The local Better Business Bureau is warning people looking for love on Tinder to watch out for scam artists.
As the mobile dating app, Tinder, has increased in popularity, scam artists are targeting its users and refining their approach making them harder to spot, according to the BBB serving Metro Atlanta, Athens and Northeast Georgia.
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.
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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.
Dottie Callina, manager of communications at the local BBB service area, said while the BBB in other parts of the country including Los Angeles (where Tinder is based) has received phone calls from consumers who have fallen victim to this scam, she doesn’t know of any here. That said, Callina added that people who are scammed out of money may also be hesitant to come forward — they may realize it would be virtually impossible to get their money back, and also they may be embarrassed about it.
Callina said the goal is to raise awareness and encourage people to keep their guard up, even when you are falling for someone, and keeping in mind the person on the other side may not be looking to snag your heart, but instead steal your identity.
The BBB offers the following tips to wed out scam profiles by looking for the following warning signs:
- They reply way too fast. Many of the fake profiles on Tinder aren’t real people, they are spam bots. Watch out for anyone who messages you immediately after being matched.
- They quickly suggest chatting through text message or a chat program. Many Tinder users will move the conversation to text message, but spam accounts will suggest it almost immediately.
- They don’t listen. If your match responds with answers that don’t make sense in the context of the conversation, that’s a sign the replies are canned. Try asking questions, and if the answer doesn’t make sense, move on.
- They have a glamour shot. If your Tinder match looks like a model and is wearing a bathing suit, he/she may not be real (although, some reports say that scammers are being less overt and aiming for more of a “girl/boy next door” look).
For more information, check out Tinder’s website for tips on spotting and reporting scams.
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