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True Love Online or Just another Romance Scam?

Posted On   date06/03/2014

True Love Online or Just another Romance Scam?

Can you really find true love online? There are thousands of suitable mates available so how do you know what is real? With all the online dating and social networking sites, and all the tempting profiles, how can you be sure which ones are real?  What do you do to decide which dates are being honest and which are trying to defraud you? This process will take more than just following your head instead of your heart. Be prepared to really examine each of your online dates before getting in too deep. Investigators caution even the most skeptical can be victims of fraud.  Wymoo investigators say romance scams are far more complex than most people realize, and no dating site is 100% safe.  It’s up to you to protect yourself.

Here are five options to protect yourself from an online dating scam:

  1. Do your homework. Get a dating background check done. Verify who you are truly with and then make the decision for yourself on what to do next. There are so many fake profiles available on dating networks; it’s hard to know who to trust. Many people feel guilt over this step. It isn’t something to hide. Years from now when you are married, your partner isn’t going to care if you did a background check on a complete stranger. Because that’s what these profiles represent: strangers.
  2. Know the limitations of the website. There is a mathematical system that runs some of these dating sites. If true love is defined by finding the person most like yourself and/or what you desire, these systems will attempt to connect you. There are flaws in the system based on how much information a user does or doesn’t enter though. Understand what the website does with your answers and how this affects the results of your potential true love matches. Be wary of people who have a “too good to be true” amount of things in common with you.  After all, do you really trust a computer to find your perfect match?  Sites try to match up profiles, but many profiles are fake.
  3. Trust your instincts. A lot can be said about following your gut. If anything at all seems off about someone you are talking to online, question it. Keep a mental tab on different stories or facts about this stranger you are getting to know. Follow up on discrepancies. Being diligent and aware of possible lies will keep you out of trouble and help prevent your from falling victim to someone else’s schemes.  Remember, just because someone hasn’t asked for money doesn’t mean that you can’t be a victim.  Criminals have  100 different ways to steal your identity, blackmail you or get your money.
  4. Do not give out personal information. It may seem difficult to do but communicate with your online date through the website. Try to avoid being specific with where you live, where you work and other details. Don’t allow this person to get a good grasp on public places you may go on a predictable basis. Do not connect on social media until you know each other well. Be safe online so that once offline you are safe as well. Meeting in person needs to be reserved for a time and place that you both agree upon, and after you’ve had time to properly verify the individual’s identity.
  5. Use the tools available to you. Let’s say you’ve met someone online, on a social networking site or online dating site, and you’re considering meeting this individual in person.  This is a good time to contact a reputable private investigation company with trained investigators who specialize in verifying individuals.  Professional background checks and dating background checks are comprehensive services, not just generic database searches or checking criminal records.  A skilled investigator can verify all known information on an individual, such as education and employment, address, check the authenticity of any ID or passport, check criminal and court records, search birth and marriage records, and screen the case for fraud.  International background checks are strongly advised for any person who is from a foreign country or is currently traveling in a foreign country.

Connecting with new people can be very rewarding, despite the risk. There is a possibility that you could even find your partner for life. Unfortunately though, criminals play on people’s emotions and vulnerabilities.  Be aware of the potential for fraud and protect yourself for a successful search!

C. Wright
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