Millions of iPhone and Android owners warned of money-hungry criminals lurking in popular app – 4 red flags to look for #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams


TINDER users have been warned about malicious fraudsters who are out to steal their money.

Statistics show that roughly 7.6 million people in the United States use the dating app Tinder.

Tinder users have been warned about malicious fraudstersCredit: Getty

Founded in 2012, the platform has been solidified as the premier service for finding love.

However, users may get more than they bargain for on Tinder if they’re not careful, experts from EarthWeb warned.

That’s because the platform is filled with romance scammers who are out to steal users’ money.

WHAT IS A ROMANCE SCAM?

Romance scams comprise criminals using perceived trust and romance to steal a user’s money.

The scammer typically creates a fake online persona on apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, WhatsApp, or even Facebook.

Then after developing an online relationship with a person, they will manipulate or steal from the victim, according to the FBI.

Criminals might persuade a victims to send them money, disclose banking details, or purchase items for them online.

The Federal Trade Commission reported in 2023 that a combined $1.1 billion was stolen from unsuspecting victims via romance scams.

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“The scammer intends to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, endear himself to the victim, and gain trust,” the FBI said.

“Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen. Eventually, they will ask for money.”

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To help people steer clear of this scam, privacy expert Trevor Cooke from EarthWeb shared five red flags to look out for.

They don’t share much about themselves

One of the biggest red flags on a dating app is someone refusing to share even basic information about themselves, like their age or where they are from.

If someone is constantly making up excuses to avoid answering valid questions, there’s a high possibility they’re a catfish trying to lure you into a scam.

“Before you go on a first date with someone, you should at least know their age and the general area in which they live,” advises Cooke. 

Cyber expert’s advice on spotting a romance scan

A cyber expert with knowledge of romance scams spoke to The U.S. Sun and warned users of red flags to look out for. Roger Grimes, a defence evangelist at cyber-firm KnowBe4, listed eight main questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the person trying to move you off the dating site to an unmonitored app?
  • Are they asking lots of questions before revealing info about themselves? This could be a bid to establish common ground and build trust.
  • Are they avoiding phone calls and video chats, and coming up with excuses?
  • Do they say they travel a lot or that they’re not in the same country? This is often a lucrative part of the scam as they will need money.
  • Have they said they are traveling on a certain day and something unforeseen happens, so they need money to get there?
  • Do they ask for deep, dark secrets, or incriminating or nude photos? This could be used for blackmail further down the line.
  • Have they said they have been scammed before? This is sometimes a ploy to build trust and convince you that they’re not a scammer.
  • Do they have a sob story? Like their spouse died suddenly or left unfairly? Or they’ve been left with kids or massive bills to pay?

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They fish for your personal information

Similarly, if you are speaking to someone on Tinder who is asking you very deep personal questions or sending inappropriate messages before you ever meet, this could be a sign of a scammer.

Scammers try to foster a personal connection as soon as possible to manipulate you.

Fishing for your personal information can include:

  • Excessive messaging
  • Impatience when you don’t immediately reply
  • Asking odd personal questions that don’t fit the conversation
  • Derailing your questions about them to ask more questions about you instead
  • Asking for money after only knowing you for a little while

One way to avoid these profiles is to set boundaries immediately as both your financial and personal safety could depend on it.

“If you ever feel uncomfortable about anything the other person is saying to you, trust your gut and shut it down. Unmatch with the person and move on to the next,” says Cooke. 

They Keep Insisting On Meeting Up

If you match with someone who’s very eager to meet up in person after only just a few exchanges, it could be a potentially dangerous situation.

“If every other message is asking when you can meet up and you aren’t even having a real conversation of substance, then it may be time to unmatch,” encourages Cooke.

“Remember, when you do meet someone in person for the first time, always do so in a public area, or take a friend with you,” he added.

They Have Unbelievable Photos

If someone’s profile indicates they live a lavish lifestyle or they constantly flash their wealth, then it could be a huge red flag. 

Things to look out for include:

  • Unrealistic photos of fancy forms of transportation like yachts and private jets
  • Photos that are trying too hard to show off (posing with fancy sports cars, holding large fish, smoking cigars, etc.) 
  • Only one photo on the whole profile

Cooke says, “One quick way to find out if their photos are legit is to ask them to take a photo of them doing something very specific. If they can’t produce it, they’re likely a catfish.”

HOW TO STAY SAFE

There are several steps you can take to mitigate your risk of falling victim to a romance scam.

First and foremost, you should never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone.

Be careful what information you share or make public as fraudsters can use that to target you.

You should also research a person’s photo and profile to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.

Last, be vigilant of an individual who attempts to isolate you from friends and family, or requests inappropriate photos or financial information as this could later be used to extort you.



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