The rising cases of romance and marriage fraud are keeping private investigators in Kiev on alert. Ukraine has been historically a country with online romance scams issues, but the figures did not compare to those of Russia, Romania or West Africa. Marriage fraud is a global problem, and investigators have seen an increase in these type of cases in this eastern European countries.
Investigator and Due Diligence Director Paul Fletcher from Wymoo International explains that for a private investigation firm operating in over 100 countries it is clear to see trends on online crime rates. Services like background check investigations, surveillance or due diligence are triggered when crime rates are up, so it is easy to see hot zones where a specific kind of fraud or crime is happening.
A little history about what is going on with Ukraine and how this affects online crime rates
Ukraine has gone through a lot since the revolution of February of 2014, when a series of violent events involving protesters, riot police, and unknown shooters culminated in the ousting of the elected Ukrainian President and the overthrow of the Ukrainian Government. Since then, the country has passed through a series of sociopolitical changes, including the restoration of the previous constitution that was in place until 2010 and reforming efforts towards a more open government. The break up with Russia has created a lot of new opportunities, but it has also deeply affected the economy.
Although the Ukraine is still on the path of recovery, the country remains very far behind of other European economies. As of 2018, Ukraine still has the lowest personal income rate and the second lowest GDP per capita in Europe, similar to the GDP per capita in Honduras. It also suffers from a very high poverty rate and severe corruption. When considering these factors, it is not such a surprise that online crime rates have increased. Marriage scams have thrived as an alternative way to make a living for unethical young people, especially women, and they target Westerners.
Marriage fraud is a reality in Ukraine, but how can it be avoided?
If you met someone from the Ukraine and you are interested in pursuing a serious relationship with this person, do not wait until you can find signs of trouble. Verifying the authenticity of a potential spouse does not make anyone a bad person, it means you are being smart and cautious. Wymoo investigators say that one of the biggest mistakes that victims make is to wait too long to get a professional background check investigation. Sometimes red flags will appear after it’s too late. Verifying as soon as you find an interest in someone as a potential partner is a smarter way to go.
Marriage scams are more common that what we would like, but the tools to prevent this from happening to you are available. Contact us if you need to have someone verified.
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