As investigators, our clients range from being business owners requesting background investigations on potential employees to investors needing thorough investigation of overseas investment opportunities to husbands or wives who suspect their spouses of marital infidelity.
However we are seeing a growing trend in recent years in the incidence of victims of romance scams. When adults find themselves alone, ether by divorce or death of a spouse, many yearn for the company of a loving companion. In today's society, singles turn to dating websites. In fact, research shows that 87% of single adults view online dating as a positive option.
The perks of online dating include surfing when you want to, in your pajamas, with bed head. There's no pressure. You can delete who you no longer find interesting. But too often, dating on the home computer can bring about a very false sense of security.
Here at International Investigators, clients come to us after they've already been swindled by someone they have met online. And then, using the latest techniques in social media engineering and investigative strategies, we try our best to track down the online criminals.
Here are a few facts to ponder when you consider meeting someone online:
- Females in their 50s and 60s seem to be most vulnerable to being swindled financially on the Internet. An even higher number of men in this age range get cheated too, but they are not as likely to share that experience with authorities.
- Manipulative techniques of online criminals are so polished that they request you Skype with them and then hire beautiful male and female models to pose as your romantic interests.
- Beware of a new love interest who asks lots of personal questions. Don't share your birth date or home address, where you work or what type of vehicle you drive.
- Never mention during online conversation that you are the recipient of a divorce settlement or inheritance.
- When a potential online mate pitches a sob story followed by a request for a loan, that's your clue to get out of the situation.
With these thoughts in mind, International Investigators is being asked to conduct background investigations and, especially, criminal background checks on potential love matches. Many times, the subject is asked for, and provides, written permission to conduct the investigation. That makes the inquiry faster and easier for everyone. If the person balks at the request, our experience tells us there is probably a reason.
Online dating may seem simple and easy, but the ability to hide behind a screen and pretend to be something other than the truth is easy, too.
-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators
-B. McGinley, Director of Operations, International Investigators