“Things happen in life,” online dating app company CEO says on people falling for romance scams #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams

The CEO of world’s biggest dating website company said that he does empathise with people who lost money to love scams. He says “things happen in life” about victims who lost their life savings and that the platform tries to keep itself safe.

In an interview with CBS News, Match Group CEO Bernard Kim was asked what he would tell customers who were fooled by romance scams on dating apps like Match.com and Tinder. Kim responded: “Look, I mean, things happen in life. That’s really difficult. I feel empathy for things that happen, but our job is to keep people safe on our platforms – that is the most important thing to us.”

Kim’s statement comes at a time when romance scams are growing, and more people are getting tricked as they look for dates online. Last year, love scams cost victims over $1 billion, according to the FBI.

“We saw a sharp increase in romance frauds from 2017 to 2023,” said James C. Barnacle Jr., who is Chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section. “The rise of dating sites caused this.”

In a romance scam, criminals make fake profiles on dating apps and pretend to have romantic feelings for victims. Once they have built trust, the scammers convince victims to send money for make-believe emergencies or businesses. By the time victims realise they were lied to, the money is gone.

While Kim claims keeping customers safe is Match Group’s “most important thing,” the company’s actions show otherwise. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission sued Match.com, alleging 25-30% of new user accounts were fraudsters looking to scam people.

A federal judge dismissed the part trying to hold Match responsible, due to Section 230 – a law protecting online platforms from user content liability. Match Group disputed the FTC’s fraud estimates but didn’t share its own data.

Match Group now says it spends over $125 million yearly on safety and removes 96% of fraud accounts within 24 hours. The company recently hired Twitter’s former trust and safety head, Yoel Roth, suggesting intent to improve safety.

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