talkRADIO Interviews Scamalytics Co-Founder About Romance Fraud

Dan Winchester, co-founder of Scamalytics, has been speaking on talkRADIO about how his company is helping dating platforms to prevent romance fraud.

The interview came the day after BBC Panorama released an episode investigating how criminals target singles on online dating websites.

Scamalytics works with a number of online dating services to help them protect their users by making it possible to detect a scammer before they get in contact with a potential victim.

This is done by encouraging competing dating services to share data, so once a hoax account is uncovered on one site it can be quickly flagged on others.

The DateSafe Group, a body which includes Scamalytics, ActionFraud UK, the Metropolitan Police and the ODA, have been trying to encourage singles to keep communicating with strangers on the dating site’s messaging system.

Winchester pushed this message on talkRADIO by saying: “[Scammers] are trying to move the target away from the dating service and on to some other messaging platform – where they can execute the scam.

“The reason they want to do that is as soon as they’re discovered on the dating platform, they’ll be removed and that relationship with the target that they’ve carefully cultivated will be lost.”

He continued to say that scammers like to use WhatsApp because one of its selling points is that all messages are encrypted and not read by moderators, whereas dating platforms strive to offer their members complete security.

Fraudsters usually ask for money to help pay for medical bills or plane tickets to go and visit the victim. However, they could also look to get personal information or revealing images to use as blackmail.

The Scamalytics co-founder concluded the interview by explaining that it’s difficult to help some victims in extreme circumstances. He said: “I’ve spoken to one myself – even though she acknowledged that she was being scammed – she said no-one else would talk to her – she was just desperate for someone to talk to.”

Listen to the full discussion here (20:00 – 20:30: 11 minutes in).