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Dating Apps Triggering Love Fraud in the Philippines

Posted On   date01/09/2015

Dating Apps Triggering Love Fraud in the Philippines

Are you in the hunt for an online relationship with a Filipina? Online dating can sometimes become a long and frustrating process, but it can also be a pleasant experience depending on how cautious and prepared you are for online fraud. If you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places and decided to start your search using a mobile app, beware. Private detectives in the Philippines say romance scams have been cropping up again lately and mobile is the new target.

The Philippines continues to be one of the most popular places in the online love search, especially amongst men.  Filipina women are in the top of the list for those looking for interracial relationships. This is why the online dating scamming industry has also grown exponentially in the country. Love fraud is global, and there is no place immune from fraud (not even offline), but there are certainly places where online criminals have found a good niche, and the Philippines is one of them.

The most recent version of the online dating scam involves mobile dating apps like Tinder. Unfortunately, dating apps’ popularity has made them a magnet for scammers.  Although dating apps are fairly new to everyone, online criminals have already seen and experienced the potential benefits of using them as a tool for fraud. There is yet not much information regarding the statistics of victims or even the schemes used, but the Better Business Bureau has already released a warning for dating app users, alerting them about scammers who are using these platforms to spread malware.

How to spot a scammer in an online dating app?

Dating apps are based on instant attraction. The truth is that there is not much reading or checking for interests when you are doing this on a tiny mobile device. So the interest in meeting  basically comes down to a profile photo. Under these circumstances, it is hard to say from the beginning if someone is legitimate or not.  In most cases, it requires the skills of a private investigator.

Private investigators in the Philippines recommend that users of dating apps and any dating sites should follow some rules with every person they meet online. Most likely, people prefer to move to chat outside of the original app or site where they met. This is no indication of fraud whatsoever, but rather an interest in getting to know each other better. Once this step has been taken,  the first rule is asking the right questions and storing the answers: How old are you? When is your birthday? Where do you live? What do you do for a living? Where do you work? These may seem like obvious questions, but the truth is that many people skip them, and they are all important to determine if someone is real or not.

Once you are certain that you do have an interest in the person on the other side of the computer, get a dating background check. With the information that you have already gathered, local investigators in the Philippines can actually verify if every piece of data is accurate and true, or if on the contrary there are risks identified or fraud uncovered.  Spotting the scammer before taking any additional steps will save you from a lot of trouble.  Verify the person first, and then decide.

Other tips for dating app users

Last but not least, be careful with the apps you download and the vulnerabilities they may have. Hackers can easily attack any site or app nowadays, so make sure the information that the app collects from you is maintained to a minimum. Do not share your personal information, turn off your GPS and try to make payments by using only secure methods.   When in doubt, speak with a reputable private investigation firm to get clear evidence with a real dating background check investigation.

C. Wright
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