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Match CEO breaks silence on ‘romance fraud’ tricking victims out of $1 billion a year and admits ‘things happen in life’ | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


THE CEO of the world’s largest online dating company has insisted his organization works to keep its users safe after a bombshell report found romance fraud tricks victims out of $1 billion a year.

Match Group executive Bernard Kim spoke out after a lengthy investigation into the worsening trend of online romance scams.

Bernard Kim, Match Group CEO, has admitted sick predators use his company’s dating apps to rob peopleCredit: Match Group
After more than $1 billion was ripped from unsuspecting people in 2023, Kim said ‘things happen’ and pledged the company was fighting the fraudstersCredit: Getty

In 2023, more than $1 billion was ripped from unsuspecting people looking for love and many of the perpetrators were based outside the United States.

Scammers will often “catfish” users, posing as someone else before emotionally manipulating them into divulging personal information that can be used to hack bank accounts.

With a portfolio of websites like Match.com, Hinge, and Tinder, Kim knows all too well about the scams and said his heart goes out to victims, CBS News reported.

However, when asked about the problem, he said, “I mean, things happen in life.”

read more on romance scams

“That’s really difficult,” he told CBS News.

“I have a tremendous amount of empathy for things that happen, but I mean, our job is to keep people safe on our platforms.

“That is top foremost, most important thing to us.”

Kim admitted there’s been a spike in scams and said security experts at Match work hard to block 96% of fraudulent accounts in a day.

According to US officials, tens of thousands of people in the country have been victimized by romance fraud, and many are too embarrassed to tell anyone about it.

No single group appears to be safe from the schemes.

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The age range of victims now includes younger, wealthy, and better-educated online users and 40% are men, according to James C. Barnacle Jr., the financial crimes section chief for the FBI.

“We see from 2017 to 2023 is when we had the sharp increase in romance frauds,” he said, noting the increase correlates with the increasing popularity of dating apps.

Kim said Match spends $125 million per year fighting fraud after the Federal Trade Commission sued the company in 2019.

A review performed by the commission showed that 25 to 30% of profiles on Match’s sites were opened to commit fraud, according to the suit.

Match denied any wrongdoing and a US district judge later decided the company was not responsible for content posted by third parties on their sites.

Cyber expert’s advice on spotting a romance scam

A cyber expert with knowledge of romance scams spoke to The U.S. Sun and warned users of red flags to look out for. Roger Grimes, a defense evangelist at cyber-firm KnowBe4, listed 8 main questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the person trying to move you off the dating site to an unmonitored app?
  • Are they asking lots of questions before revealing info about themselves? This could be a bid to establish common ground and build trust.
  • Are they avoiding phone calls and video chats and coming up with excuses?
  • Do they say they travel a lot or that they’re not in the same country? This is often a lucrative part of the scam as they will need money.
  • Have they said they are traveling on a certain day and something unforeseen happens, so they need money to get there?
  • Do they ask for deep, dark secrets, or incriminating or nude photos? This could be used for blackmail further down the line.
  • Have they said they have been scammed before? This is sometimes a ploy to build trust and convince you that they’re not a scammer.
  • Do they have a sob story? Like their spouse died suddenly or left unfairly? Or they’ve been left with kids or massive bills to pay?

Read more here.

LOVE GAME

Cybersecurity experts have warned of key signs the person you meet online could be a scammer.

According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, fraudsters will be the first to reach out after connecting with someone online.

The bad actors will then gain a victim’s trust by endearing themselves through flirting or soliciting.

To check whether the person behind the screen is legitimate, experts recommend doing a reverse image search with their pictures.

If the search shows multiple other accounts with different names, this could be a sign you’re being scammed.

Any request for money is also a key sign the person isn’t just interested in love.

“Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen. Eventually, they will ask for money,” the FBI said in a statement.



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