|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
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
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
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
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
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
Age Address Current Employment Work History
Car Registration Social Security Criminal History
Financial History/Records Property/Shares Portfolio
Associates/Friends/Childhood Connections Memberships
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
- This article was written by R.T. Hàg, a qualified and
registered Private Investigator.
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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