We are in challenging, unprecedented times. Millions of people are social distancing and find themselves overwhelmed with anxiety and loneliness in isolation. Something to come from the quarantine is a huge increase in virtual dating. We are social creatures and our desire to connect is powerful.
A study released by Social Catfish, an online dating investigation service, shows online dating services have seen a surge in messages between members. The giant dating app Bumble reported a 21 percent increase in activity by members in the United States and even more significant increases in areas where Coronavirus is most prevalent.
So, what do you think? We think this is heightened human nature. If we’re facing the end, we don’t want to face it alone. People in intimate relationships have someone to share their fears, even if that person is not physically with them, they know someone will pick up the phone when they call. All the reasons we want to be loved and have someone to love are amplified during this pandemic. And what’s undoubtedly amplified even more is the absence of someone in our lives when we feel most vulnerable.
What is appalling is the prevalence of fraud during a time when we should be supporting and thoughtful for one another. Even the most obvious of scams probably find victims right now. And for experienced scammers, well, business is probably good these days. Romance fraud is not new. According to a 2019 report from the FTC, in 2018 alone, people reported losing a total of $143 million in online romance scams – up from $33 million in 2015. When the Coronavirus is behind us, and the stats are in, no one will be surprised that romance scams and crimes rose along with legitimate activity on dating apps.
We should encourage everyone involved in online dating to be weary and take cautionary steps. RealMe is a cautionary and essential step. We help dating apps ensure safer environments for their members, which is more important than ever. Looking for love online doesn’t have to mean you are looking to be a victim, and now dating apps can work toward the greatest protection of their users so they can find love and some to answer their call.