Wednesday, March 7, 2007

An Emerging Market for Fraud?

Colombia has struggled to overcome its reputation as a corrupt country, where narcotic production and cartels run rampant. Even though Pablo Escobar was eventually murdered in 1993 in Medellín, numerous other cartels have sprung up to salvage the remaining business. And of course, the export opportunities continue to support the illegal operations. The drug operations have decreased, however, with improvements in Colombian law and police efforts throughout the nation. Colombia's economy continues to improve and Bogotá resembles more of a European city than perhaps any other Latin American metropolis, more so than even Buenos Aires. But, poverty still reigns in Colombia, driving the growth of international fraud and scams.

The drive toward a free market economy and increased pressure on narcotics has led to a rise in other types of crime, particulary white collar and Internet fraud. In recent years the number of e-commerce or Internet scams originating from Colombia has increased 500 to 600% from December 2000 levels. One group that has been quick to cash in on the existing opportunity is the beautiful Colombian women, or the men who often control those women. Globalization has made love for sale big business.

Scam operations are increasingly widespread, targeting websites that cater to American, Canadian and European men. The fact that Colombia has some of the most beautiful women in the world, with limited rule of law, has made the South American nation a competitor with operations in the Philippines and Russia. Victims are targeted on sites like,, and many others. Some ladies are honest and seeking relationships. Others, however, sell romance at a heartbreaking price.

How to avoid these scammers? Understand that no website is immune from fraud, and money sent to Colombia via Western Union or other wire service, is likely lost in the event of fraud. These are the best "gold diggers" in the business, so approach relationships with caution. Visit Colombia and see the true story, if possible. When in a relationship that is progressing, have her checked out. Only a reputable and professional firm like Wymoo with a physical presence in Colombia can uncover the truth.

Finally, most Colombian women are very, very beautiful and decent. The corrupt minority, however, is growing fast.

All the best,

A. Hathaway
Different Themes
Posted by the Investigators

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.