How to Deal With Fraud in Online Dating

Dating apps are taking the online world by storm and it’s going to stay that way. Meeting people and finding a perfect match is one side of online dating, but there’s also fraud that dating businesses struggle with. What can you do to keep your dating site away from fraudsters?

24 billions of dollars — according to the Nilson Report, were lost last year due to payment card fraud worldwide. Moreover, it’s predicted that the number will grow by almost $10 billion over the next 3 years.

The growing number of financial scams

The risk is real for dating websites that engage millions of users. Romance scams are growing with the pace of development of new technologies. Cybercriminals usually create a fake identity with the intent to steal sensitive data of dating website users, but the industry has to deal with various behavioral patterns linked to suspicious accounts.

Fraudsters target a specific group of people who easily fall for scams. Scammers use common tricks to suck people in. Creating a fake profile is just the beginning of their plan and when daters start interacting with fake profiles, the real problem begins.

The numbers show that the scale is large and fraudsters are getting more sophisticated with their attacks. In 2017 alone love seekers in the UK lost £41 million due to romance fraud.

Fighting fraud before it happens

It’s mostly about users’ common sense. You can’t protect every single user from sharing their sensitive data or money with people they know nothing about. But, when emotions are involved and there’s a great manipulator on the other side of the screen, cybercriminals are succeeding.

As a dating business owner, you should dump fake accounts and have the right team on board to detect fraud. Monitoring new accounts to spot fake profiles and suspicious behavior is a must. What can set an alarm bell is, for instance, when new users make immediate changes to their account details (location, age, photos). Fraudsters make more connections than genuine users and spend more than genuine customers.

It’s also recommended to monitor IPs and whether purchases are made in a short period (usually with stolen credit cards). The same goes for scripts or bots that criminals use to create accounts with stolen credentials.

Establishing trust in customers

People need to feel safe while using a dating site or app, as they share many of their personal data. This is why you need to invest in antifraud systems with well optimized fraud rules for spotting various types of abuse. Systems that will notify you about any suspicious activity as soon as it occurs.

The solution here is finding third-party fraud systems or choosing a payment platform that offers top-notch security and additional layers of anti-fraud tools based on machine learning.

You don’t want situations when genuine accounts and transactions are labeled as suspicious, so you have to avoid overly strict fraud filters. What can also help is a non-invasive 3D Secure authentication that decreases the number of chargebacks. Chargebacks are another thing that the dating industry struggles with, as any fraud attempt can end up with them. 

Stay proactive at spotting as many suspicious behaviors as possible and mitigate account takeover. The right tools always keep you ahead of fraudsters, so choose them wisely.