With limited economic opportunity and the hope for a better life, many honest women use these services; but there are also a growing number of internet criminals who hope to cash in on easy profits—and many of them do.
Scams can be very complex and aren’t always simple requests for money.
Harper manages the firm’s investigations for Eastern Europe, including Russia, the Ukraine and Romania—”three countries in the region where we see the highest risk for fraud and scam activity,” he says. Petersburg and Kiev and conduct due diligence, background checks, surveillance, and asset searches in both countries.
The firm’s goal, says Harper, is “to lower the risk for businesses and individuals looking to do business in a foreign country, lower the risk for online dating, and to verify companies and individuals met via the internet.” Harper has been a private investigator for a decade, and he worked in law enforcement and military investigations prior to joining Wymoo®and Russia PI. Each country is slightly unique in its criminal activity and approach to dating scams.
There are no reliable stats for how many Americans fall prey to online dating scams every year.
A lot of victims are too embarrassed to report the crime.
Eventually, the subject will ask for financial assistance, steal the victim’s identity, or use private photos and personal data as blackmail.
In many cases, the subject will meet the victim in person in Russia or Ukraine and spend time reassuring him that she’s serious about marriage and leaving her country.
The objective is to gain the victim’s trust and obtain as much personal data about him as possible.