Protecting Love: About Marriage Agency Scams

Fraudulent activity in online dating has gained importance across the world as internet users seek greater safety and security in their search for love. Escalating dating scams and crimes have led to more legislation and the introduction of tighter measures, checks and complaints procedures by many online dating sites including the big four.

In an increasingly complex and litigious cyberspace it comes as no surprise that extra regulations and vigilance are required to guarantee protection and scam detection in singles dating. Although domestic dating sites have now been forced to deal with romance scams and legal issues head on , the international dating community is experienced in tackling the problem areas with a number of Asian and Russian women forums having been in operation for several years. The United States Congress and other national governments have already conducted considerable research into international dating while only recently has the same applied to domestic matchmaking.

Strict guidelines may be a novelty to the local dating scene but a number of established international dating sites, often featuring Russian women, have operated within this framework for over 7 years. These companies were among the first to admit serious problems with marriage agency scams in Russian dating such as profile verification, illegal scammers, background checks and availability of contact details. Due to the nature of Russian women dating and laws such as IMBRA (International Marriage Broker Regulation Act 2005) , responsible companies in this area have been steadily improving member safety and tackling marriage agency scams that present numerous challenges.

Throughout history finding love overseas has been highly rewarding for many involved although virtual relationships are not without their problems. Commonly referred to as 'mail order brides', international dating services began as a grassroots approach to matchmaking where 'bride' catalogues, often featuring Russian women, were delivered to men looking for a wife from overseas. With the advent of the internet this service entered a new phase where more foreign women could seek a husband from abroad using faster and more sophisticated methods.

Unfortunately this development was accompanied by a rise in cybercrime and attempts to extort money through marriage agency scams. A number of hardcore Russian scammers attempted to set up fake profiles and photos on international sites to impersonate women . These confidence tricksters – both men and women – created scams masked by thousands of legitimate Russian women profiles to obtain money via wire services or credit cards and plunder bank accounts in exchange for sob stories, false visas, passport requests and travel demands. Whether sick family members or other tales of poverty, these dating scams preyed on the desire of those looking for a foreign wife.

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