Tinder expands ID verification options as romance scams soar | #datingscams | #lovescams

Match.com-owned dating app Tinder is rolling out advanced ID verification options across the US, UK, Brazil and Mexico to give users better tools to confirm the authenticity of profiles.

The enhanced process requires a video selfie and a valid driver’s licence or passport, and will check to see whether the face in the video selfie matches both the photo on the ID as well as the person’s profile photos.

It will also check the date of birth on the ID.

Profiles that use the verification options will be given blue checkmarks for other users to see.

In a press release, Tinder said that a trial of the technology in Australia and New Zealand resulted in a 67% increase in matches compared to those not verified.

The move comes as romance scams continue to surge.

Data released by Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LSE:LLOY) earlier this month showed that romance scams in the UK surged 22% in 2023 compared to the previous year, with an average loss of £6,937 per victim.

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission reported that nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam in 2022, with reported losses exceeding $1.3 billion.

The numbers are likely higher, as victims are often too embarrassed to make a report.

The advent of easily accessible artificial intelligence models is adding another layer of complexity to romance scams.

Free online face generators can make convincing, photorealistic images of non-existent people in an instant, such as the examples below from Generated 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, chief executive of sexual violence awareness organization NO MORE.

Ted Bunch, chief development officer of national violence prevention organization A Call to Men, also commented on the development: “We believe ID Verification is an important tool users can adopt to help prove they are the person in their photos as well as help provide some peace of mind when deciding to meet someone off the app.

“By giving this option to more users, Tinder is giving users more choice and options in how they connect and ultimately feel safer when exploring new connections.”

Though a positive step from Tinder, FTC data shows that, though romance scams are often conducted through dating apps, “reports of romance scams that start with unexpected private messages on social media platforms are even more common”.

Some 40% of people who said they lost money to a romance scam in 2022 said the contact started on social media, while 19% said it started on a website or app.

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