100% CONFIDENTIAL SUPPORT:

How to Protect Yourself from Online Romance Scams

online-romance-scam-investigations

Share This Post

 

With online dating having become, arguably, the most popular way for singles to find love, it has also become a bastion of opportunity for scammers looking to pull on someone’s heart strings in an effort to pull open their wallets. According to the FBI, online scams have increased by almost 25% since 2019, and has resulted in a loss of over $500 million dollars to unsuspecting individuals. In this post, we’re going to go through some of the most common scams, how to avoid them and what to do if you believe you’ve fallen victim.

How the Scam Works

Online dating fraudsters will often create profiles using fake photos, false information, and name all chosen to attract the type of victim they want. Once they have contact with a target, they will gain the trust of their targets using heartfelt conversations, loving words, and gifts to manipulate the target and to divert attention from their real identity.

What Are the Most Common Internet Dating Scams?

There are many types of internet dating scams, but the most common ones are the following:

  • Catfishing is when a scammer uses someone else’s photos and identity to have a relationship with someone.
  • Blackmailing is when a scammer will try to grow close with a victim and most commonly ask for intimate photos and initiate intimate conversations. Once they have enough material, they will publish or threaten to publish the information online and only unpublish in exchange for a large fee. There is no 100% way that anything published will be fully removed because other people have access to it.
  • Money laundering is when a scammer will ask the victim to transfer money or send goods for them like stolen laptops and cellphones. Some scammers ask the victims to forward cash, cheques and packages for them.
  • Swindling is the most common online dating scam. A scammer will gain a victim’s affection and trust and then request help or money for what seems like valid reasons such as a medical emergency or an accident. Once they get some money or when the victim has nothing left to give, they cut contact.

How to Avoid Internet Dating Scams

Attention to detail and doing your own due diligence is crucial to avoid these Romance scams. Some signs may not be obvious, but are there if you know where to look. You can ask to meet in person to prevent catfishes. You can note profile inconsistencies like age and photos. One of the easiest ways is to perform a reverse image search on their profile photos, to see if they appear anywhere else online. It is better to keep a slow pace because scammers will try to fabricate intimacy as soon as possible by asking for personal details and declaring love early on. Try to use the dating app or site to communicate or use an email that isn’t what you normally use. Look for grammar inconsistencies as well as sentences that do not make sense can mean that the scammer may simply be copy-pasting messages. Lastly, do not send money, objects, or your personal information to someone you haven’t met in person.

Why Conduct Online Dating Investigation?

An online dating investigation is done to reveal a person’s real identity and motives. A private investigator will conduct extensive background checks, gather information across various platforms, trace messages from the original sources, and maybe find out other personal details. The information will be shared with the victim for his or her peace of mind. The information will also uncover potential criminal activities and prevent fraudulent activities from happening by providing the data to the right authorities.

Are you or someone you know dating someone online who seems suspicious? At Haywood Hunt, we can help. Contact us today to discuss our Online Dating Investigation services. If you have questions, you deserve answers.

More To Explore

Cost-of-a-Private-Investigator-Toronto
Blog

Private Investigator Cost: Toronto – 2024 Update

As is true with most things in life, “you get what you pay for,” and the same rings true when hiring a private investigation agency. The cost of hiring a private investigator in Toronto can vary significantly amongst agencies as does the quality of work. The bottom line is, if you need to hire a private investigator, make sure you choose a reputable agency that provides clear, detailed, and transparent billing to ensure you receive the service you’re paying for. In our latest blog post, we go through everything you need to know about the cost of hiring a private investigator in Toronto.

private-investigator-families
Blog

How Private Investigators Can Help Families

Even families with no marital concerns can have issues arise that can benefit from the services of a private investigation agency. Private investigators help families in several ways. Below are some of the priceless ways that hiring the right private investigator can help your family.