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Online Dating Private Investigator Raleigh NC

Online Dating Dangers Can Be Broken Up Into Two Sections; Financial Scams & Assault Crimes. Let's Look At Financial Scams First...

 

You finally met the person of your dreams. You have so much in common and you’ve been swept off your feet by your new online dreamboat. If they weren’t so far away and having problems with their passport, you’d probably be married by now. To make matters worse, they're having financial problems and your hearts telling you to send them money.

In 2019, consumers lost over 200 million dollars due to romance scams according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Online Dating Scams have nearly tripled since Covid according to the FBI. Lonely, isolated victims found themselves prey to witty online crooks who use technology, emotion and love as weapons to rob people of all they have. We've created this page as a guide to help people recognize these scams and avoid the emotional heartache often associated with this crime.

Online Dating

What Are Online Dating Financial Scams?

 

When an individual fakes romantic interest in someone, crafting the perfect persona to overtake someone emotionally so they fall in love through the use of the internet with the intention of stealing their money or information to steal their identity.

 

A Few Terms You Shoud Know…

 

Catfishing – The act of luring someone into a relationship by using a fake profile on a dating site or internet platform with the intention of stealing their money or their identity. Catfishing scams often feel too good to be true but victims stay in the relationship in the hopes that they are real.

 

Love Bombing – This strategy involves completely overwhelming the victim with attention, fake love, emotional support, compliments and gifts. Lonely unassuming victims often fall for this strategy because deep down its what they’ve wanted for so long. Love Bombing can have a victim sending their life savings to the criminal in as little as a few days!

 

Pig Butchering – This scam involves criminals (called Butchers) who search the internet for victims (called Pigs). The suspects lure the victims into purchasing cryptocurrency assets then depositing them into a legitimate looking crypto-trading account that’s owned by the scammer. Victims have often lost their entire life savings to the culprits. 

Bigamist - A bigamist is a person who enters into a marriage while already married to another person. Most of the time the bigamist does not reveal this additional marriage to their current spouse. Some bigamists have been arrested revealing they had 4 families; 4 spouses, several children and maintaining 4 different household addresses living separate lives completely independent from each other.

Money Launderers - These criminals make a connection with their victim online and once trust is gained, ask their target to open a bank account for them. This is normally disguised as needing help with a new business. Once opened, the perpetrator sends the target funds to place in the account. Without realizing it, the target has been turned into a money mule and usually ends up facing criminal charges while the real criminal can't be located.

Inheritance Scamers - This criminal is a little different in that face-to-face contact and the use of real identities is initiated right from the start. Lengthy and in-depth research is performed to find wealthy victims who are single and lonely. Once the connection is made, they become the perfect mate which usually leads in marriage. Once married, they now legally own their now-shared property and money. A quick divorce in many cases reveals a 50% split of assets if not more going to the perpetrator.

 

 

7 Signs You May Be Involved In An Online Dating Financial Scam

 

1) You Never Meet The Person

The scammer will often make plans for the two of you to meet but will never show up. There will always be a reason, an excuse or an emergency that they could not make it. Many times the scam comes in the form of the suspect being in the military, working internationally, working on an oil rig, or having problems with their visa or passport.

 

2) You Never See The Person

Not being able to meet the person for a short amount of time is halfway understandable. But during these schemes the suspect will never be available for Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, Zoom or any form of live video. The criminal will normally make excuses like their camera is broken, internet connection is not strong enough for video or if video is made, its so dark that identification cannot be made.

 

3) Trust Is Established Immediately

Relationships take time to build trust. You would never meet someone and after 2 hours share your inner most secrets, ideas and values. During Online Dating Scams, it may not happen in 2 hours but the criminals apply reverse psychology by displaying automatic trust from the first hour. They say things like… "I don’t know why, but I feel like I can tell you anything; I normally don’t share this but there is just something about you." Or, "I normally don’t open up like this but you're different." Immediate trust when you first meet someone is a sign that something is wrong and they are trying to gain your trust by appearing to make themselves vulnerable.

 

4) Privacy Is At A Premium

The con artist realizes they have a higher rate of success without interference from your family or friends. Your inner circle will easily spot the con artist and be suspicious of the new relationship because they are not emotionally tied to the situation. This will cause the suspect to insist that extreme privacy be enacted. They will often want to communicate outside of the dating app and use your personal cell phone and email. They will ask you to avoid telling family and friends about them because “they wouldn’t understand the deep connection we have.”

