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A recent incident in Delhi sheds light on a growing trend of scams targeting users through dating apps, leaving victims out of pocket and emotionally distressed. Archit Gupta, a 25-year-old man, recounted his experience on X (formerly Twitter) after falling victim to a scam orchestrated by a woman he met on the dating app ‘Bumble’. Gupta detailed how he ended up paying an exorbitant bill at a restaurant, allegedly in collusion with the woman, raising concerns about such scams becoming increasingly common.

Social media platforms and Reddit forums are rife with accounts of men allegedly falling prey to scams after connecting with women on dating apps like Bumble and Tinder. The scams typically involve the woman insisting on meeting at a specific restaurant, ordering expensive items, and leaving the man to foot the inflated bill. Gupta’s case illustrates this pattern, with his bill amounting to Rs 15,886 for a seemingly modest order.

Gupta’s encounter with the scam started when he met a woman named Divya Sharma on Bumble, who he later found to be identified as Aifya on Truecaller. She allegedly insisted on meeting at a specific bar in Delhi’s Rajouri Garden. Despite reservations about the place, Gupta agreed. After ordering, he was shocked to find the bill totalling Rs 15,886. The woman is said to have swiftly left while the 25-year-old man after paying the bill.

He discovered the “scam” as he read the reviews of the bar when he returned home. The woman allegedly “disappeared” after the incident, ignoring Gupta’s calls.

According to Archit Gupta, he has received similar accounts of other victims.

He also said that he submitted a police complaint in this matter.

Dating App Scam: Woman Arrested In Gurugram For ‘Cheating’ Men, Made Rs 1 Cr In 3 Months

Gupta’s case is not isolated. Reports indicate a surge in similar scams, prompting concerns among users of dating apps. The Gurugram police recently arrested a woman who allegedly cheated and robbed ten men, making around Rs 1 crore over three months, according to a report by the Print.

In Gurugram, the police arrested a 32-year-old woman from Chawri Bazar who allegedly conned and robbed ten men she met on Bumble. The modus operandi involved arranging fancy dates with the victims and accumulating considerable sums over three months, amounting to approximately Rs 1 crore. The police have dubbed it the “Bumble scam”, the report stated.

Journalist Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj on Saturday shared an account from a Maharashtra man who allegedly fell victim to a similar scam during a Bumble date on September 30, 2023, at Gypsy Resto Bar in Bhugaon, Pune. The woman quickly ordered an expensive bottle of wine and a hookah, leading to a shockingly high bill of Rs. 22,000+, the man claims.

According to his account, the woman, leveraging fear tactics, insisted on immediate payment, claiming that the restaurant could damage the man’s car and disclose the details about his date to his family.

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Dating Apps: Apprehension & Advisory

The prevalence of such scams has led to a growing apprehension among dating app users. A 2021 survey by Kaspersky revealed that about 34% of Indian respondents fear getting duped by fraudsters on dating apps, and 43% don’t trust people on these platforms. Some victims have quit dating apps altogether, altered their social habits, and become more cautious in public spaces due to heightened concerns. The emotional and financial toll on victims is considerable, highlighting the urgent need for preventive measures within the online dating ecosystem.

Bumble, the dating app in question, has issued an advisory on dating scams saying, “Making sure that our community is safe is at the heart of Bumble’s mission. Unfortunately, some users will join dating apps without the best of intentions, and that includes romance scammers.”

“A romance scam is when someone emotionally manipulates you by pretending to show romantic interest in order to take your money or other valuable assets. Scammers aim to quickly build a relationship with their target to earn their trust and take their money, usually by making up a fake story and then asking for help under ‘dire’ circumstances,” the advisory states as it includes guidance on how to spot a romance scammer and how to stay safe from a scammer.

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