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Christian Dating Sites Face High Fraud Risk

Posted On   date04/04/2014

Christian Dating Sites Face High Fraud Risk

Christian dating sites were introduced in the online dating industry as the safe meeting point for people who were looking for a lifelong companionship, who would share same values and religious beliefs. Christians feel safe in these specific dating sites because, in theory, they will find someone who will keep their spiritual beliefs alive.  It should be a place of mutual, quality people and ethical users.  However, with a wide range of sites and a wider range of profiles, knowing who is legit and who is not is becoming increasingly challenging.  There are scammers targeting these sites, and their profiles blend in perfectly with the rest.  In most cases, it requires the skills of a professional private investigator to verify the person behind the profile.

Religious dating sites, like many social media and dating sites, have been infected with criminals conducting romance scams.  The truth is, these sites simply have no way to verify all their subscribers.  No website is immune from fraud these days, and criminals find smart ways to camouflage in any environment. So if religion is your topic, they´ll catch up and pose as the most Christian of all. However, it´s harder for Christian victims to realize this because of the nature of the site itself.  Christians are often trusting and believe in good people and good things.  They want to trust people.  Unfortunately, the world of internet scams is a dark realm.  For online dating users, it’s important to know that there are people out there actively targeting you.  Their goes is to steal your information and money, and they will do and say whatever it takes.

Every day many people are deceived by a con artist who found a way to mingle in these love and social platforms. Earlier this year, a woman from California reported being scammed out of $500,000 USD by a man she met on a Christian dating site. Although this may sound surreal, it happens on a daily basis. Not everyone loses such a great amount of money, but it is definitely a serious issue.

Some dating sites like ChristianMingle.com have taken some precaution. There are also tips and warnings for users on some sites so you can recognize the signs of a dating scam. But this is generally not enough. This brings us to an important discussion: who is responsible for the online dating scams? The users or the website? Companies that own dating sites have already gone through several lawsuits, but the truth is even if they want to prevent the scams, criminals will always find a way to target potential victims.  After all, a dating site or social networking site doesn’t have the expertise to investigate and verify individuals.  Such verification would also require a lot of money, and subscribers would have to pay much more.

Are you a newbie to Christian dating sites?

First thing to do –and first thing to advise to friends and family who want to enter the online dating world- is to get informed. Most Christian dating sites are not run by any religious group, but by companies who have simply focused their attention on Christian people. Why?  To make money.  Do not expect them to follow the principles of Christianity. You are basically on your own. Try to do some research online about what dating sites people recommend and check ways to verify international relationships.

Remember no site is immune from fraudsters, so the best you can do is protect yourself, regardless of the site you decide to use.  Make sure that the site has a privacy policy assuring that your personal information won’t be shared with anyone. Read the small print and make sure you understand everything before opening an account or providing your credit card.  Look for sites that try to stop scams.

Verify your new contacts to lower your risk

If you have already met someone you like, get a dating background check. Don´t wait until the person knows everything about you and has enough information to blackmail you, steal your identity or conduct a romance scam on you.  Love is blind.  Leave the verification and investigation to trained investigators.  Uncovering evidence of fraud and identifying risk is what they do on a daily basis.

Sometimes money requests takes months or even years, and in the meantime you might be providing a criminal with valuable information of yourself (your family, your assets, etc). The truth is that if you really like this person, verifying him/her from the beginning will be reassuring and will give you peace of mind. Remember that romance scams are amongst the top 5 crimes on the internet.

Having a comfortable and healthy dating experience depends mainly on you. Lower the fraud risk by getting informed and requesting professional help when necessary.

C. Wright
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