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Istanbul Turkey and Online Dating – The Fraud Risk from Overseas

Istanbul Turkey and Online Dating – The Fraud Risk from Overseas

Millions of people are hooked to online dating platforms nowadays, especially since COVID-19 severely restricted our daily lives with government lockdowns, which have had limited to no success.  As economies and people suffer, in many places social interaction and meeting new people in person is impossible, which is why online dating apps and online dating websites have experienced a surge in users -and in scamming and fraud activity.

Romance scammers are growing their business in more countries. For a long time, the top high-risk countries were Ghana, Nigeria, Russia and the Philippines. But international private investigators see an alarming increase in cases based in Turkey. The amount of romance cases that result in fraud reveals that Turkey criminals are highly active and making a lot of money.

A recent article claims that in the UK only, online dating victims lose an average of £11,145. In fact, the number of reported cases rose 64% in 2019, and again by 26% in 2020.

How to recognize a Turkey dating scam?

Online criminals from different places have their own way of conducting dirty business.  In most cases they exploit the things the country is well-known for. Ghana scammers use the gold business, Russian scammers use their womens’ good looks. Turkey is exuberant. Istanbul is a modern metropolis and a hub for technology manufacturers, textiles, modern armament defense manufacturing, steel-iron and construction and contracting industry. Turkey is also an oil and natural gas producer. In short, the country is well known for hosting high level international business, and many of the scams in Turkey involve business or claimed businesses and investments. But at the same time, Turkey preserves the charm of old times.

According to private investigators in Turkey, most of these online dating scam cases target foreign women. Criminals impersonate successful businessmen in Istanbul and lure their victims by portraying a fantasy life that many cannot resist.  The scammers claim to be hard-working men, with a great financial status, and the romantic charms of Turkish men. In some cases, they claim to be from different countries but temporarily working on a project in Turkey. In either case, online scammers take the necessary time to win their victims’ trust. Once this is achieved, it might be too late to recognize the red flags, and the damage is done.

Avoiding Tukey dating scams

In online dating relationships it is extremely difficult to know who is real and who is not. Being skeptical and verifying every online relationship is the only way to stay safe, regardless of whether the person in question has provided “evidence” of their identity, or the nature of the relationship (romantic, friendship or business). Professional background check investigation in Turkey provides evidence that is key to staying safe, and they never harm anyone.

Ideally, people should hire a professional investigator in Istanbul as soon as possible to conduct a discreet background check investigation when they have met someone in Turkey, especially if the relationship began via the internet. Unfortunately, most of the government records that you will need to verify are not available online. An internet search may result in misleading information, like fake social media accounts or web content that people think proves the existence and claims of their contact or partner. However, the only safe way to verify is to search for official public, government and media records that can confirm if the person is in fact who they claim to be. In order to access this information, you will need a local investigator in Turkey who has training, knows the language and has access to government offices, and of course has experience in private investigation. Investigators can also contact employers or schools if necessary to verify employment and education.

Keep in mind that online dating sites and social networks are the places where most Turkey scammers find their victims. No online dating website or app or social media is secure.  Protect your private information, and when in doubt always verify!

C. Wright
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