Our private eyes are now investigating for our clients the prolific reliance on internet dating sites. We are very capable of discreetly checking out potential suitors with near perfect accuracy and would be happy to talk to you in complete confidence with a way we can either put your mind at ease or uncover mistruths with our investigations.
Please see our section in Services, internet profiling and internet romances.
However, if you are in the early stages of a net romance we have reproduced a guide with the dating do’s and don’ts
- Go slow before going steady: Proceed with caution when meeting someone through a dating service. Be careful not to offer too much information that can identify you or your address. You can usually uncover a con artist if you’re persistent in demanding answers to detailed questions.Use an Internet search engine to verify and gather more information. There have been too many cases of women being stalked or assaulted by strangers they meet online. If you move from online chatting to talking on the phone do not disclose your number to avoid further hassle later on.
- There’s no free lunch: There are a growing number of “free” dating websites, as well as dating services offering “free” trial memberships. Consumers complain that scam artists use free sites because there is less monitoring and paperwork for subscribers. Additionally, with “free” trial memberships, consumers must check the fine print which changes frequently with some services to know when and how to cancel their membership and avoid paying fees. Many of the scammers also use stolen credit cards to purchase long term memberships to the various dating services as well. Remember, just because someone is a paying member does not make them real.
- Let’s go some place more private: Another red flag is when you “meet” someone on a dating-service website but they want to continue the conversation at a website or an instant messenger service where the conversation will not be monitored. This also allows them to speak to several people at one time.
- Sometimes, love is a five-letter word: When you “meet” someone online or when reading their often-invented profile, watch for misspellings and other signs that they may be a con artist who does not live where they say they live or uses phrases that don’t quite ring true.
- Looks too good to be true: When an online profile includes a professional-looking photograph that may be a sign that there’s more (and less) here than meets the eye. Dating experts also say to look for wedding rings and body or facial features that don’t match their profile.
- Wink, wink, nudge, nudge: Consumers complain that some websites will send you false messages claiming to be from someone interested in meeting you (these messages are called “winks” or “icebreakers.”) These phoney winks will show up just before a trial membership or when your subscription is about to lapse.
- Like dating a microwave oven: Another sure sign of trouble is when your new online friend professes his love for you in a day or two. Also be wary if someone:
- demands that you keep the relationship secret
- claims that it was destiny, fate or God that brought you together;
- immediately requests your address, claiming they want to send you flowers, chocolates etc.
- asks for your bank account information or requests that you open an account for them in your name
- sends you a fake cheque or money order and asks you to cash it and wire them the money. (Many scammers also send several money orders, in amounts less than £1,000, to their victims)
- asks you to cover their plane fare or sponsor their VISA so he or she can enter the country legally
- asks you for a small loan to get them out of a jam
- asks you to receive and reship merchandise for them