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Online Dating Fraud Expanding in the Philippines

Online Dating Fraud Expanding in the Philippines

The Philippines is known worldwide as a high risk country when it comes to internet fraud, especially because of the thousands of cases of internet romance scams originated in the Philippines that affect mostly foreigners in developed countries. Although this scheme is pretty old and known by now, lots of people still fall victim and have not realized how important it is to be well informed about their romantic partner and to perform a dating background check in the Philippines to stay safe.

Online scams have had an exponential rise mainly due to the new technologies available. There are not only new and easier ways to communicate with people from other countries (like dating apps in the mobile phones), but also new and easier ways to find resources and cover the tracks of these criminals, and better ways to access information.

The Philippines is a country that stands out for having a tech-savvy and extremely connected population. More than 44 million Filipinos, mainly in the big cities likes Manila and Cebu, have access to the internet, making it the second highest ranking in Southeast Asia and the 6th in all of Asia. Mobile connections account to more than 114 million in a population of 100 million, so there is an exponential rise on mobile usage as well.  All these new technology, new dating apps, more accessible technology and internet penetration represent great risk since they are all being used for internet crime.

Philippines online dating scammers have easy access to devices and many tools available on the web to hide their real locations, to save information from their victims’ computers, to forge documentation and to develop very complex scams that make it harder for anyone to figure out.

When online scamming started to become a good business in the Philippines, criminals targeted the United States. Today, the epidemic has spread leaving thousands of victims throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other developed countries. Scammers basically focus on places where there is a good chance to find people who have a good financial status, maybe some savings and hopefully own a home or something valuable enough to use as a guarantee.

With the significant rise in romance scams, many online dating users are feeling confused and skeptical. Background check investigations are also growing in the Philippines, indicating that people are more aware of the dangers and more willing to invest in their own safety.

Any online relationship that is getting serious should always go through a dating background check. The question in these romance fraud cases is not only about the money. Not sending money is not necessarily an indicator of being safe. There are emotions involved, and there is important information that is being shared. Besides worrying about the relationship being a fraud or not, users should also worry about who is collecting their data: their location, personal information, banking information, daily activities, etc.   Experienced internet criminals can access your passwords, steal your identity and even blackmail you, no matter how cautious or skeptical you think you are.

Online fraudsters also use romance as a primary means to obtain important information about their victims, which they can use further, either to blackmail them or to sell the information in the black market.  Criminals change their identity and approach often to avoid detection.

Despite the efforts that authorities have been doing to eradicate online dating fraud, the truth is that the problem is expanding and getting worse. If you’ve met a Filipina online, and wish to reduce the risks of being scammed or victim to other types of fraud, get her verified as soon as possible. You´ll save yourself from a lot trouble!  Contact us today for a free and confidential quote.

C. Wright

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