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29th of January, 2015

192.com Offers "Check Your Date" Service To Help Prevent Online Dating Fraud This Valentine's Day

The 50 Shades of Grey movie, red roses and romantic dinners for two, there are some upsides to Valentine's Day, however new research has shown those seeking love online are increasingly finding themselves victims of fraud. According to Action Fraud, romance fraud is increasing annually and grew again by 23% between 2012 and 2013. With more and more dating sites and apps offering to help you find love with just a swipe of a finger a new date checking service has been created to help protect you from online fraud.

People-finding website 192.com has developed a fast and simple online tool to enable online daters to quickly verify the identity of possible online matches. "Check Your Date" helps daters prevent fraud and deception by providing people with insolvency records and county court judgments, revealing unpaid debts and credit issues. The mortality data provided will help expose identities stolen from the deceased, whilst address information will show details of where someone lives, has lived previously, and who with. This helps daters quickly expose if the person they are talking with has lied about their marital or relationship status.

Dominic Blackburn, Head of Product at 192.com, said:

"By putting the official record into public hands, 'Check Your Date' will offer protection from the deception that can occur whilst online dating, by making sure that the person you are talking to online is a real person, isn't a fraudster and doesn't have a hidden agenda."

Research conducted by 192.com[1] found that almost 50 per cent of people admitted to having fabricated fundamental aspects of their life, including: their address, age, relationship status, job and financial solvency.

The poll found that one in 10 fake their address, 18% change their age, 28% have not been truthful about their salary or debt, and that one in five had fabricated their online profile.

In addition Action Fraud reported that:

  • Fraud hits UK individuals for £9 billion[2]
  • National survey finds 45% of have been victims of a con
  • 50% admit to disguising aspects of their personal profile online
  • Romance or 'dating fraud' grew by a further 23% in 2013[3]

One victim of dating fraud Jeremy 32 from Brighton commented:

"It's hard to think the person who you are talking to online might not be a real person, once you have started engaging with them online it can be easy to forget that you haven't met them, however I've learned if you have any doubts you should check. Being able to check the person you are talking with is who they say they are will help put your mind at rest and will enable you to enjoy dating without the risks."

Dominic Blackburn added:

"192.com 'Check Your Date' will make people think twice before lying about themselves or lying to others online, we are not stopping people telling white lies to impress a date or stopping people claiming they are actually jazz music fans, Check Your Date will help prevent serious fraud and encourage a safer online environment. As a company with a history of reuniting people, this new service is about reassuring them."

'Check Your Date' is available by visiting 192.com's website.

Sources

  1. [1]The survey was conducted by One Poll. The nationally representative sample was of 2000 adults, with responses broken up by age, gender and location.
  2. [2] National Fraud Authority's June 2013 Fraud Indicator Report https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/206552/nfa-annual-fraud-indicator-2013.pdf
  3. [3] Action Fraud stats disclosed to 192.com: There were 1,212 cases of dating or romance fraud in 2013, whilst there were 987 reported in 2012 and 739 reported in 2011.

About 192.com

192.com is the UK's most awarded online directory, helping find people, businesses and places for over 10 millions of users every month. On 192.com, users can search over 700 million records including free directory enquiries, edited electoral roll information, local business listings, interactive mapping, aerial photography and property reports.