Online Dating Scams Industry Increasingly Organized
Regular people go to online dating sites in the search for love, for friendship or for fun. It is what some of us do in our spare time, rather than seeking out people in the “real world”. So for most of us, it is hard to believe that chatting online about love to a complete stranger is actually someone’s job. But the truth is that this is the job of many Filipinos and Filipinas, and according to professional investigators in the Philippines it is every day becoming more organized, automated and structured.
Dating scams have become a whole industry in the Philippines. Many of the people who carry out this kind of crime do not see themselves as criminals, but as service providers. Every day the number of victims of online scam in the Philippines increases. The love market online has such a demand that criminals in the Philippines have been able to establish well-structured organizations, with their own facilities, resources, etc. Given the exponential growth of the online dating scam industry, it would not be strange to find mafia organizations with company benefits for top performers!
Investigators in the Philippines have seen through the years how online crime has evolved. In the early days of online dating scams, there were isolated cases of men and women looking for an extra income. They would invest their time and limited to resources to having their potential victims send some little cash. During that time, it was common for scammers to steal a few pictures from the internet and make up stories to protect their anonymity. But online criminals discovered that being part of a network was much more profitable. Some would dedicate their time to chatting, others were the faces in the pictures or behind a webcam, others were in charge of picking up money and of course, there would have to be a group of criminals inside the organizations to manage it all.
Currently, the industry has not only evolved to a structure with clear positions, roles and tasks, but they also have enough resources to do it as safely and as automated as possible. The new dating scam organizations provide their team with the tools to cover their tracks, with scripts on what should be said, with physical resources like sim cards, forged documents, fake ID’s , etc. All of it for a price accessible to any online criminal. Very few internet users can determine who is real and who is not without a trained and reputable private investigator. You simply don’t have the tools and access.
This new type of dating site scam is far trickier to spot, and the people who operate it claim to be making thousands of dollars every month by fooling vulnerable people. So how do you know if someone is trying to scam you? Professional help and advice is the first step.
Banning online dating from your life is not really necessary. You just need to be careful. Experts in online dating scam recommend people to stay alert. Keep in mind that you should not share anything personal with any stranger you meet online. Since the very first conversation you have with someone, try to talk about general things and interests, never about your personal information, assets, family or other things that can identify you or make you a bigger of a target. Once you have recognized a special interest in someone, hire a professional to conduct a background check investigation in the Philippines to make sure you are dealing with a real person and not a persona that some criminal created.
It is also important to stay vigilant as the relationship goes forward. Surveillance and a local investigation in the Philippines might be the best way to have clear evidence on where exactly are you standing in an online relationship. Organized crime is serious business! Protect yourself.
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