Axiom Investigations
Private Investigations &
Access Supervision


Vancouver: 604-757-9726

Fraser Valley: (cell) 604-217-1084
axiompi@shaw.ca
investigationsvancouver

Vancouver & Abbotsford offices
Fully mobile for your convenience
scams online dating
                                CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

Some of our criminal investigations & services include:

  • Scams (Romance & dating)
  • Recovery of stolen property & assets
  • Identity theft
  • Fraud
  • polygraph testing
  • digital forensics
  • data recovery

ROMANCE SCAMS & ONLINE DATING TIPS

WHEN YOU MEET SOMEONE, YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO KNOW WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO KNOW.

Romance scams are now Canada's most common crime & can leave  financial, emotional, & physical devastation in their wake.

Whether you meet someone via online dating or in-person, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself, your loved-ones, and your finances & assets. 

Romance & love are supposed to be beautiful, rewarding, & selfless. Unfortunately, there are people who will use your kindness and trust to cause you harm, with little to no regard for the effects it has on others. Many good people are on online dating sites; unfortunately, there are far too many scammers. So how can you tell them apart?

Below are some tips that may reduce the chances you'll become a victim of this cruel crime as well as a quiz & some tips about how to proceed if you suspect you may already be.

Visit BLOG: VALENTINES'S DAY: CHRISTMAS for SCAMMERS


CHECK OUT OUR CBC VALENTINE'S SCAMS 2016 INTERVIEW

                             TAKE OUR ROMANCE SCAM QUIZ BELOW



                                           SIGNS TO WATCH FOR:

ONLINE DATING SCAM:

  • *ASKS FOR MONEY FOR ANY REASON - even if he/ she shows you a bank statement or balance
  • Distressed & worried about a loved one (usually one in another country)
  • Mentions Western Union or MoneyGram
  • Mentions or asks about your finances & assets
  • Enquires about your family's finances or assets
  • Is away working, or temporarily living - in a foreign county but promises you will be together when he gets home
  • Does not appear to have any other online (social media) presence 
  • His or her Facebook appears to be a ghost account (fake identity)    
  • Searches under the name given turn up no results
  • Plans to meet in person fall through at the last minute

*  PERSONAL SAFETY: Never give a date your address, home phone number, or personal information.  
    Always meet in a public place & make sure friends or family know who you are out with.

IN-PERSON SCAM
:

   

  • Gives a sob story explaining why he currently, is looking for/ doesn't have/ is about to not have, a residence
  • Suggests he/she could stay with you or that the two of you move in together, early in the relationship.
  • Early declarations of being in love.
  • Says he/ she has no friends or family or never introduces you to his friends or family
  • Vague about the precise location of his/her job & credentials OR gives far too many details about them.
  • Is over your shoulder when doing online or ATM banking
  • Is over your shoulder when making purchases by interact/debit card or suggests he/she run errands for you & asks for your debit card P.I.N.
  • Attempts to isolate you
  • YOUR GUT TELLS YOU SOMETHING IS WRONG

 


                                          HOW THESE SCAMS WORK

                                                              
Romance scams cost victims so much more than money.  These scams are often financially devastating and have led to the loss of life-savings, destruction of families, and suicide.  In 2011, Romance scams emerged as the highest grossing scam in Canada, with over $12 million dollars in losses.  They rates of reported romance scams  increased substantially in 2012. Many victims never report it because they are ashamed & embarrassed.

There are TWO types of the romance scam; the first type is the "virtual" romance; wherein, the victim will likely never meet the scammer in person.  The other type is the "in person" scam; wherein, the scammer romances the victim in person and makes the victim believe that they are in a relationship.  Both types tend to take a number of months and both have the same general results.  In some ways, the "in-person" type can be more emotionally damaging because of the physical contact and intimacy. 

When the scam reaches the point where the victim is not giving up any more money, the scammer may then blackmail, or attempt to blackmail, the victim.  They will threaten to send any photos or web cam video to the victim's friends, family, work place, and to the public until an amount of money is paid.  Even after a victim has paid, these criminals will continue to extort money until they are stopped.


Worried that your new love interest is too good to be true? Are some things just not adding up? Does he or she contradict themselves? Did they say that there were in love with you very shortly after meeting? Is he or she claiming to be having problems cashing a cheque?  Do they say that they live in your area but are currently working in a foreign country?  If you answered yes to any of these, you should take the quiz below.

              
ROMANCE SCAM QUIZ

Yes

No

Have you been on a dating or social networking site in the past 6 months?

Has someone claimed to have fallen in love with you unusually quickly?

Do they immediately want to leave the dating site to use IM or email?

Do they claim to live locally but are working overseas; (Nigeria or UK)?

Has someone asked you for money or to cash a check?

Are they coming to visit you soon but an event prevents them from visiting?

They have no close family, friends, or business associates to turn to?

Does their Facebook page have limited photos of them?

Do they seem to always have an excuse for why they can't go on web cam?

If in person scam: do they not introduce you to family or friends?


Does he or she not have a residence or never takes you there?

Are they vague or evasive about where they work?



*alternate sources: Romance.com/ The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre/ Media reports/ other sources



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WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED:

After contacting the police, The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website suggests you:
  1. Immediately cease all contact with the scammer! Block their email address, ignore their instant messages, ignore their phone calls.  (*If in-person scam, change your locks).
  2. Contact Western Union to see if the payment has not been picked up yet.
  3. Make copies of your email conversations, and instant messages/texts*. Keep originals for yourself, give copies to the various reporting agencies, and keep all receipts and envelopes, anything that can be used as evidence.
  4. Report scammer to dating site you were contacted on, (*Match.com/Yahoo Profiles), & make a report.
  5. Try to stop payment on any cheques or transfers.
  6. Contact your bank's fraud department and make payment arraignments if a check/money order has been found fraudulent and you owe money to them.
  7. Contact your Postal Carrier/Post Office and ask that no packages be delivered to your home/ work.