A majority of Americans now say online dating is a good way to meet people – but this phenomenon has also brought serious risks to those who don’t take precautions.
With over three decades of experience, our investigators have learned that identifying those engaged in questionable behavior or fraud often comes by exposing falsehoods or inconsistencies in a person’s claims about their background.
The following common-sense services can help you or your loved ones avoid being a victim while enjoying the benefits of online dating. Our due diligence team can verify a date’s identity or detail their background by examining the following topics:
- Financial profile
- Marriage history
- Criminal history
- Social media accounts and other dating profiles held under aliases
- Analysis of digital images for identifying information
- Identify account holders associated with phone numbers
- Current or prior employment
- Bankruptcy history
- Past involvement in civil lawsuits
- Sex offender listings
- Overdue taxes
- Education history
- Residence history
- Properties and real estate
- Negative references in the media or online
Contact our team or call us at our national headquarters at (212) 557-3334.
If any questionable activity is identified, our team is well-equipped to handle a broad array of investigations. Our investigators include:
- Former detectives
- Computer forensic specialists
- Investigative journalists
- Analysts from the U.S. Intelligence Community
- Bank and fraud examiners
Know – and Mitigate – the Online Dating Risks
The precautionary measures outlined above can mitigate the risks of online dating, which have increasingly been highlighted by law enforcement across the country. The FBI recently warned that criminals use online dating sites “to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.” However, minor precautions can contain the risks noted below:
- Violent crimes facilitated by online dating sites have been reported across the country and abroad; most have involved sexual assaults or other serious crimes. Rape allegations stemming from online dating have risen by more than 450 percent in six years, according to the British government, which has also reported large increases in robberies, burglaries, and thefts made by so-called “romance” fraudsters.
- Law enforcement authorities have also noted a rise in “sextortion” schemes in which criminals have threatened to publicly release private photographs or conversations exchanged with persons who they met on dating sites.
- Importantly, many of these violent crimes have targeted men. In incidents across the country, hardened criminals have used women posing as dates to conduct armed robberies, including some that resulted in homicides.
- The monetary losses suffered by victims is staggering. The FBI has warned that the average financial loss of victims is between $15,000 to $20,000, resulting in total losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.
- The risks of online dating are apparent to many but not all who use such services. Nearly half of online dating users state that this is a more dangerous way of meeting people compared to other dating methods, according to national polls.
Interacting with strangers on the internet can expose you to potential fraud, monetary loss, harassment, or even physical danger. However, BDA can help you avoid being a victim and still enjoy the benefits of online dating.