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Dating apps like Tinder are more common than ever. Unfortunately, that popularity comes with a downside.

Scams targeting Tinder users are also becoming more popular, and more creative. If users aren’t careful, these scams can cause some serious problems for the individuals that fall for them.

It’s a good idea to stay aware of the current scams being used on Tinder users. Then, you’re able to quickly identify and ignore any scams or bots who come your way. This gives you more time to send messages to matches who actually matter, and who aren’t trying to fool you!

1. Account Verification Scam

The account verification scam is one of the most common scams currently on Tinder. The scam works like this:

First, you match with someone. Unfortunately, in this scam your match is actually a bot. They will send the first message, often right away. Then, they will hold a short conversation with you. This conversation will probably be very flirty, and won’t go in-depth into any topic.

After you exchange a few messages, your match will ask if you have verified your Tinder account. They will send you a link to follow, which will take you to a third-party website that features key words like “Tinder Safe Dating.” These sites often look legitimate, and often use Tinder’s trademarked icons.

If you express concern about following a random link, the bot will try to reassure you. Bots will say that Tinder uses the verification service to make sure the person you want to meet is who they say they are.

Tragically, your match is lying to you. If you follow the link to the website (even though you should never follow links from unknown sources Why Swiping Right on Tinder Might Get You More Than a Date Why Swiping Right on Tinder Might Get You More Than a Date Swiping right on Tinder could lead to quite unexpected results. Don't get left in the dark: Here's everything you need to know about the pitfalls of swiping right on Tinder. Read More ), you are asked for personal information. This may include your full name, your e-mail, your birthdate, and your credit card number.

Instead of being used to verify your account, this information is used to register you (and your credit card) for costly subscriptions to adult websites. Users who fell for this scam report that the subscriptions can run up to $120/month and is very difficult to cancel.

How to Avoid This Scam

Tinder recently introduced verification for profiles (see Tinder’s FAQ for more details), but it is a process that runs through the app itself. Tinder does not verify accounts through third-party websites or apps, and you should never follow links from people you don’t trust. Further, unless you are registering for Tinder Plus through the Tinder app itself, you should never have to provide credit card numbers for anything to do with Tinder.

2. Scam Bots

The bots mentioned above are just one type of bot using Tinder. In reality, there are a number of bots that are all trying to lure users in to different schemes.

However, recognizing a bot is more difficult than you might think. Websites use chat bots online for a number of legitimate functions 8 Bots You Should Add to Your Facebook Messenger App 8 Bots You Should Add to Your Facebook Messenger App Facebook Messenger has opened up to chat bots, allowing companies to deliver customer service, news and more directly to you via the app. Here are some of the best ones available. Read More , such as customer support and search queries.

Unfortunately, improvements in chat bot functions make them a lot harder to identify on Tinder. Bots do very well with the kind of conversations you have in online dating — short and direct questions and responses.

Because of this, if you match with a bot, they will hold a conversation with you that makes a lot of sense. They will be flirty and fun, they’ll love your pickup lines 11 Hilarious Tinder Pick-Up Lines You Should Definitely Try 11 Hilarious Tinder Pick-Up Lines You Should Definitely Try Distance yourself from the crowd and send a hilarious Tinder pick-up line that is sure to make your match laugh, which, in my book, is never a bad idea. Here are some great ones. Read More , and things will seem to be going great.

However, after some time passes, the bot will make their move. They will generally promote a website, an app, an online game, or a download to you. Their approach may be more subtle than you’d imagine! The bot may talk about wanting to play the online game with you, suggest downloading a chat app so that you can have a more adult conversation, or recommend the website as a friend.

Unfortunately, all of these recommendations will likely end with you providing personal information in order to register, or downloading a virus to your phone.

How to Recognize a Tinder Bot

The easiest way to avoid the consequences of a Tinder bot is to recognize one as fast as possible. These strategies can help you to identify bots and challenge profiles that make you suspicious.

  1. Be on alert if the profile only has between 1 and 3 very similar photos, has nothing in its bio, or features very suggestive images.
  2. Bots often reply very quickly — sometimes faster than the time it takes to type their message. They are also more likely to message first.
  3. Challenge suspected bots by asking complicated or very specific questions. This could be as simple as asking the bot to explain something in one of their photos or asking a two part question.
  4. Some people also have success identifying bots by using a nonsense word in place of a noun while asking a question. If the bot uses the nonsense word back (instead of asking you what the heck you’re talking about), you know it’s not a real person.
  5. 99% of the real people on Tinder will not ask you to follow a link, download an app, or to play a sketchy online game. If the person you’re talking to asks you to do this, chances are it’s a scam.

