Romance scams just ‘happen in life,’ says CEO of biggest dating app company in the US #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams


Online romance scams netted con artists over $1.1 billion in 2023, with an average reported loss of around $2,000 per target. These victims who span age, gender, and demographics often aren’t only out of money—their time, emotions, and sometimes even physical safety can be on the line. And while the CEO of the largest online dating company, Match Group, sympathizes, he contends that sometimes life just gives you lemons, apparently.

“Look, I mean, things happen in life. That’s really difficult,” Match Group CEO Bernard Kim told CBS Reports during an interview over the weekend, before adding they “have a tremendous amount of empathy for things that happen.”

“I mean, our job is to keep people safe on our platforms; that is top foremost, most important thing to us,” Kim continued. Kim’s statements come amid a yearlong CBS investigation series on online romance scammers, and the havoc they continue to inflict on victims. 

Match Group oversees some of the world’s most popular dating platforms, including Match.com, Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid. According to its 2024 impact report, a combined 15.6 million people worldwide subscribe to at least one of its service’s premium features, with millions more utilizing free tiers. Although the FTC’s count of annual reported romance scams has declined slightly from its pandemic era highs, experts caution that these numbers could be vastly undercounted due to victims’ potential—and unwarranted—embarrassment.

Authorities believe as few as 7 percent of romance scams are actually reported, but while older age groups are frequently targeted, they aren’t alone. In fact, some studies show younger internet users are more likely to fall for online fraud than their elders, given a greater willingness to share personal information. Some of these con campaigns can span multiple years, and drain victims’ entire bank accounts and savings. At least one death has even been potentially tied to such situations.

[Related: Cryptocurrency scammers are mining dating sites for victims.]

Regulators and law enforcement agencies have attempted to hold companies like Match Group accountable as romance scam reports continue to skyrocket—an industry fueled in part thanks to the proliferation of tech-savvy approaches involving chatbots and other AI-based programs. In 2019, for example, the Federal Trade Commission filed a $844 million lawsuit alleging as many as 30 percent of Match.com’s profiles were opened for scamming purposes. A US District judge dismissed the FTC’s lawsuit in 2022, citing Match Group’s immunity against third-party content posted to their platforms.

Match Group says it invested over $125 million last year in its trust and safety strategies, and removes around 96 percent of new scam accounts created on any given day. The company reported a $652 million profit in 2023—up a massive 80 percent year-to-year.

[Related: Don’t fall for these online love scams.]

The FTC advises internet users to never send funds or any gifts to someone they never met in person, as well as keep trusted loved ones or friends informed of new online relations. Experts also caution against anyone who repeatedly claims they cannot meet in real life. Conducting reverse image searches of any photos provided by a new online acquaintance can help confirm fraudulent identities. The FTC also encourages anyone to report suspected frauds and scams here.

In its 2024 impact report, the company touted its inaugural “World Romance Scam Awareness Day” sponsored by Tinder alongside Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett, which promoted similar strategies. According to the event’s official website, however, the PSA event is technically called World Romance Scam Prevention Day.





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