The extent of seriousness to which scamming on dating sites is now being taken has become evident from the US as it has emerged that the Federal Bureau of Investigations issued a warning on Valentine’s Day for public protection on exactly this matter.
The US criminal department’s cause for concern comes off the back of recent findings concerning the amount of fraudulent dating site profiles currently populating the world’s cyberspace chat rooms, forums and dating sites – the figures are just, well, scary. Yet still dating sites the world over, who have full exposure to the extent that scammers, perverts and sexual deviants are posing as decent love seekers, are just not willing to provide 100% full identity and background checks for its existing membership and new sign-ups in case it prevents genuine people looking for love online from registering to use their facilities.
Dateprotection.com is a website that fronts an organisation calling for greater online dating security on a global scale, headed up by its founder, Kevin Connell. His comments are constantly drowned out by the industry’s big game players and he, like the FBI, is calling for change on a grand scale that only the public can effect, as government authorities are either unable or unwilling to intervene.
The concept that Kevin is trying to get dating sites to accept is that all members have a right to be assured that the person they’re chatting with is genuine or at least provide an onsite means of allowing one of its members to verify any potential partner’s true identity themselves.
Currently, there are very few states in the US – the two ‘New’s – York and Jersey – that have any laws governing background checks for dating sites, although Connecticut and Illinois have also passed bills regulating them. The former only extend to paid facilities and they are not the most rigorous, asking only of the dating site owner to inform their members if they carry out criminal checks (not that they have to); in New York, there is the additional safeguard that online dating facilities must issue guidelines, many of which fall under the heading: ‘common sense’, advising its members of what to look out for and things not to do when actually meeting up offline someone they have met on site.
Singles should not feel pressurised into meeting anyone on their dating site who will not take appropriate lengths to independently verify their identification. As market leaders, Match.com and eHarmony have categorically stated that all of their membership undergo sex crime conviction checks. However, that test does not actually prove that the individual they are running the check on is the person who has actually signed up to the dating site.
Kevin Connell has revealed several secrets about the scale and industry insider knowledge of the scale of scam profiles; we will present them in our next article, along with what UK dating site members can do if they fancy someone on their site, but are unsure of their integrity.