Tinder has released advice for singles on how to protect themselves against romance scams. The leading dating platform announced that in the United States, romance scams netted more than $300M in 2020, mainly because the scammers can appear authentic, engaging and affectionate in their approach.
Tinder launched the following advice for singles looking to meet a partner, focusing on how they can spot a scammer:
IF THEY QUICKLY ASK YOU TO LEAVE THE DATING
SERVICE TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY.
This could be an indicator that they are attempting to remove traces of the interaction and get more of your personal information like your phone number, which can be lucrative for a scammer.
IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
Frequent, over-the-top displays of affection or attention – or “lovebombing” – is a red flag. A scammer wants to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, so be wary of anyone who says your introduction was “fate,” makes grand promises and even proposes marriage very quickly.
IF THEY AVOID MEETING UP IRL.
Scam artists will often make plans and cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen, often serious circumstances. These excuses – like a medical or family emergency, or something keeping them overseas – often become the reason they ask for financial support.
IF THEY ASK FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION.
A connection shouldn’t ever require the sharing of a passport, driver’s license, social security number or any other information that is otherwise considered to be private.
IF THEY EMPHASISE FINANCIAL OBSTACLES OR CHALLENGES. Figuring out who prefers to pay the bill at dinner is one thing, but being pulled into someone’s personal financial woes or needs is another. If this happens, particularly early in conversation, it may be a sign of deeper deception.
EVEN A MEETING IRL REQUIRES SOME VIGILANCE.
Some scammers are actually skilled con artists who are adept at earning trust quickly. These individuals may paint a picture of an ideal life in the future, but ask for access to your financial resources today while they wait for red tape to clear on their investments or business dealings.
Tinder also released advice for singles on what they can do to protect themselves from a scammer:
The first piece of advice that Tinder offered is ‘trusting your gut’. “Your intuition is your greatest wingman. Always use your best judgment, and if something doesn’t feel right, block and report.”
Secondly, Tinder said that checking photos and asking questions is vital. “Scammers rarely use their own photos, so consider running a reverse image search to see if their profile photo is used elsewhere on the internet. Similarly, much like you would in getting to know a potential match, get to know people on a personal level by asking all of the questions. Look out for inconsistent facts and stories, or vague answers to very specific questions.”
Tinder also advises to be vigilant about what you post and make public online: “Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Avoid sharing personal details about family and friends, your home or work address, or your daily routine.”
However, the biggest advice that Tinder offers is to make sure that singles do not send money online. “The FBI advises to never share money to someone you meet online, including providing credit card numbers, bank account information, wire transfers, your social security number or any other personally identifiable information.”
Read Tinder’s full advice against scammers here.