3. Human Scammers

The most difficult (and potentially heartbreaking) Tinder scams of all are the scams run by real people Here's What Happens When You Confront An Internet Troll Face To Face Here's What Happens When You Confront An Internet Troll Face To Face When you're just typing words into a machine, it's easy to forget that there are real people reading those words. Unless those people get in touch. Read More . Also known as “catfishing”, these scammers will build a fake persona and lead users to believe that they are romantically interested in them before scamming them in some way, for instance asking for money.

These scammers are difficult to identify, don’t have the tell-tale signs of bots, and are often willing to play a long game in order to lure users in.

Tinder takes some steps to prevent these kinds of scams by linking profiles to Facebook and/or Instagram, but this isn’t always enough. Human scammers generally create fake Facebook profiles with images sourced from online, and will create elaborate stories about their fake lives.

Once you match with a scammer, they will probably be very quick to suggest moving to another chat platform such as Skype. They may even talk to you on the phone and suggest starting a relationship. Inevitably, some sort of disaster will supposedly affect the scammer. After this, they will need money, and you will be the “only one” that they can turn to. By playing to users’ emotions, master scammers can make thousands of dollars using these techniques.

How to Recognize Human Scammers

The emotional and financial effects of human scammers can be horrifying, especially for those who truly believe they have met “the one.” For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you be able to recognize and avoid these scams!

First, the most trustworthy profiles are the profiles that look like they belong to normal people. Tinder profiles that link to Spotify or Instagram, and that display mutual friends and shared interests are by far the most trustworthy!

social catfish

If someone doesn’t have any of the above features, consider using a site like socialcatfish.com. This site’s search engine can help you to verify that images, emails, phone numbers, or usernames aren’t being used with multiple accounts.

Many people running a catfish scam will want to talk on other forms of social media as soon as possible so that their Tinder account doesn’t get flagged as spam. Feel free to put off speaking to someone on WhatsApp, Text, or Skype until you feel that you trust them.

Another great way to avoid being catfished is to meet up with your matches as soon as possible. It’s always reassuring to know that you’ve met the person behind the profile.

Finally, don’t give money to strangers you meet through social media or dating apps Tired of Tinder? Seven Free Alternative Dating Apps Tired of Tinder? Seven Free Alternative Dating Apps Now that Tinder is charging for its services, it might be time to turn to one of the many other dating apps available. Which will you try? Read More . It’s really as simple as that.

Swipe Safely

Tinder’s popularity and simplicity make it an easy and fun way to meet people online 5 Ways to Use Tinder that Aren't Hooking Up 5 Ways to Use Tinder that Aren't Hooking Up Tinder has a reputation as a hook up app, but it actually has non-romantic uses. You can meet new people to hang out with, kill time, or learn a new language. Here's how. Read More . Even though meeting people from the internet is becoming more common, you still need to play it safe!

To recap:

  • Don’t click on links or downloads from people you don’t know!
  • Always meet up with your date for the first time in a public area, and never at your home address.
  • Don’t trust profiles blindly — do some detective work if any alarm bells ring.
  • Report spam profiles so that they can’t lure in people less savvy than you.
  • Don’t give money to people you haven’t met in person.

Have you had a bad experience with a Tinder scam? Any advice for people who might run into the same thing? Let me know about it in the comments!

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  1. Kaayla
    October 14, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Named Jason on Tinder. One picture, no bio.
    Look very decent. Popped onto whatsapp chatting and things just happened to fast. All the "I love you, I miss you", every other minute if we were to chat. How can someone love and miss one so much, without even seeing in person?
    He claimed to be a civil engineering, doing up BEME for upcoming project in turkey. He says he is from New Jersey. Get him to send picture impromtu, but what he managed to provide is way off. Get him to send food with himself, he provided otherwise. The results just doesn't match.
    His phone: +15185049268.
    His contact list has gotten me and another friend of him only. His friend number: +15186559228.

    Everything seems so weird after conversations. Don't feel comfortable.
    Please beware of this person everyone. I believe he is one of the scammer out there.

  2. Maria
    September 23, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Philip Rogers, 36, pretends to be a widower with a daughter, says he works for the government. He said he couldn't tell me exactly what he does, otherwise he would have to "kill me"! Talked to me for three weeks, canceled pur first date bc his daughter was sick, the had to go to London for work for a week. He asked me to get Kik, he didn't think texting would work. Next thing I know he shows me his paycheck... $450,000. Then he says he's having trouble getting on the plane as they are asking him to pay some kind of tax, shows me a pic of the bill... $3,600. He "only" asked for half to help him get home. I told him I didn't have any money and he got upset, saying I don't care about us... I realized what happened and immediately blocked and reported him. I saw some signs but ignored them. Watch out!

    • Sebastian
      September 28, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Typical romance scam variety Nigerian 419 Advance Fee Fraud.

