In the digital age, getting a date has become as easy as clicking a button or swiping a finger across a screen. Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Hinge, PlentyOfFish, Coffee Meets Bagel – the list of dating apps and websites goes on and on. Whereas once a person’s romantic prospects were limited to acquaintances of friends and family and perhaps a few strangers they met in public places, the proliferation of online dating platforms has expanded the range of potential partners exponentially.
Consider These Facts:
- According to an article in Forbes magazine, as of 2013, there were over 2,500 online dating sites in the United States with approximately 1,000 more being created every year. This figure does not include smartphone apps such as Tinder which has been at the forefront of a surge of new mobile dating apps since its inception in 2012.
- The same study determined that 41% of Americans know someone who has dated online.
- A 2015 study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 15% of American adults have used online dating sites or apps. Among young people, the number is even higher. Nearly a third of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 have dated online, an almost threefold increase in only two years.
- Also in 2015, The New York Times reported that every day 12 million people were matched on Tinder alone, and most people use more than one online dating service.
Although the ease of access and increased pool of suitors come with tremendous benefits, dating apps also bring with them incredible new dangers. The statistics above mean that you have access to thousands of more potential partners than ever before, but at the same time, thousands of more strangers have access to you.
Once you might meet a stranger in a crowded bar or party where there were plenty of witnesses and you could assess the person’s appearance and demeanor firsthand. In a digital space where there is no one around to see or hear them, fraudsters and other criminals can easily mislead you. With at least some of your personal information available online to help you find a compatible lover, hackers and scammers can manipulate and take advantage of you. Before looking for love on the web, it is essential to understand the risks of online dating and how to protect yourself, your friends and relatives, and especially your sons and daughters.
Conman Meets Investigators: How We Can Help
Some critics argue that online dating services are not doing enough to combat criminals targeting their users. In truth, given the ever-increasing numbers of people using dating sites and apps across the world, it is immensely challenging for these companies to identify every potentially dangerous account. It is up to each user to vet their romantic partners and ensure that they are trustworthy. However, emotions can cloud our judgment, and people seeking companionship are often willing to overlook suspicious behavior from someone professing to love them.
Additionally, chatting with a potential partner online before meeting them can create feelings of intimacy very rapidly. As a result, when meeting their paramour in person, online daters are often more trusting and willing to engage in more risky behavior than they would with any other stranger. These emotional complications make it imperative that you have an objective and impartial set of eyes to examine your online romantic prospects before you expose your finances or your person to them.
The experienced former law enforcement investigators and trained researchers at Beau Dietl & Associates (BDA) possess the knowledge, skills, and resources to find the truth about the person behind an online dating profile. Some of our services include:
- Verification of biographical information including residence history, age, and marital status
- Phone account verification
- Criminal history and sex offender registry searches
- Cybersecurity, digital forensics, and reverse image searching
- Civil litigation searches including harassment cases, domestic violence complaints, and order of protection filings
- Social media and negative news research, including identifying other social media accounts connected to dating profiles
- Financial history analysis, including signs of financial stress, such as bankruptcies or unsatisfied judgments and liens
- Employment verification
- Education verification
It’s easy to fall prey to sweet-talking scam artists especially when the culprits are using digital trickery to manipulate you. Trusting yourself to be a good judge of character when all you know about someone is their digital persona could leave you financially ruined, emotionally damaged, physically injured, or worse. Whether it’s you, your friends, your relatives, or your children, every online dater should know the hard facts about who they’re talking to. BDA can get you the information you need to make an informed decision before it’s too late.