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Holidays Scores Millions for Scammers in the Philippines

Holidays Scores Millions for Scammers in the Philippines

It is well known that special events and holidays are the best time for online scammers to profit out of deceiving other people, but probably no other celebration compares to Valentine’s Day. Dating websites experience a surge of sweethearts signing up around Valentine’s Day, which accounts to around a fifteen percent increase in dating site users close to this date.

The fact that so many people try so hard to find someone with whom they can spend Valentine’s Day, even if it is chatting online, is definitely the reason why this is the peak season for online dating scammers in the Philippines. There is not only an increase in the amount of users, but also in the sense of urgency to find a partner or a friend by February 14th. Being focused on this goal makes people more vulnerable than ever; there is something they badly want to accomplish, and there is a deadline. There is no time to think about the risks involved. Although online romance scam is an ongoing activity throughout the year, many of the scammers have been preparing for months for this date.

A research conducted across Europe by the firm Symantec suggests that almost half of the people who use dating sites and apps have been scammed or spammed. Romance scam victims are not just losing the money they send to online criminals, but suffering significant ongoing financial losses due to penalties, taxes, interest rates and other fees associated to the money they send.

Private investigators in the Philippines have been alerting people to be extra vigilant when this time of the year comes, as victims are usually more vulnerable and scammers are more aggressive in their techniques. Despite the warnings, there was a significant increase in the amount of cases of love fraud close to Valentine’s Day this year. In the lead up to Valentine’s Day 2015, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed that 2620 Australians reported losing $22.7 million to romance scams. And this is just an example of the losses in one country. Investigators estimate that the real losses could be much more given the fact that not everyone reports being victim.

The increase in cases of dating background checks and surveillance in the Philippines is good news though. It does mean that people are more aware about the necessity of getting evidence. However, the dark side of the story is that unfortunately many people decide to hire a private investigation when it is too late and there is already financial loss.  Many victims wait until the last minute to contact a professional for evidence.  Don’t wait, get the truth and verify early.

In the meantime, romance scammers in the Philippines will continue working on finding victims. Just because Valentine’s Day is past, it doesn’t mean that the threat is gone. If you have met someone online and you have a real interest in this person, do not rush. Hire a professional investigator in Manila and get your online partner verified before taking any steps further. Having clear evidence is the way to make smart decisions and avoid being victim.  Contact us today for a free quote.

C. Wright
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