In an ideal world, using internet dating websites would be a safe, secure and foolproof way of finding a partner online. Even if you didn’t find a ‘happy ever after’ through the site, you’ll have met some great people, and most importantly, you’ll never feel as though your safety or personal information has been compromised. Unfortunately, for a lot of users of online dating, that’s not the case.
Fraudsters use the sites as a breeding ground for scamming and tricking people out of their personal details and their money. They start by simply exchanging messages with a victim, under the pretense of starting a relationship; before long, they have stolen thousands of pounds from the innocent person’s accounts.
It’s happened time and time again. Even recently, users in the USA have reported being scammed of up to $50,000 from their personal bank accounts, or having valuable possessions stolen by people they met on dating websites, and leaving their real personal information with them can be so upsetting and of course they then never hear from them again.
Of course, these cases are rare, and most users of dating websites are like minded people looking for a happy relationship. But you can never be too careful, and it’s always worth taking the necessary steps, including potentially hiring a private investigator, to make sure that you are as protected as possible while you’re using this service.
How can you spot a fraudster on a dating website?
Scammers will generally ask you a lot of questions without revealing any information about themselves, and what they do tell you will be very generic, basic details (that they are probably making up). Very often, they will try and lure you in with a fake sob story, but on some occasions they will act normally for many months and then probably mention that they are in need of money or help with a family or work situation. Another tell-tale sign is a refusal to meet in person, even if you’ve been talking online for a long period of time; this usually means they are hiding behind a false identity and simply trying to trick you into something.
How can you protect yourself?
It sounds like simple common sense, but there’s one golden rule that online dating site users often forget – do not give away any of your personal details or sensitive private information until you 100% trust the person you’re communicating with. Realistically, this will take months, so don’t pass this type of information over to anyone after a few weeks of communication, and we would suggest you never release this information until you can 100% verify whom they are and maybe you have met them beforehand. Another thing that often seems simple but is often forgotten – you should never send any money to a fellow site member who asks for it. You will simply be one of many people who is sending cash sending money to an undeserving scammer.If you’re becoming involved with another user on a dating site and you are worried that they are trying to con you, contact us here at Global Investigations, so we can conduct a full and thorough background search. If the person in question does have a questionable history or any criminal convictions, you will have the hard evidence you need to cease all communications immediately – and save yourself a lot of time and heartache.