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India's New Detectives Track Down Serial E-Cheaters

India's New Detectives Track Down Serial E-Cheaters

India is fast becoming a modernized nation — reflected in their rising middle-class wealth, slowly improving infrastructure, and use of the Internet. The latter has brought to light a very unique problem as well as a very interesting solution.

More and more men and women are meeting and building relationships online that eventually lead to marriage. Take that eHarmony ideal and move it to India, however, and those marriages can cost a bride’s family thousands of dollars for dowry. Technically, this dowry system was declared illegal in 1961, but the ritual is so entrenched that most families ignore the edict — creepily, with so much at stake men are marrying, claiming their dowry, and then disappearing — only to repeat the bamboozle until they’re caught.

Enter, a new breed of female private detectives specializing in “matrimonial investigations” to warn potential victims before they hit the altar. And business is booming. To see how,


In the old days, families arranged marriages with people familiar to them: friends of friends and the like. But with the Internet, families aren't limited to selecting suitors who live in their village, and this also means either relying on trust or hiring someone like these detectives who will do the fact checking — though in many cases, it’s not a happy ending.

One detective, Bhawna Paliwal, says that female detectives are often better than men because of the powers of observation and under the radarness — people simply don’t expect women to play such a role. In one case Paliwal took a position as a domestic servant next door to her subject and found not only was the man a smoker and a drinker but was having an affair with his maid. So what did she do? She sat down with the woman who was to be married in two weeks, handed her a box of tissues, and broke the news. Although it was a shock to the woman and her family, Paliwal said: “If she had got married, it would have been bad.”


Join The Conversation
CYL CYL 8 years
It sad that you would have to do background checks and catch men who do that.... :(
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
Oh -- and you can order background reports online -- that's helpful too.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
[dreamsugar, I'm jealous! I want an inspector Gadget kind of friend like that!] Oddly enough I met her on the train -- you meet all kinds of interesting people on the train (Joe Biden rides the train ;)). Recently my ex from high school showed up and she dug up some scary stuff -- I'm glad I met her.
austerity austerity 8 years
Cool! haha. it must be a fun job to do too *evillaugh* dreamsugar, I'm jealous! I want an inspector Gadget kind of friend like that! :)
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
AWESOME. You go, Indian women!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that the internet can allow for good and bad things to happen. in a world where you can completely lie about who you are and what you do, well you know that there's going to be issues that come up with it. it's not surprising to me that there are now a new group of female detectives that are being so successful at showing what these men are doing - and how they are cheating women out of what's really theirs. i think that it's a shame tha some people are so willing to scam a woman who's just looking for love and a relationship. i can only hope that these investigators will some how manage to teach women to be careful with their money and emotions while cruising the internet to find a partner. it IS possible to find love online, but you really have to be careful about it and check out the person before you get too involved cause you can say just about anything online
geebers geebers 8 years
Considering Indian culture -this is a great idea.
stephley stephley 8 years
I love these stories, and how new technology is allowing women to take more control of their lives.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
I think that's awesome. I have a friend that works in the DA's office and she checks out all the dudes I date. Hey it's a scary world out there -- a single girl has got to protect herself.
commie commie 8 years
Giving the people access to information is very dangerous. India will regret this decision and will be forced to take control of all media, or perish.
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