Coronavirus Could Lead To More Catfishing On Dating Apps: Study | #tinder | #pof


NEW YORK — Be careful when swiping right — with more people stuck at home due to the coronavirus, more and more singles have turned to online dating. However, with an increase in users on dating apps, also means an increase in catfish. A new study by Socialcatfish.com shows that with the surge in online dating during the pandemic, New York residents are the number 4 most at-risk for online romance scams.

“In April of 2020, the coronavirus became increasingly worse in the United States, forcing many states to force a ‘stay at home’ law and also forcing non-essential businesses to shut down,” the blog wrote. “Amusement parks and retail shops all across the country have shut down to ‘flatten the curve’ and stop the spread of the virus. Because of this difficult time, single Americans have found other alternative ways to mingle on online dating sites. There are also others who are rushing things with the person they were talking to before the coronavirus so that they aren’t bored and lonely during this time.”

The popular dating app Bumble reported a 21 percent message increase in the United States, with an even bigger increases where the coronavirus has plagued the most, including New York. Tinder has also seen an increase with 10 to 15 percent increase a week due to the virus.

While some may be on to look for companionship during this time, users are warned that romance/catfishing scams are bound to go up in 2020, especially in states where the coronavirus is more prominent. The Socialcatfish.com study found that in 2019, there were a total of 931 people in New York who reported being a victim of a romance scam. California saw the most number of victims at 2,206.

“There are also people who trick others into thinking they want relationships, knowing that people are desperate in finding someone to keep them company during this quarantine,” the study reads. “They get to know them on a dating app, and then once they gain the victim’s trust ask for money or inappropriate images from that person.”

Here are some warning signs of romance scams according to socialcatfish.com:

  • They want to move fast in the relationship. This is their way of gaining your trust so that they can ask you anything and have you want to do it to help them. If this happens to you, don’t fall for it. Move your relationship at a normal pace you are comfortable with.
  • They don’t want to video chat with you. This is usually because they are not who they say they are and are just trying to hide that fact from you. If they don’t want to video chat with you during this time, then it is a huge red flag and you should move on with the next match. Also, if they say they can’t meet with you or video chat with you because they have the virus, it’s also time to move on because more than likely they aren’t telling the truth.
  • They guilt-trip you into giving them money. They will usually come up with excuses like I need money to cure me of the virus, or my loved one has the virus and I need help. If they ask for money, do not give it to them.
  • They have poor grammar. If they claim to be from the United States yet don’t know how to write sentences or spell words, that is definitely a red flag.

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