  3. Amy
    September 23, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Beware of Evans 52. Asked you to go on what's app. Then asks you to help disperse money because he will lose millions. Don't click on engineers or oil and gas men who are thousands of miles a way or men with no age or miles. If the miles are close and jump for no reason there is no good reason. They will say they don't know why. Delete them.

  4. Unknown
    September 18, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I met some one named Dave gallo on tender asked me to talk in kik app. After a few chats he asked for I tune cards then we chatted for a couple days then he some how broke protocol as a usmc witch he was funded and conveniently couldn't get his funds. Long story I fell for his shit bewear never again will I tust or open my heart.

  5. Unknown
    September 11, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Beware of Michael F .McIntosh 41 Sheffield. Will ask you send ITunes vouchers after pleading his undying love for u

  6. Kandi
    August 22, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I matched with a guy named Ted, who lives in NYC (like me). He said that he was 34 years old, an architect, and a single father to a 2 year old little girl named lizzy. He had to fly to the U.K. (Where he is originally from) becuse his mother was dying. WE CHATTED via text message (on his NYC phone number) and after 4 weeks of messaging he says that he "needs help" getting him and his daughter back to New York. HE THEN ASKED IF I HAVE A Credit card, and wanted me to get a Best Buy credit card. I immediately deleted and blocked him..

  7. Sasha
    August 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Be ware off a Jefferson Zoltan (Gellert) scam will be Romantic will ask for money. Scam young girl in UK for over 12K. Spoke to him for a couple of months too many red flags. Be aware stay away!!!

  8. Tim
    August 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Beware of people who don't answer your questions directly, for example, if you ask how they're doing and they say hi, red flag. If the two of you have been chatting back and forth and they haven't called you by your name, red flag. If they offer up their number right away, red flag.

  9. Help please!
    August 10, 2017 at 11:13 am

    a Person who identifies as a girl called Carla or Carlla on Twitter has created a profile using my mobile number. I don't know if the pictures she is using is her own or not. Other than changing my number, I have no idea how to report her or deal with the multitude of what's Apps I'm receiving on a daily basis. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  10. Renee
    July 20, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I have had 3 ask for money or iTunes card one talked to me for a few days before asking for money to help him get out of service to come take care of me, which they all used that line,it states in my profile I am disabled , that's real cool scam a disabled person. Also I had one ask for iTunes card to help him with his business as he was in Belarus for work. Even sent me a copy of contract. Watch out I have learned but not too late as I never sent either

  11. Gail
    June 7, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    be careful ..one guy Marc from long beach CA..put in 4 weeks of chatting before he asked for 1400.00 I tunes card.

  12. Pippa D
    June 7, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Watch out for guy saying called perly young uses friends account then says in US army and tries wooing yum saying loves you only 1 for him and asks for itunes card for past in military update to get to UK

  13. Pippa D
    June 7, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Watch out for guy saying called perly young used friends profile on tinder then tell you he in US army and asks you to send him a itunes card to get pass update to get to UK tries saying he loves you and your one for him only

  14. Bonnie Calle
    March 14, 2017 at 3:36 am

    The mist awful experience in my life a fake profile wrote for about 3 weeks met him tru tinder and continued tru mail box but until he asked for money i knew it was scam

    • Briallyn Smith
      March 22, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      I'm so sorry to hear that you had that experience, Bonnie :( Glad you recognized it was a scam before anything more serious happened, but it's so upsetting that people are out there doing things like that.

  15. Melanie Huggett
    March 2, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    2 people I have spoken to on Tinder have both asked me for money. One working in Nigeria & one in serbia both in the medical profession. I have not given them anything but please be aware they are out their. One does have a Facebook page. It is very scary & puts me off dating sights now.

    • Briallyn Smith
      March 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Oh no! Thanks for sharing your experiences Melanie, but I'm so sorry that that's happened to you. Definitely understand why you're hesitant with the online dating world right now!

      • Vicki
        August 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        I run into them a lot. They always want to chat on another form of social media. They are always widowed. I usually will ask about their parents next and they're always deceased. This is setting you up for "you're the only one they can ask for help". I got a message today instantly when we matched. He says he's working offshore for the government. He just gave me the widower line and just told me he lost both parents in a car accident. I haven't told him he's busted yet nor blocked him yet. Suggestions?

        • Amy Wills
          September 23, 2017 at 5:02 pm

          Same experience with a series of widower sob stories. Suddenly they are over seas and can't meet. So much of that on tinder.

    • SerbianGopnik99
      September 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Well im realy sorry to hear that , but on other side i understand that person from serbia because i live there , there are not so much scamers from here but i dont say thay there are none , its realy expensive to live here , these scamers are probably people without school , unemployes that cant work and dont have any suport from countery ... Dont fall for any scams , good luck !