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Match Group CEO Says ‘Things Happen in Life’ to Romance Scam Victims | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


When it comes to getting your money back from a romance scam, it can be nearly an impossible task. Match Group’s CEO said he feels bad for victims, but “things happen in life.”

Just last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Report estimated that Americans lost more than $650 million to romance scams. The FTC, which casts a wider net, reported that these scams also bilked a whopping $1.3 billion from Americans in 2022.

Bernard Kim, CEO of Match Group, spoke with CBS News on the growing threat of online romance scams carried out by people overseas. Match Group — which owns Match.com and Tinder — is the largest online dating company in the United States.

“Look, I mean, things happen in life,” Kim told CBS when asked what he would tell customers who have fallen victim to scams. “That’s really difficult. 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.”

The FTC filed a federal lawsuit against Match Group in July 2022, alleging that “as many as 25-30 percent of Match.com members who registered each day were using Match.com to perpetrate scams,” according to court documents.

A spokesperson for Match Group told Business Insider that the figures mentioned in the claim are misleading and that the court dismissed claims related to the number of sign-ups that may be related to fraud.

The spokesperson told BI that Match is working with law enforcement to combat scams and has been “one of the most vocal” companies in the space doing so.

“We’ve done several romance scam prevention campaigns,” Match told BI. “We’ve done some pop-up messages within our apps, educating people on the common behaviors of scams and then also how to avoid them.”

Scams carried out on Match included “phishing” to steal consumers’ personal information and “sextortion scams,” in which scammers trick a victim into sending compromising videos or pictures that they then use to extort money from the victim, the FTC lawsuit says.

According to authorities, retrieving stolen money after it’s in the hands of scammers is extremely difficult, and victims typically do not recoup all of the money they lose in the process.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in Florida said that authorities could only recover around $40,000 after thieves convinced a woman she had won a fake Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. The thieves stole more than $400,000 from her.

“You go obtain subpoenas and then the bank takes their time about getting data back, the money is gone, long gone,” Judd said in a press conference.

If you do pay money to a scammer, the FTC recommends asking whatever company you sent money through to help recover it if possible.

Match Group did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider.



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