Why background checks are essential in today’s dating world
Background checks are not only useful in professional settings when recruiting employees—they can be important tools in preventing fraud. One type of fraud that can be countered through background checks is the romance scam or dating fraud, a kind of fraud that masquerades as romance and is becoming more prevalent in cyberspace.
In fact, according to statistics from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this kind of fraud is the most proliferating in comparison to other types of fraud. Victims of romance scams have reported losing up to $1.3 billion in the last five years, with a spike in 2021.
Dating app trends
Technology simplifies many aspects of life, including dating. Dating apps come to the rescue for folks who are too busy to meet or socialize.
A prospective match is just one swipe away on a dating app. These apps also provide a broad range of choices that can be tailored to the preferences of the user. Preference filters include aspects such as ethnicity, age, status, height, location, and others.
It’s no surprise that the dating app market is likely to continue its expansion. According to the study’s findings, the worldwide dating application market alone is expected to be worth 11.03 billion US dollars in 2028, with a 5.6% annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2028.
With such a large growth forecast, dating apps are undoubtedly appealing targets for fraudsters. In the most recent romance scam case, a guy managed to defraud multiple women from several regions of the US out of almost 1.6 million US dollars.
Romance scammers usually post attractive fake profiles via dating app pages or social media. Of course, the goal is to attract the attention of their victims.
Once they have captivated their victims, they begin to construct the illusion of a romantic relationship by bombarding their victims with messages and affection. This interaction takes place over several months to play on emotions and finally gain the victim’s trust.
Until this stage, most romance scammers never reveal their real identities to their victims. They usually create a plethora of excuses to avoid video calls, let alone meet the victim in person.
This is actually one of the most obvious red flags. Users of dating apps should be wary of this demeanor.
Unfortunately, even with reasonable suspicion, scammers have proven to be one step ahead. They take advantage of the latest technology to trick their victims into thinking they are on a video call with the perpetrators, revealing their faces. In reality, the perpetrators use deepfake technology to conceal their real appearance.
Get to know them before dating
Victims of this scam have one thing in common: they have no suspicions of anything that is ‘too good to be true’. This causes them to ignore the red flags and not look into the person who captured their heart—like buying a pig in a poke.
For individuals, awareness regarding the importance of keeping personal data confidential is the basis for anticipating vulnerability to dating fraud.
Furthermore, users can utilize publicly accessible information on the media (also called the media search method) to find out more about the person they are about to date. A study revealed that almost half of the people surveyed admitted that they combed through the internet (cyberstalked) for their dating partner’s background information.
The importance of background checks
Recognizing the increase in online dating scams has prompted many dating apps to improve user security, one of which is the background check feature in cooperation with experienced third parties.
Background checks are essentially verifying self-proclamations. These checks include ID verification, employment checks, education checks, criminal checks, media searches, and so on.
Ultimately, background checks provide an aspect of transparency that is at the forefront of fraud prevention. If background checks are already applied in finding mates, undoubtedly, this procedure is just as important when recruiting potential employees for personal needs, such as babysitters or drivers.
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