All the horror stories out there about the dangers of online dating are certainly not too far away from the truth. However, the real dangers of Tinder seem to have migrated to more technological scams. Online dating related crimes have definitely evolved, and we have to evolve with them.
The number of scams that run on Tinder is actually quite high, from the classic catfishing to Tinder bots and chatterbots, which eventually get you to provide personal information that you should never give to strangers anyways or getting you to follow links that will download malicious software into your phone.
Here are some examples of what you should be looking out for when on Tinder as well as some strategies that can make your experience more secure, so that you can safely swipe, match and chat away, in the hopes of getting an actual date instead of a conning experience.
6 Tinder Scams To Avoid:
1. Catfishing Scam
Basically, the person you are texting has photos on their profile that are not theirs or they have been heavily photoshopped, so they look way different there compared to their real-life personas. Now, this can be due to many reasons, the most worrying one, of course, is when they are looking to scam you out of money.
How do they do this?
I know this might be devastating if you guys have actually built something –or you think you have- but trust me on this, it is time to run and save yourself some money. Unfortunately, you have been wasting your precious time with a very bad human being.
In the best of scenarios, they are actually insecure about themselves or have low self-esteem and they put a different photo because they feel like they don’t have a chance with their actual picture. And yes, I said this is the best-case scenario. So at least you are not getting scammed, but you’re definitely being lied to.
Saftey Tip: Meet this person as soon as possible! And this is actually a regular Tinder recommendation, if they are the real thing, you don’t want to let the conversation cool off. So meet them in person as soon as you can and that way you will lower your chances of falling for a scam!
2. Bots Scam
The first sign of alert for these cases: their photos are just too good.
Remember, most of the Tinder profile photos are taken by the user or someone using their phone, so they generally don’t look like magazine photos.
No, I don't say that all awesome photos are a bot, but since these little parasites use photos from models’ Instagram or Facebook profiles, you’ll see that the photos look as if they were done by a professional because they probably were! So this is your first sign that something might be wrong.
Your second sign is “INSTANT CHAT.”
You got a match and immediately, less than a minute later, they text you. Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible that they had the app open when you guys matched and that they were just excited to start talking.
But if as the conversation goes it so happens that their answers keep being typed way faster than you would expect, then be careful, because you just might be dealing with a bot instead of a human being.
Another thing to look out for is the quality of the answers. With generic bots, you’re going to get very flirty messages but their answers will have very low specificity. This is hard to determine because dating apps’ conversations sometimes tend to go this way.
The final proof though will be when they send you a link to follow. Don't click on any such link
Saftey Tip: Ask specific questions. By asking them for something specific it will be harder for the bot to actually give a satisfactory answer since it’s not programmed to do so. Another thing you can do is to throw a random word immersed in a normal sentence. If they keep going with the conversation or, even worse, use that word to continue, you’ll know you’re not talking to a human.
Also, if you see that the entire combination is there, super-fast answers, amazing pictures, and generic chat, you might want to get out of there, because you are about to be scammed.
3. Malware scam
The malware scam is very common and they generally work by installing software on the system that allows the scammers to access files on your computer. They can use this to steal your personal details and commit different kinds of fraud.
Safety Tip: Malware scams can be prevented by using a good antivirus. Besides, it downloads from unreliable sources should be prevented so that the malicious software doesn't get installed somehow. Windows firewall can also prevent malware and therefore malware scams.
4. The Code Verification Scam
We are all aware of verification codes. We need them every day for various purposes. From verification on websites to buying things, we are always using verification codes. But in the code verification scam, scammers are using verification codes to fool customers and steal from them. A lot of unaware people often give away their details and the code on convincing phone calls, which makes it easy for the scammers.
Safety Tip: The best way to prevent this is by not giving out your personal details to anyone over the phone no matter who they say they are.
5. Tinder Blackmail Scam
A recent scam that has evolved is the Tinder Blackmail Scam. People are creating fake profiles on Tinder and interacting with genuine people. After developing a level of comfort they are sharing nudes and such. But to their horror, they are being scammed and blackmailed for money later on. This is troublesome for a lot of people with a growing number of Tinder users. A lot of people get tempted to send stuff that can be used to blackmail them later without any knowledge of it.
Safety Tip: While there is no hard and fast rule to prevent this, people should be more careful while interacting and before sharing intimate stuff worth blackmailing.
6. Avoidance of meeting in person
A great way to understand that you are being scammed or cheated if you feel any suspicions. The person cheating you will always try to avoid meeting you in person. A lot of cases like this happen throughout where people act as salesmen, etc and extract personal details.
Safety Tip: This can be prevented by always insisting on meeting before doing any deal or giving any confidential information, etc.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed on Tinder?
If the Tinder profile photos are too good to be true, they might actually be, so beware of suspiciously good photos or overtly suggestive. This last thing can be used to get your attention at first and then try and scam you.
I’m not saying that if they have no bio they are a bot, but almost all bots have no bio, so there you go! Now you see the importance of having a bio! You don’t want anyone to think that you’re a bot. And if you find any of the red flags mentioned above together with this lack of info…well, there you go!
Finally, a couple of reminders that should really just be common sense by now:
Never follow links provided by strangers, don’t give money to strangers – really, why would you do this?- and have a trained eye while you’re swiping away. The first filter is their profile and you have the option to avoid these malicious messages by just using your criteria a bit better while swiping right and left.