A new scam was uncovered on Grindr in the past week, that has already tricked numerous major companies into buying fake advertising spaces.
The con is nicknamed the ‘DiCaprio’ scam and allows fraudsters to utilise real advertising slots purchased on the dating app.
They then modify the code to make it look like a banner ad on a Roku streaming device, before selling it on to various media outlets such as Fox, CBS and PBS.
Fraud detection outlet Pixelate first noted the scam and told BuzzFeed News: “DiCaprio is one of the most sophisticated OTT ad fraud schemes we have seen to date.”
It is also believed that the fake ads were having a detrimental effect on Grindr users by harvesting their activity data and running down the batteries on their devices.
A Grindr spokesperson denied that the gay dating app knew anything about the scheme. The explained in a statement: “Grindr is committed to creating a safe and secure environment to help our community connect and thrive.
“Any fraudulent activity is a clear violation of our and conditions and something we take very seriously.”
Eric Silverberg, CEO of competitor SCRUFF, has always been very critical of the way that other gay dating services, especially Grindr, treat their members and allegedly prioritise revenue over user safety.
In order to stay true to his word, Silverberg stopped working with all third-party ad networks and now ensures that SCRUFF only shows promotional materials from legitimate and relevant businesses.
Read more here.