According to new figures, the rate of transactions related to online dating fraud was lower last year than it was in 2014, but the industry still has a higher rate of fraud than all other industries combined.
New data from device intelligence provider iovation has revealed some interesting findings about online dating scams and mobile usage from the past two years.
The company came to its findings based on its analysis of the hundreds of millions of online dating transactions and billions of total online transactions that it screens for fraudulent indicators every year.
Online dating fraud down
According the company, mobile usage has increased 12% over the past year, rising from 57% in Q1 of 2015 to 64% in Q1 of 2016.
The research also found that last year, 1.39% of all online dating site transactions were fraudulent, a figure down from 1.58% in 2014.
By comparison, the rate of fraud across all industries was lower than in dating, at 1.06% in 2015 and 1.27% in 2014.
Despite this however, the rate of fraud in the gaming and retail industries last year was higher than online dating, with 3.17% and 2.6% respectively.
Dip in fraud on Valentine’s Day
The company also released some Valentine’s Day-specific figures, finding that in February 2015, 1.23% of all online dating transactions were fraudulent, and on 14th February 2015, 1.26% of transactions were scams.
Interestingly, both of these figures are lower than the overall averages for online dating fraud last year, meaning that the fraud rate surprisingly dipped during the lead up to Valentine’s Day.
It also recognised that the highest percentage of fraudulent attempts on online dating sites last year occurred between 4am and 7am EST.
Speaking about the data, iovation’s Vice President of Operations and co-founder, Molly O’Hearn said: “It’s well documented that half of all couples will meet online in the not too distant future.
“Cybercriminals typically try to capitalise on high-growth markets with targeted schemes and we are definitely seeing that in online dating.”
In 2015, the top five types of dating fraud were spam, identity mining, scams/solicitations, profile misrepresentation and credit card fraud.
O’Hearn added: “Scammers are clearly leveraging online dating sites as a new targeted marketing channel to serve up unsolicited offers.
“At the same time, there are still plenty of ‘catfish’–people who pretend to be someone they’re not to pursue deceptive online romances.”
The company also released a breakdown of where the highest percentage of fraudulent transactions in 2015 originated from:
- United States –18%
- Nigeria –10%
- France –8%
- Vietnam –7%
For more information, check out iovation’s official site here.