Dating online is a fair alternative, but it simply has a significant amount of risk for fraud, scams, identity theft, virus and malware, deception and misrepresentation.  How can you be sure the person on the other end of the internet is who he or she claims to be?  The answer to that question is, you don’t.  Internet criminals now use IP address masking software or proxy servers, use local numbers obtained from Skype, and even assume a real identity of a real person, so when you do your research to verify, everything seems legit.  Investigators see this on a daily basis.  In most cases, it requires the skills and resources of a trained private investigator to verify.

Never provide personal information such as date of birth, telephone or mobile numbers, social security number, bank account or credit card information, or an address.  Be advised that any webcam chat may be recorded to blackmail you in the future.  Be smart and safe.

More internet users are turning to trained professionals to verify their online partner.  In fact, the business of dating background checks is growing because consumers want to be safe.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and it takes time to build intimacy and worthwhile relationships.  Be skeptical of new contacts who seem to fall in love overnight.   Discreet dating background checks with a reliable investigation firm can also lower your risk.

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.