Is this the end for Tinder swindlers? Dating apps to warn of scammers

 (Shutterstock / Jacob Lund)
(Shutterstock / Jacob Lund)

Tinder swindlers could be in hot water as popular dating apps are introducing new scam alerts to warn singletons about romantic grifters.

Starting today, Tinder and Hinge users will begin receiving messages detailing how to spot possible fraudsters.

Members will be advised not to follow a match to another platform when chatting, to use photo verification to prove their identity, and to steer clear of anyone pertaining to be a “crypto expert”. Anybody who genuinely works in the crypto industry may now have to find another way to describe themselves.

The tips are part of a global public awareness campaign by Match Group, owner of several well-known online dating platforms. They will appear as messages in the Tinder and Meetic apps, and as notifications to users on Match, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and OurTime.

The safety feature comes as startling figures reveal the amount of Brits who have fallen prey to love-bombing charlatans. A total of 8,036 dating scam reports were made last year, which totalled a lost amount reported at £91.4 million, according to City of London Police.

The figures are even higher in the US, where victims reported $300 m (£249 m) in losses each year since 2020, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Last year, the average amount lost to romance scams grew to more than $190,000 (£158,000), up from $120,000 (£100,000) in 2021, per the Global Anti-Scam Organization.

Tinder’s scam alerts include a message advising users to report anyone who claims to be a “crypto expert
Tinder’s scam alerts include a message advising users to report anyone who claims to be a “crypto expert

Match Group said it created the alerts in partnership with victim advocates and cyber-crime investigators. The feature follows the release of hit Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, which stormed to the top of the streamer’s most-watched chart last year.

Based on shocking real-life events, the true-crime documentary follows a group of women tracking down the romantic scammer who cheated them out of millions of dollars.

Here’s how you can spot a Tinder swindler on dating apps and online.

How do you know if someone is lying on Tinder?

Tinder is among several dating apps implementing six warning messages that reveal the telltale signs to identify a con artist. They include:

1. Stay on the app as long as possible

Scammers will attempt to get you on to another platform quickly, which can be a common flag for these types of scams. Stay on the app when getting to know a new connection. If the match wants to move platforms but still does not want to meet up or video call, it is a red flag.

2. Use the tools available inside the app

Make sure to verify your profile with Photo Verification and also look out for the verification check on your matches to help confirm they are the person in their profile pictures. You can also set up video chats before meeting in person to confirm your match is the person you’ve been talking to. If your date can’t do any of these things, it’s another flag.

3. They’re a 10 but claim to be 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. Always report these interactions back to the platform where you met.

4. They promise a big return on an investment or help to secure financial future

According to experts, 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 sceptical of anyone who appears to be wealthy and successful but wants to teach you how to invest and make money.

5. They play on your heartstrings and appear to be desperate

Scammers often claim they need money for a Visa, customs fees, surgeries, family medical bills, car repairs, or plane tickets to visit you. If they appear desperate and money is involved, this should be a giant red flag.

6. Scams can look different and constantly evolve. Keep your guard up and stay vigilant

Online scams have evolved as online platforms have become more accessible and gained popularity. Scammers can also play the long game and don’t just come out and ask for money when first getting to know someone. They often don’t start talking about finance until months later, after they’ve gained your trust. As a rule, it’s best to never send or receive money via a wire transfer, money order, currency exchange, gift card, or investment with someone you’ve never met in person. Not for any reason. Ever.