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The Wide World Of Internet Dating
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Beat the Dating Schemers

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Beware the Schemers

Imagine you date
or are thinking of dating through a reputable, online dating service. This will automatically give you reassurance about the company providing your dating prospects. But, let's be real. This does not ensure your dates are squeaky clean. That job is up to you.

Imagine giving your personal information to a stranger. To many strangers. Whom you know nothing about. Personal information exchanged through a dating service may be honest at your end, but there is no guarantee your prospect or date is being equally honest in the information they give you, or in their intent. Ditto for your in-person meetings or email exchanges.

You've seen it on television, in movies and read it in crime fiction books. Some people are up to no good. They are clever and work at setting up the conditions they need to achieve their goal. You, or someone like you, may be a means to an end for them.

Don't be squeamish. Name the Risk. What could they be up to? It doesn't take long for someone to learn a lot about you, your history, family, habits, work, friends and haunts and finances. It is possible someone may be prospecting for:

Money: a sugar daddy/mommy/family Theft: a place loaded with goods and ripe for the picking

Sadism: someone to psychologically toy with

Scam: a gullible prospect for an investment scam

Hiding: a family and life to slip into and establish a new identify Industrial espionage: getting inside information from you about your company/workplace/colleagues

Two-Step Risk Reduction

First, take precautions, just like you do in the bedroom. Second, use due diligence, just like you do with a business partnership or your investments.

One - The Basics When it Comes to Precaution Until you know you want to take your date somewhere serious in your life, it is possible and advisable to have a line you don't cross. This information line relates to various aspects of your life and identifies how much of it you will or won't open up to your date. You choose.

It can include current information about yourself, your past, the details of your daily and weekly routines, areas of vulnerability, fears, your friends and their addresses and workplaces, and even where you live. This is to begin with and can remain so for as long as you feel the need.

A question of disclosure. You may want to meet for a while in venues you don't usually frequent. You may want to leave your car at home and take public transport, which keeps your car registration out of the picture and will expose anyone following you home to see where you live.

This line of what information you will give and withhold about your life is a form of simple self-preservation. A precaution. Don't hand over the keys to your life, until you want more intimacy with your date and have done the due diligence.

Two - The Basics When it Comes to Due Diligence Okay. So you want the relationship to become more serious, you want your date to come further into your life. Be clear with yourself sooner rather than later that this is what you want, and carry out due diligence before stepping up.

Run checks. You can do some of these checks yourself. Or you can hire a private investigator to run the checks for you. A PI may have greater access to forms of information than you do, for example, they may be a paying member of a website or organisation that provides more information about people than you can get for free on the internet.

Checks can include anything you have a 'nose' for. Anything that strikes you as begging for verification. Something odd your date has said.

Some of the more usual items to check are below. Don't be restricted by this list. If your gut or intuition is pulling your earlobe - listen. Act.

The usual items people ask to have verified. Name
Current Employment
Work History
Car Registration
Social Security
Criminal History
Financial History/Records
Property/Shares Portfolio
Associates/Friends/Childhood Connections
Business/Social/Community Recognitions/Awards/Achievements
Marriages/Divorces/Previous&Current Partners
Unusual personal events, e.g. involvement in a car accident, house-fire, other.

Of course, discrepancies, gaps and contradictions between the information you have received directly and the information gathered in due diligence will raise anything from mild to serious questions for you. What you do with that is up to you. Generally, problem-solving with your head is a smart way to go; prevention is better than cure etc.
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This article was written by R.T. Hàg, a qualified and registered Private Investigator.

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About the author:

R.T.Hág is a qualified, registered Private Investigator. She also writes crime fiction: short stories and novels and her free Crime Zine is available at

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