Identity verification checking: unveiling romance scams, catfishing and online trolls

In recent months, we have been inundated with requests for our identity verification service. Most of the enquiries have been for an ID check on an individual they are romantically involved with in some form or another. We are seeing a rapid increase in people falling victim to catfishing, love bombing, romance blackmail, pro daters, online intimate activity, and inheritance romance scams. In some instances, the check is made too late, with the client already having  or, even worse, having been ‘fleeced’ with their life savings. 

With advancements in technology, identity and romance scams are rising. Access to information, photos, and even people’s personal lives is becoming easier with social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn opening people up to an attack. The problem lies when people post personal information about themselves, their family and their situation online. While they believe they are just sharing with their friends, they can be unknowingly opening themselves up to a romance scammer. Romance scammers can build a profile of their victim and then craft a false persona around a specific narrative to build trust, even start a relationship, or even blackmail an individual. 

It is easier than ever to create a new profile. Social platforms are not like banks. Banks usually require KYC (know your customer) information to confirm the identification of an individual. Social media platforms just require an email address which anybody can obtain. This means people can easily use fake identities to commit crimes, and usually get away with it.     

Catfishing in particular, is the most popular method. Catfish scams are where the perpetrator  uses a false identity and pretends to be someone else, usually someone with stunning looks to ensnare their victim and extort money. Catfishing can be from somebody in another country or even somebody in your own town. 

Professional ID Checking - Don’t fall victim! 

If you believe you could be talking to someone on the internet who might not be 100% legitimate, you will want to find out if the person you are talking to is really who they say they are, or if they are trying to use you for monetary gain. Online catfishing scenarios happen more frequently than you might think, and catfishers are becoming exceedingly more intelligent and harder to spot. 

If you think you might be talking to someone who is lying about their identity, you can choose to run an identity check on them. At Vilcol, we have a team of licensed investigators with access to professional investigative technology that can legally and efficiently reveal online identities. 

When might you need to run an identity check: if it seems too good to be true

Let us set the scene. You have been approached by a stranger on Instagram, or another online chat service. They strike up conversation and you start talking. Sparks fly, and you tell them everything about yourself. They understand you like nobody has before. You talk every day for months, even speak on the phone. You never video chat, because they have bad internet connection.

After a couple months you want to meet in real life. You’re in love. Only, they don’t have the money for the plane ticket. They ask you to foot the bill, and you do so happily. But then suddenly their mother is sick so they can’t fly out. They want to try again in a couple months, but do you have any way you can help with their mother’s medical bill? Eventually, once you have given them thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds, and they still haven't flown over to visit you, they vanish, leaving you with nothing. Not only have you been catfished, but you’ve also now been ghosted. 

This scenario might sound far-fetched, but it happens more often than you might think. If you are in the early stages of a conversation like this one, and your connection with an online stranger seems too good to be true, you might want to hire a professional agency to run an identity check. 

Online catfishing and blackmail is prevalent. With internet chatrooms at our fingertips and advanced technology like AI readily available to anyone, you never know who is on the other side of your chat. Do yourself, your wallet, and your heart a favour and opt for a professional identity check. Even if your new partner has pure intentions, it will give you peace of mind and could be the difference between a bright future, and heartbreak with an empty bank account.

Identity checks for online trolls

We get a number of enquiries for identity checks regarding online trolls. Unfortunately, many people are routinely harassed online by trolls threatening their personal safety, the safety of their families, and threatening to leak their personal information on the internet. By running an identity check on online trolls and unmasking them, you can take further steps and speak to the police. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to dealing with malevolent online trolls, and our identity verification service is a legal and efficient way to get the answers you need to ensure your safety. 

What do you need for an identity check?

If you believe you are being trolled, catfished, ghosted, love bombed or romantically blackmailed by an individual you are talking to online, you will want to run an ID verification check on them. The more information you can provide us, the better. We could use any of the following: 

  • A photograph of the individual 
  • Their mobile number 
  • Email address
  • Social media 
  • Their name 
  • Date of birth 

Our investigators harvest information from multiple sources including reverse image searches. They will be able to confirm whether the person you have been in contact with is real, or whether they have been lying about their identity. 

Contact our identity verification experts 

Our team of professional investigators have years of experience and access to advanced technology to help verify the identity of anyone online. We only pursue legal methods of identity verification, and work strictly within GDPR guidelines. At Vilcol, we offer legal and efficient identity verification. To contact us or learn more about our identity verification services, call us on 0208 390 9988, or email us at