Online love scams indisputably skyrocketed over the past few years, especially in 2020. Crime rates tend to increase when a region is going through harsh circumstances like war, political and economic instability, and natural disasters. In Syria and Afghanistan’s case, the prolonged conflict and the presence of military forces have created the perfect atmosphere for scammers.
Peace is not around the corner, and the lack of stability in these countries means a perfectly stable state of uncertainty that criminals use in their favor. Private investigators in Afghanistan warn that the levels of violence in the country have risen. In Syria less than a year ago a government offensive forced a million people out of their homes in the rebel-held northwest. Civilians are facing hunger and poverty. People all around the world have seen the devastating consequences of the war in Syria and Afghanistan. We have all been witness to the mass displacements of the local populations and the trouble this has caused to surrounding countries and Europe.
The unquestionable tragedy that these countries suffer is also the perfect excuse for online love scams and romance fraud. They do not even need to be there to take advantage of the situation.
How online scammers use tragedy in their favor
Thousands of military members are currently deployed in Syria and Afghanistan on peace keeping missions. Most of the online scams originating in these countries come from fraudsters who claim to be on military duty. These fake soldiers target innocent victims by using a real tragedy and the honor of real military people to convince their victims that they need financial help. But the first step is to entangle their victims with promises of love. Online fraud is often about building trust.
Modern online scammers know it takes time to build trust, it’s a full time business for them. Once they have established a seemingly trustworthy relationship with their victims they will proceed with the scam. Usually the first red flag that victims notice is a continued request for money for different reasons. By the time people realize there is something wrong going on, they have already sent funds to the scammer. On some occasions, scammers will ask the victims to receive funds for them, which is even worse. There is no money loss when people receive money, but there could be legal trouble for receiving funds with an illegal or questionable origin.
How to stay away from the fraudsters
If you are in an online relationship of any sort -romantic, friendship or business – you are already at risk. However, there are ways to decrease the odds of falling victim. Background check investigations conducted by professional investigators in the country or countries where you need them, in this specific case online dating verifications in Afghanistan and Syria, will help you obtain evidence to prove whether your long distance relationship is real or not. Verifying the identity and location of the person in question, and whether or not they are part of the military will keep you safe.
Keep in mind that even though the current leading countries for online love fraud are Afghanistan and Syria, the criminals might not even be located in these countries. In fact, they could also claim to be deployed in different regions – like Yemen – to avoid the stigma that online fraud has.
If you have met someone claiming to be currently in Kabul or Damascus, or in another country serving in the military, and especially if they claim to be going through rough times, open your eyes and get professional help from a private investigator! There is a lot to lose, don’t risk your financial and emotional well-being to an online scammer. Contact us for a free investigation quote.
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