Earlier this year, Netflix opened the world’s eyes to the dangers of online dating through its investigative documentary, The Tinder Swindler. One man’s story of deception and seduction at the expense of young women for only one cause – money – created understandable waves of anger amongst women across the globe. Since its release, the dating industry has boomed with updated security features to increase trust and take user safety to the next level.
The sad reality is that this story is nothing new, but it has put the safety risks to daters front and centre. In fact, since its February premiere, more than 50 million people have watched the film.
Online dating should be a worry-free experience and apps must have the right background checks in place to safeguard users from copycat bad actors. The question is, how do we as an industry stop the next Tinder Swindler? The answer: dating brands across the world need to push their development for more safety procedures, to make it impossible for untrustworthy users to take advantage of genuine daters with schemes designed to dupe them into scams or romance fraud.
Let’s take a look at a few ways dating apps can make the search for love a safe and enjoyable one for their users.
Battle of the bots
Dating sites that put users’ safety first will put rigorous safety standards in place to make people safer when they date or connect with strangers online.
The first step to protecting daters is validating your user base to separate real people from fake bots. Bots aren’t new to the world of online dating, but they have gotten smarter and even harder to spot. Built by bad actors, these fraudulent accounts aim to dupe real users into sharing personal information or sending money, in the hopes that they fly under the radar of any due diligence that the person or app – until it’s too late.
That’s why validating user bases is an essential practice for modern dating platforms. This is easier than you think, by integrating accessible solutions that can aggregate data at the early stage of profile creation to build more trust and safety and stop bots from entering the dating sphere.
The detail is in the data
As the old saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. In many cases, users will make connections using fake personal details, or might even present a new version of themselves by leaving out vital pieces of their history. On a platform with thousands – if not millions – of users, how do you provide thorough background checks to the masses? The key is data.
Publicly available individual background information such as criminal and civil court records, lawsuits and liens, work history, financial details, sex offender status and personal reviews, is a powerful way to check user profiles to make interactions and transactions safer. Here at RealMe, we make this a reality, with an integration that empowers users with trustworthy identity verification and instant access to more than 275 million personal Reputation Profiles.
That way, dating brands and users can spot red flags and inconsistencies to make sure that they only connect with people who are who they say they are.
Show up for your users
Fake users try to take advantage of the vulnerable by pulling on their heartstrings and hoping that they will believe that they are truly in trouble. While daters must stay vigilant and aware of other users that may be moving the relationship forward at an uncomfortable pace, dating apps must also show up for their users, by providing support, guidance and technologies that help to spot this behaviour – and eradicate it altogether.
Tinder Swindler has been a huge reality check for the online dating industry since its release. The good news? Dating apps brands are continuously looking for ways to keep users safe. With the support of dating platforms and new technology, daters can be protected from Tinder Swindler lookalikes and make sure the connections they build online are real.
Here at RealMe, we always encourage people to approach online dating with enthusiasm, but with equal caution. That’s why we’ve built a platform that helps dating brands take the Tinder Swindler head-on and reduce the chance of their users falling victim to lookalikes.
To find out how RealMe helps users to stay safe when dating online, please visit: www.therealme.com/dating