MEDIA RELEASE: Melbourne, Australia February 11, 2013
Australian Private Investigator and cyber dating expert, Julia Robson of CupidScreen, warns singles who are venturing online to protect themselves from cyber criminals this Valentine’s Day.
Following reports Australian online daters are losing $10 million a month from online romance scammers (refer 60 Minutes episode “The Love Trap”), Miss Robson – who has assisted in the identification and arrest of romance scammers with the help of her site CupidScreen.com – points out that anyone online dating is likely to be contacted by at least one Date who is not the person they claim to be.
“With online dating becoming an increasingly popular way for genuine people to meet a mate, it also attracts cyber criminals who use fake profiles to groom victims into providing their personal information which is in turn used for financial gain,” says Miss Robson.
Fake profiles are created by romance scammers using stolen images obtained from social networking and talent agency profiles which are freely accessible to the public. The criminals build an online relationship with their victims, leading to requests for financial assistance once a strong rapport has been built.
“Romance scams are so successful because they don’t fit the mould of ‘if it’s too good to be true it probably is’. These types of scams prey on the kindness of individuals, not the opportunity for these victims to make a quick dollar,” Robson states.
To prevent falling victim to a romance scammer, Private Investigator Julia Robson recommends the following:
1. Use the CupidScreen Romance Scam Check iPhone app to discreetly check whether your Date is a romance scammer.
2. Use reverse image searches such as Google Images or Tineye to confirm whether a profile picture has been uplifted from another site.
3. Research your Date by entering their full name within quotation marks (eg “Private Investigator Melbourne”) into popular search engines.
4. Never send money to a date you’ve never met. (Webcam can be easily pre-recorded so does not count as having met them).
5. Use free sites such as http://www.pitoolbox.com.au to verify their background.
6. Research the most common methods used by romance scammers via our range of online articles and tips at CupidScreen.com.
6. If in doubt…check them out. Use experienced Private Investigators such as http://www.cupidscreen.com or http://www.onlineinvestigations.com.au who can verify your Dates honesty and confirm their identity.
Regardless of where singles meet – whether at a nightclub, supermarket, sporting event – Miss Robson states singles should be always be cautious as they get to know strangers.
Our top 10 apps for dating safely online: http://onlineinvestigations.com.au/top-10-apps-online-dating-safety/
How are online daters being scammed on webcam?: http://onlineinvestigations.com.au/dont-trust-everything-you-see-online-webcam-scams-are-the-new-trend/
Online Investigations fighting romance scams with iphone app: http://onlineinvestigations.com.au/private-investigators-fighting-romance-scams-with-iphone-app/
The top 30 dating sites our users have been scammed on: http://onlineinvestigations.com.au/cupidscreen-the-top-30-dating-sites-our-users-have-been-scammed-on/
Are you being scammed? Take our online questionnaire : http://onlineinvestigations.com.au/free-online-romance-scam-check/