Tinder announces ID verification coming to US amid rise in scams, crime | #datingscams | #lovescams

Tinder’s enhanced ID verification process (Credit: Tinder Newsroom)

(NewsNation) — With artificial intelligence and deep fakes making it hard to tell who is who online, Tinder is making some big changes to its identity verification program.

The popular dating app announced Tuesday it was expanding its ID verification options for users in the U.S., U.K., Brazil and Mexico. The updated option will add an extra step for users to confirm the authenticity of their profiles.

After running a pilot of the enhanced verification process, Tinder found that users who were ID verified had 67% more matches on the app than those who weren’t verified, the press release said.

So, what will the enhanced process require?

Users will have to submit a video selfie of themselves along with a valid driver’s license or passport, the release said. The video selfie will then be compared to the image of the person on the provided identification and personal profile photos.

“People want to feel safe and confident when connecting and communicating with their matches, and we applaud Tinder for giving users this additional option to help confirm their match is the person in their profile,” said Pamela Zaballa, the CEO of NO MORE, a foundation campaigning to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Only users who complete this enhanced process will receive a blue checkmark on the dating app, the release said.

“Some of the things that we’re seeing with Gen Z is a really deep need and desire for that authenticity,” Tinder Chief Executive Officer Faye Iosotaluno told Bloomberg. 

The new feature comes just one month after the U.S. Embassy in Colombia warned Americans to avoid using dating apps in the country due to scammers and after a string of “suspicious deaths” in tourist hotspot Medellín.

Embassy officials say there were eight such deaths involving U.S. citizens between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023.

Embassy officials advise Americans to take extra caution if they consider using a dating app in Colombia, suggesting to meet that person in a public place and avoid residences and hotel rooms.

Plus, dating apps have made it easier for criminals in recent years to lure victims due to the rapidly advancing technology and, as a result, dating scams have been on the rise.

In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission reported $1.3 billion was lost due to romance scams.

Scammers target people through dating apps and social media that people have on their computers or phones.

“If you are using a dating app, make sure you do your research,” Lisa Plaggemier, the executive director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance, said. “If you see pictures of them on social media and they are with other people, ask who those other people are, what are their names, research those people.”

It’s usually not one person on the other end of the conversation, but a whole sea of scammers, so make sure you don’t get catfished.

NewsNation affiliate KTLA and WSYR contributed to this report.

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