Private Investigator can help protect you from Catfishing and Romance Scams!
Online dating has been around for many years, and for some it’s a great way to meet people and to find satisfying relationships and love. But lately, there has been a lot of fake and /or fabricated profiles all across dating sites. That’s what we call Catfishing. Basically, it’s when someone you’re chatting with is using a false/fabricated identity and is luring you into an emotional and dependent relationship.
Some of these profiles are more innocent, and are there simply to keep you using and paying for the online dating services, to make you spend money on private chats, and to give the impression that there are many potential dating partners on their website. Others on the other hand, are more dangerous and intricate, and are there for a much bigger score. These are usually looking either to collect your personal information for further fraudulent activities or to make you send them some money, or both.
Here are a few red flags to look out for when interacting online:
1- They won’t talk to you on the phone or Facetime/Skype with you
They have no issues sending you messages online but will come up with an excuse when you mention other forms of communication.
2- They don’t have many followers or friends on their social media accounts
Chances are that they created fake profiles for the one they are impersonating.
3- Many of their followers and friends on social media accounts look fake
They mostly only add other fake accounts or random people.
4- They aren’t very active on their online accounts and mostly repost news articles
They usually don’t bother making it look too realistic and only use their fake profiles to find their targets.
5- They’re postponing to meet with you or have cancelled a meeting already
They will come up with a heartbreaking story why they can’t make it yet.
6- Their photos seem fake or they’re only from one or two life events
This is because they usually steal their pictures from somewhere else.
7- Their story does not add up and there is always some heartbreaking drama
They tell you elaborate stories so that you feel bad for them and want to help.
8- They are waiting for a paycheck or a business contract to go through
They do this because they want you to think that they have money and that they will be able to pay you back, so that when they eventually ask you for it you do not think it is an issue.
9- They are traveling or working overseas and cannot get back for whatever reason
This gives them an excuse for not always being available or having a time difference.
10- They try to make the relationship progress quickly and claim to be head over heels for you
They will indicate that things are getting serious between you two, will constantly compliment you and tell you how much you mean to them.
11- They seem too good to be true.
They seem like they are the perfect person. This is because they are playing a role and acting how they think they should to make you fall for them.
12- They lack proper grammar.
A few typos are usually not an issue. But they will generally communicate so poorly that it will be highly noticeable. Many of the real people behind these profiles are located overseas and do not speak proper languages and therefore often use google translate to write you.
13- Have they asked you for money yet?
After they think that you trust them, they will eventually ask you for money.
While some of these signs on its own may not suggest anything yet, if you can relate to a few of them then chances are you are being catfished. If you or someone that you know is involved in an online relationship and these signs have been raised, do something!
If you are suspicious about the person you are interacting with and too involved to grasp the whole situation, hiring a private investigator will save your time and privacy, as well as money in many instances. For example, you and your dating prospect have agreed to meet at a hotel in a resort or in a city somewhere in between your places of residence. You’ve started preparing, booked the flight, the hotel, arranged a few days off at work, and got a new swimsuit. But a few days before the trip, that person has an emergency and cancels the trip, and/or is asking you urgently to send them some money to help deal with an unforeseen situation. Sometimes it actually happens to real people as well. But more often it happens to those fake/fabricated profiles.
Private investigators have access to databases and have resources available to confirm whether or not the person you are talking to is telling the truth. They will conduct the investigation discretely and the other person will never know. They will consult you on the best course of action and will be able to give you the answers that you need on whether or not to continue the relationship or cut off contact with the person before it’s too late. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
One more word of advice: Never send money to a person that you met online and never give out your bank account or personal identity information (government or work ID, diplomas, professional licences, etc.)!
We hope you stay safe and wishing you happy romances!