Scammers are an unfortunate reality online, especially on dating apps, and that’s why Match Group — the parent of apps including Tinder, Match, and Hinge — has rolled out in-app tips to help romantic hopefuls spot the red flags. So-called romance scammers have been a problem since the early days of internet dating, and in recent years have resulted in upwards of $300 million in losses annually. The rise of crypto and new forms of get-rich-quick frauds has only exacerbated the problem.
Tinder, Hinge, Match, Plenty of Fish, Meetic, and OurTime users this week have begun to receive messages containing helpful information around spotting possible scams. Match Group says in a press release it worked with law enforcement and financial exploitation experts to round up the best advice to keep users on their toes. There are six key points in their tips, from keeping the conversations within the app as long as possible to taking a “hard pass” on anyone who starts pitching investment advice.
Match’s Tips To Avoid Romance Scams
Dating app users are encouraged to keep early communications with their matches inside the apps at all times for many reasons, one of them being scam avoidance. “Stay on the app as long as possible,” the experts urge, taking time to get to know that new person. They may insist on taking the conversation elsewhere, but be wary — especially if they refuse to further verify their identity first by video chatting or actually meeting up. “Use the tools available in the app,” Match notes; features like Photo Verification and video calling are built right in for the purpose of helping to confirm people are who they say they are.
The third tip should come as little surprise given the whirlwind few years the crypto space has had, but it’s a good one to stick by: “They’re a 10 but a crypto expert; Hard pass. If a new love interest is giving you crypto or investment advice, there is a high probability that it’s a scam.” Whether crypto or traditional currency, the conversation shouldn’t turn to money.
Predators will often make big promises on how people can quickly improve their own financial situations, and for those struggling, it can be easy to get swept in. “Scammers will use techniques to focus on how a large sum of returns could improve your life or what you could do with this new money. Be skeptical of anyone who appears to be wealthy and successful and wants to teach you how to invest and make money.”
There are less subtle ways romance scammers will try to get innocent people’s money, too — say, by outright asking for it. “They may play on your heart strings and appear to be desperate,” perhaps feigning a genuine connection before starting to ask for payments to help out with difficult life situations they claim to be going through. “Scammers often claim they need money for a Visa, customs fees, surgeries, family medical bills, car repairs or plane tickets to visit,” the release notes. “If they appear desperate and money is involved, this should be a giant red flag.”
Match’s last dating tip just might be the most important: “Scams can look different and constantly evolve. Keep your guard up and stay vigilant.” New scams are always popping up, and that’s sure to continue — and scammers remain dedicated to their craft. Never underestimate how much time a scammer will put into building trust in order to get what they want in the end. Dating apps can be valuable resources for making genuine connections, but one should always put safety first.
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Source: Match Group