Online dating seems like quite an easy subject, after all, everyone is doing it these days. People create their profile, include their description and interests, and from there all that it’s left to do is mingle. The tricky part is that new users to online dating apps and sites (and even experienced users) are not always aware of the risks they may encounter out there.
It’s not just about socializing and meeting new people. Like in real life, there are dangers that people need to be careful about. “We want to make users aware of the dangers so that they can enjoy online dating as a fun activity instead of turning it into the worst mistake of their lives,” says John Wallace, Director of International Background Checks at Wymoo International. Our professional private investigators have put together some tips to stay safe.
The most common mistake dating site users make is to underestimate the problem. Frequently people think that romance scams happen only in the movies, or to other people. Viewing the problem as something distant prevents people from taking proper measures to take care of themselves. According to the most recent report from the Internet Crime complaint Center in the United States, online dating fraud reached at least 19,473 people in 2019 (these were the reported cases). If only a small percentage of the real victims reports the scam, then the figures are much worse. Millions of thousands of people are being targeted, and many will fall victim. Romance fraudsters are professional criminals that can outsmart anyone, and they have many resources to be successful. No one is ever too smart, too young, or too old.
Normally in romance scam cases this happens the other way around. Victims know hardly anything about their online date, while the criminal knows everything about their victim. Why is that? Honest users will most likely feel like they have nothing to hide, but the problem is that fraudsters use all the information people voluntarily provide to make their personas fit better in the picture, or might even steal their victims’ identity. Be selfish about your own personal data (address, workplace, family details, etc). Never share your date of birth, ID number or address! Of course online dating is about getting to meet a significant other, but when the relationship is just starting and you have not yet confirmed the person you are talking to is real and honest, the best option is to be vague, or to share general information, like your interests, the industry you work in (without details), etc. The other important aspect is to learn as much as possible about the person you are communicating with. Ask important facts that can later be used to verify if this person when you contact a reputable private investigator for a dating background check investigation. The more you know, the more investigators can verify.
Searching online for proof won’t be useful. You need real evidence, and unless you are a professional private investigator yourself with direct access to the sources of the information, and you have operatives and assets in the country or countries involved, your best option is to hire someone who can investigate for you. It might seem like a big step to hire a private investigation when you are only starting to know each other, but given the risks dating online implies, your best option is to get started as soon as possible. A dating background check investigation will provide evidence of whether this person is who they claim to be, where they work, study and live in, if they have traveled, or if they have gone through a particular circumstance like a hospitalization or arrest, if ID or documents are real, etc. Checking and verifying these circumstances and the known information is important.
International private investigators are great allies of online dating users. Use their skills and experience to stay safe so you have better luck finding someone online.
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