5) The Relationship Is Too Perfect

You just met 2 days ago and everything is so perfect. Somehow you agree about everything, you share the exact same interests and love to do the exact same things. This person completely understands everything you talk about and agrees with all your views regarding any subject. You’ve spoken for hours and have had no arguments and you feel so invigorated when you get off the phone. Finally you’ve met your soul-mate who is precisely what you are looking for. Don’t be fooled; if it’s too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam.

 

6) Everything Happens Extremely Fast

You just met and the suspect overwhelms you with attention, compliments and gifts. The suspect wants to talk to you 20 times a day and sends flowers. Within a few days, the criminal confesses his/her love for you and starts making plans for the future.

 

7) Show Me The Money

Directly or Indirectly, at some point the suspect will ask you for money. This may be a direct ask like, “Hey, I’m in some trouble and need some help paying a bill, do you think you can help me out just this one time?” The request may be indirect when the suspect says “I just got terminated from my job and my rent is due; if I don’t get the money by tomorrow I will get evicted. I don’t know anyone I can ask for help.” A request for money is a major red flag and is an immediate clue that you are likely being scammed. The scammer may also avoid asking for money but may request information to steal your identity. The information request may include asking for your personal email address, phone number, address, passwords, pin numbers, birthday, social security number and driver's license number. This information will allow them to open up credit cards in your name, loans or gain access to your existing financial accounts.

Horror Stories From Online Dating Financial Scams...

https://abc11.com/romance-scams-pictures-stolen-catfish-soldier/14500778/

https://abc7chicago.com/romance-scam-cary-nc-facebook-account-scammer/13815485/

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/the-hell-of-my-life-long-island-woman-loses-475k-in-online-dating-scam/4142619/

 

I Suspect I’m Involved In An Online Dating Financial Scam. What Should I Do?

 

If you are sure you are involved in an online dating financial scam there are many things you need to do. The first thing is to immediately report the incident to local law enforcement, report the person to the dating app or social media site, block the person and cease all communication, put a fraud alert on your credit accounts, change all passwords and pins associated with financial accounts and never send the perpetrator any money.

 

If you are not sure, then hire an Online Dating Scam Private Investigator to conduct an investigation on your person of interest. The Private Detective can look into the person's background and perform detailed searches on restricted databases to look for clues of fraud and wrongdoing. Private Investigators can even travel abroad or coordinate with investigators in other countries to make sure your new love interest is real. Hiring a Online Dating Scam Private Detective opens up many options to discover the truth and can save you time, emotional heartache and protect you from financial ruin.

Online Dating Assault Crimes. What Are They And How Can You Protect Yourself Against Them?

Online dating assault crimes can include many things such as simple assault (punching, kicking, hitting), serious assault (assault resulting in serious bodily injury), kidnapping, stalking, internet bullying, rape, sexual assault and various crimes resulting in death or murder.  

Online Dating Assault Crime

7 Alarming Statistics About Online Dating Websites

  • 25% of rapists use online dating to find their victims, ref. Phactual.com

  • On free dating sites, at least 10% of new accounts are from scammers, ref. Marketdata Enterprise, Inc.

  • 51% percent of online dating singles are already in a long-term committed relationship, yet their online profile status is single, ref. Dinner for Six (matchmaking service), Denver, Colorado

  • More than 53% of Americans fabricate parts or all of their dating profile details, ref. eharmony.com

  • 11% of people using online dating services are already married, ref. MSNBC

  • Each year internet predators commit more than 16,000 abductions, 100 murders and thousands of rapes, ref. InternetPredatorStatistics.com

Horror Stories From Online Dating Assault Crimes...

https://www.propublica.org/article/he-sexually-assaulted-her-after-they-met-on-bumble-then-she-saw-him-on-tinder-then-hinge

https://www.propublica.org/article/tinder-lets-known-sex-offenders-use-the-app-its-not-the-only-one

https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/two-sentenced-to-life-after-luring-man-through-dating-app-to-his-death-in-hernando-woods-20190523/

6 Ways You Can Protect Yourself From Online Assault Crimes?

 

1) Use A Trusted Site

Now we use the word "trusted" very loosely because you really can't trust anyone or anything. However, choose a site that has been recommended by family, friends or coworkers. Forbes reports there are approximately 8,000 dating sites online so there's a lot to choose from. Stick to sites that have been interviewed by reputable media outlets like Forbes, ones that you've heard success stories from or ones that have advertisements on television. Make sure the site screens for sexual predators or performs background checks for violent offenders. Sometimes this means you have to pay for a subscription but the extra safety measure is worth it.

