In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the world of internet dating really take off, especially with the introduction of smartphone apps like Tinder and Bumble. And there are paid websites like eHarmony that still work wonders for many too.
But how do you really know that the person you’re talking to is real? And do you need to be careful of potential scams?
Fake Profiles & Heartbreak
Internet dating and app-based dating are not without risk. There are a lot of potential issues, including catfishing, where someone can represent themselves as somebody they are not, either for a cheap thrill or because they’re scared you wouldn’t like the ‘real’ person.
But there are more serious problems too, including people who prey on the lovesick, and others who want to scam people out of money.
See, the problem is that a lot of people who turn to internet dating sites and apps are feeling lonely, and so they can be easier to manipulate. Not ‘easy’, but at the same time, there are tricks that scammers can use to build up a fake relationship.
It’s some of the same types of tricks that ‘psychics’ might use, to read you and find out what kind of person you are/what your interests and morals are, and then agree with them to strike up a bond, so you feel like you’ve found someone who really understands you.
Internet dating scammers can play the long game, leading someone on for weeks or even months if they feel the return on their time investment will be worthwhile. And then the scams really start – asking for money because they’re suddenly in dire need, due to a medical bill or a problem getting paid.
And because you’ve been taken in by this person, and you think you have a deep and meaningful relationship, you want to help.
These problems aren’t limited to older people, who traditionally would be more likely to be duped by internet scams of any kind. Anyone, of any age, can be manipulated into thinking they have a serious online relationship with someone and that they really do need help.
Can a PI Help?
The last thing we are suggesting is that you vet every person you meet on an online dating site or app with the help of a private investigator. That’s not a good use of time or money.
But, if you (or someone you know) has spent a long time getting to know somebody online but no in-person meeting has happened yet, there may be cause for concern.
And in those instances – where it’s potentially a serious relationship at stake – you may want the help of a private detective just to verify that the person really is who they say they are.
PIs can be discreet, so as not to put your relationship at risk. And they’ll use every resource available to try to verify someone’s identity – although it may not always be possible.
If you have been dating someone online for a long time and you’re worried they might be faking their profile, or you know someone who is besotted with an online partner and may be a pending scam victim, call us on 01772 334700 to see how we could help.