Have you met someone on Facebook that professes strong feelings for you? Social media platforms have become the new favorite tool for romance scammers to find their victims. Facebook is well known for not protecting user’s privacy, and with so many users worldwide, it is impossible to verify all the users. Although there is no social network free of internet criminals, Facebook is by far their top preferred. Its massive number of users and the increased possibilities of interaction, especially its built-in private chat Messenger, make it an extremely attractive ground for targeting victims.
Thousands of people learn the hard way that love can result in big losses when the person they have been communicating with is an online criminal. Beating a romance scammer is no easy task and the fact is that they know how to gain the trust of their victims. What starts with a simple friend request from a stranger can end with financial debt, identity theft, blackmail and depression, which is why international investigators urge people to be cautious with their internet relationships.
How to be safe?
It is normal to easily bond with someone online. People are instantly connected, and if they find a common ground, online relationships can evolve quickly. Texting and becoming close really fast is not unusual. The problem is when people do not understand the risk. Most people know that opening the door of your home to let a stranger in is risky, however, they have no problem with letting strangers in their private life by accepting a Facebook friend request. Not recognizing that this behavior is dangerous is what makes us vulnerable. When a fraudster has access to private information and the chance to lure and manipulate their potential victim, they will make the best out of their possibilities.
The demands for money may come one way or another, probably not until months have gone by. But investigators are seeing increasing numbers of cases where criminals never ask for money. Information is power these days, so criminals will attempt to gain your trust and information, so they can access your private data and steal your identity, blackmail you, and drain your bank accounts. Romance scammers work on their victims with the only purpose of obtaining a payment or personal data. They will try to accomplish it in a nice way (like convincing the victim they are engaged and ready to meet and get married) or in a bad way (by extortion or identity theft). If you were foolish enough to use your real date of birth to help Zuckerberg profit from selling it to thousands of third parties, now would be a great time to change your date of birth or close your Fakebook account.
Whether its Fakebook, Instagram or any other social network, professional investigators insist that the best way to stay safe is to hire a dating background check investigation and verify if the person you are contacting is who they claim to be and if they have a criminal past that may put you in danger. Do not engage in a relationship with a stranger you have never met, at least not until you have reliable evidence that confirms their identity and that they are who they claim to be. Nobody wants to be scammed, so investing in a professional investigation is a wise way to go.
Be careful from the start. If you do want to meet new people through Facebook then keep your account as impersonal as possible. Do not add any personal or private details, or post photos or information that can identify you or your loved ones. Never share your real date of birth, address or employer. If you’re not comfortable sharing the information with a criminal, then don’t post it on the Internet or Facebook. Remember, the more you post online, the more at risk you and your family are.
If you’re already in a relationship with someone you met on Facebook, check with us how to get started with a professional background check so you can know the truth and stay safe.
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