2) Never Give Out Personal Information

The old fashion days where your date comes to your front door to pick you up for the first date are OVER! Nowadays you must be extremely careful with giving out your personal information. Do not give out your home address, work location, school location, church location, financial information, information on family members or children, frequently visited places (ex. gym location), or information like date of birth, social security number, drivers license number, passwords or pin numbers.

3) Schedule A Virtual First Date

Since Covid, the virtual world has greatly expanded. FaceTime and Zoom meetings are now common so why not use this technology to have a first date. This gives you the opportunity to get a visual of your potential partner, ask questions and see any potential red flags. Many times you can eliminate obvious goons without even leaving your living room. Failure to accept a Virtual First Date is an immediate red flag and sign that you need to block that person and move on.

4) After A Few Virtual Dates, Meet In A Public Place

OK, so you've had several successful Virtual First Dates and you're itching to meet the person face-to-face. Here are a few steps to assist in keeping you safe:

  • Pick a public place - Make sure that you select the meeting place. This gives you the opportunity to ensure it's well populated, safe, has multiple escape routes and gives you the opportunity to visit the location prior to your date.

  • Meet for Brunch, not dinnerStatistics prove that bad things happen after dark. Keep it simple, keep it safe. Schedule your first date during the day. Brunch at 11am. The sun will be out, people will be out and you can assess things better earlier during the day.

  • Inform family/friends of your date - Make sure someone has your itinerary. That way if something goes wrong, a trusted person knows when and where to start looking and has basic facts to relay to law enforcement authorities if needed.

  • Use GPS Technology - Its 2024 and GPS technology is as advanced as ever. Why not use it to your advantage. Share your location on your iPhone or use free apps like Life360 so your location is always known.

  • Take a taxi, Uber or Lyft to your meetup location - Never allow yourself to be picked up at home. Never get inside someone else's car. Never accept a ride home. Use paid transportation so the identity of your vehicle remains anonymous along with your license plate information. The last thing you want is for the suitor to walk you to your car and place an Apple Airtag in your vehicle.

  • Don't give any personal information just yet - I know you've been on a few virtual dates and you're starting to feel comfortable but this is still the first official date and you still don't know this person.

  • Don't leave your drink unattended - Technological advances in medication are astonishing. There are pills on the market, if swallowed, will have you passed out for 8 hours without a clue as to what happened 12 hours prior. Don't take the chance, if you must use the rest room, take your drink with you or order a fresh glass of water.

  • Leave the alcohol at the bar - Alcohol impairs your judgement, reaction time and ability to make sound decisions. Do you think these are qualities you want on your first date?

  • Take a Taxi, Uber or Lyft to a friends house - Even though you took a taxi, Uber or Lyft to get to your date location; you can still be followed home. Take a taxi to a friend's house and leave from there when you are certain you haven't been followed.

  • Don't ever have sex on the first meeting - This is just asking for problems and nullifies all the above security measures. Don't do it!

5) Take Your Time, Slow Things Down & Evaluate Their Response

Criminals work with dozens and sometimes hundred of online victims at one time. They work off of productivity and this has a timeline. The more time you take to form a relationship, the harder it will be to maintain their evil intentions. We all want love, romance and a happy-ever-after, but that comes with time. Rome was not built in a day!

6) Ask Your Potential Mate If They Would Be Open To A Background Investigation

Yes I know it seems strange! But if the person is really interested in you, has pure intentions and nothing to hide; then they won't object to having a Background Investigation performed on them. Think about it... you are about to let this person in your home, be intimate with this person, introduce them to your kids, bring them to the family cookout; don't you want to make sure you know everything about them? Don't you deserve to make sure you're safe. To learn what is involved in a Background Investigation, click here and learn all the ways a Private Investigator can help you.

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