Romance scams, sometimes called "catfishing," are an unfortunate reality of online dating. As the, mobile dating app Tinder has grown in popularity, scam artists have targeted its users and refined their approach so they are harder to spot.
How the Scam Works:
You are browsing through profiles on Tinder, and you spot an attractive man or woman. You flip through his or her pictures and read over the profile. You are interested in chatting with him/her, so you swipe right to show your interest.
A few minutes later, you get a message from Tinder saying you're a match, meaning that person also liked your profile. Then, you receive a message from your potential date. You swap a few messages through the app, and your new match suggests that you text instead. Everything seems to be going great, but once you move your conversation out of Tinder, it changes.
Tinder has cracked down on obvious spam, so scammers are getting more sophisticated in their approach. Your new match may start telling you to try an "amazing" new service or product. They typically provide links with referral codes, so the spammers get paid for sending new customers. Scammers will recommend you download an app and provide you with a link that loads malware to your phone. Other scammers will ask you for an address and other personal information under the guise of sending flowers or another gift.
How to Spot a Tinder Scam:
Weed out scam profiles by looking for the following warning signs:
For More Information
Check out Tinder's website for tips on spotting and reporting scams.
To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam).