Hey there, Steve here and welcome to this week’s private eye post. More and more, we’re being asked by clients to do background checks on potential dates. And there’s good reason too. It’s estimated that thieves conducting catfishing scams in Australia net around $8million every year – and it’s growing at an alarming rate.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much to make sure you don’t fall prey too. Below you’ll find the sure signs that something isn’t quite right. If you have any doubts, please contact us and we can put your mind at rest, one way or another.
#1 – Get Serious
Is your new dating chat turning very serious, very quickly? Then there’s cause for concern. I know some people believe in love at first sight. And I too have heard stories of things working out for people who meet and start a relationship this way.
What I haven’t heard of is love at third chat. It sounds ridiculous when you say it like that doesn’t it? But if you believe you just met your soulmate, and you’ve been chatting with them solid for the last 3 days, it doesn’t seem quite so weird in the moment.
#2 – Tech Dummy
Do you want to find out if the man of your “chat dreams”, looks like you think he sounds but for some inexplicable reason he can’t use FaceTime, Skype nor any other video app?
Run for the hills. Yes, there’ll be perfectly valid reasons as to why he can’t do this. Bad internet, smashed camera on his phone, no webcam on his computer – blah blah blah.
#3 – The George Clooney Movie
Does your new date have a job which means more air travel than the George Clooney in the movie ‘Up In The Air’.
Surprise, surprise – another sign of a catfishing scam. This one helps them put off meeting you in person long enough for them to work their scam.
#4 – Choice Words
Many scammers are overseas. India, Nigeria and other African countries seem especially popular. The longer they try and scam people the better their english gets. But there’s always slip ups in their grammar. And the use of words which just wouldn’t be chosen by a native english speaker.
#5 – Profile Poverty
You meet the perfect guy and the first thing you do is check out their profile. You look at their friends and family to get a sense of who they really are. Only you find that their friends make comments that look a little strange. Have another look. Read them out loud to yourself. Do they sound like comments made by people who really know your new guy. Or are they made by strangers?
#6 – Got The Look
Is your new man hot. So hot you might even quote Zoolander and say he’s “ridiculously good looking?”
I’m sorry to disappoint you but the chances are he’s a fake. Catfishing scammers use this as a way to attract lots of potential victims to their profiles.
#7 – Heartless
Whenever we ask clients what is giving them suspicions, they usually say something like they just knew it wasn’t right. It was all too good to be true. These type of scams don’t work on logic they work by exploiting emotions. So, what you need to do is remove your heart from the situation and use your head. Strip out the emotion.
If you see any of these signs please, whatever you do, don’t give someone you don’t know any money.
If you’re dating someone new, and things are moving as you’d like them to, but you want to make sure they are who they say they are, just use our background check service.
Until next week,