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Monday , 10 December 2018
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ROMANCE SCAM: The New Wave of White-Collar Crimes Committed In The Name Of Holy Matrimony

India’s first professionally managed pre-matrimonial verification agency – ShaadiVerify.com has revealed that 3% of cases undertaken by the agency concluded as potential romance scams. The agency also disclosed that in 8 out of 10 cases, the party that requested for investigating the backgrounds of individuals, were correct about their suspicions. On other occasions, the client discontinued the verification process mid-way when the reports informed about inconsistencies in the individual’s profile. ShaadiVerify.com which is part of DeRisQ Group – India’s leading Risk Management firm, anonymously verifies individuals and profiles them at the request of its clients who are usually skeptical parents of the to be bride or groom.

As per a recent report, in Maharashtra 96 matrimonial fraud cases have been registered between 2015 and May 2018 of which only 43 were detected. This points out to the fact that the detection rate of such crimes is low, and precaution is the best way to avoid falling prey to this scam. ShaadiVerify.com has estimated that less than 10 per cent of victims register an official complaint and those who do, don’t always get immediate justice.

“Not all victims come forward and report the crime but now more and more victims, especially women have begun to realize the importance of officially reporting it. Unfortunately, over the last 3 to 5 years this kind of fraud has only gained more ground and has become an organized crime. Romance scams are as dangerous as any other or even worse because not only is the victim financially exploited but is also left with a deep scar because of the emotional attachment. The nature of this scam plays on individual’s vulnerability. Matrimonial fraud is estimated to grow faster than any other white-collared crime in the country,” says Mr. Julian D’Souza, Chief Executive Officer, ShaadiVerify.com.

The phenomenal success and popularity of many online matrimonial sites as well as other dating apps have opened newer avenues for fraudsters to scam vulnerable women and men. For the victim, the unfortunate part at the end of the ordeal is that they are left with not just empty bank accounts but also a broken heart.

“The modus operandi of fraudsters committing such crimes is essentially identifying a vulnerable party and emotionally making way into their life, to eventually dupe them. The biggest factor that favours or helps such fraudsters in carrying on with their crimes is lack of information about their backgrounds. While in a large number of such cases fraudsters falsify their identities and mislead their victims to exploit them, there are also the less scandalous cases where a person falsifies to mask their social, economic or educational shortcomings in a hope to tie the knot. India’s top five matrimonial sites on an average claim to have over ten million members each and our estimate is that approximately 2 per cent of profiles listed on such sites are fraudulent. Marriage is one of the most important steps in anyone’s life and so it becomes even more vital that a thorough background check is done before committing a relationship. So we say, pre-verification is better than regret,” concludes Mr D’Souza.

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