The whole year is a high season for romance scammers these days, but Valentine’s is definitely the most significant time of the year when online criminals search for potential victims. When Valentine’s Day is close, single people tend to feel lonely and open to online dating accounts or social media, and can be more vulnerable to internet scammers and romance fraud. In fact, this behavior is also common during holidays like Christmas or New Years.
International private investigators who specialize in these cases are expecting a sizeable increase in romance scam cases after Valentine’s this year. Millions of people around the world spent their 2020 isolated at home, with few to no close contact with other people. After an entire year of media-driven Covid isolation, this Valentine’s Day will probably be the greatest in history in online dating websites and apps usage, and as a result, it may be the greatest in scams too.
The effects of the lockdowns and the growth of online dating fraud may not be immediate. Most romance scammers take their time to manipulate their victims. In some cases, the doubts and the red flags start appearing a few weeks or even months after communication started with an online partner. Unfortunately, the online grooming could take years and the victim may not learn they are being deceived until unrecoverable years have gone by. Time is of the essence when meeting someone online, and it’s important to verify early rather than after damage is done.
Beware of the love predators!
It is exciting and comforting to have a date on Valentine’s Day, even if it is online. However, do not let the emotions blind you. If you meet someone who you like or feel interested in, make sure they are who they claim to be. You can hire a professional private investigation company to conduct a dating background check investigation. Professional background check investigations conducted early in a relationship are a great investment because the evidence obtained saves time, money and energy that could otherwise be wasted and never recovered.
Don’t wait for red flags to show
Romance scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect. A few years back scammers were obvious about their money requests and careless with their tactics. Today, scamming victims online is a highly competitive “business”. In order to be successful, criminals have had to raise the bar. This entails being more patient, investing more time and effort in manipulating their victims, using more resources, more technology, etc. They have incorporated more people in the business, including models who are willing to pose for a photo or appear in front of a webcam, false documents and IDs, corrupt contacts in money wiring services and more. By the time a red flag shows, victims are already trapped in the fraud.
Always put your safety first
The best way to stay safe is to know the risk and verify. You won’t know if the special person you met is real and honest until you can obtain reliable evidence to confirm their claims. Ask as many questions as you can to your online date. If they are really into you, they will answer. The more information you have from them, the more a professional investigator can verify and investigate when you get your dating background check or online dating verification.
Experienced investigators can verify any person you meet via the internet, and detectives will ask for and verify as many data points that you can provide, such as full name, date of birth, address, employment or education, marriage status, criminal and court records, media records, and verification of any ID or passport samples, or documentation, and more.
Contact us if you have recently met someone online and want to avoid fraud. Keep in mind we have investigators in over 100 countries, including high risk countries like Ghana, South Africa, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Colombia and the Philippines.
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