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Tinder Swindlers committing majority of dating app scams

SCAMMERS are frequenting Tinder more than any other dating app, recent data has revealed.

Tinder is the most popular dating app for fraudsters, as the latest data from the Royal Bank of Scotland has revealed that all romance related scams originated online.

Fraudsters are exploiting those looking for love online leading to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) issuing a five-point red alert warning ahead of Valentine’s Day.

The bank also reveals all romance-related scams reported from October to December 2021 originated online.

Tinder app open on a mobile phone.
Tinder has been revealed as the most popular dating app for fraudsters.                Photo by Good Faces Agency on Unsplash


RBS has seen more romance scam victims on Tinder than any other dating app.

Tinder was recently highlighted as a fraud hotspot in the Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, which is currently the number one show on Netflix UK.

As such, RBS have introduced a five-point ROSES alert system, with the aim of helping customers become more aware.

ROSES contains hints and tips on what to look out for when browsing and chatting to users online, to help customers avoid becoming a romance scam victim.

The acronym stands for:

  1. Reluctance to meet in person or using a photo that looks like a picture from a magazine.
  2. Obstruction – distancing from family and friends, telling you not to talk to others about the relationship.
  3. Spending money to gain credibility – buying small gifts and flowers and saying, “If I didn’t love you, why would I have bought you flowers?” Or showing signs of wealth – sending screenshots or balances, pictures with expensive cars etc.
  4. Emergency funding – Asking for financial help – for example having a medical emergency and needing funds urgently transferred.
  5. Similarities – “You’re a Widow/Widower? So am I.” “You have a Son and a Daughter? So do I.”

UK Finance announced that total UK losses due to authorised push payment scams increased to £355.3 million in the first half of 2021, up 71 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

The number of cases rose 60 per cent to 106,164.

UK Finance data revealed that there were 1,624 romance scam cases in the UK in H1 2021 with victims sending a total of £15.1m to scammers.

Jason Costain, Head of Fraud Prevention Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Innocent people who are looking for friendship or love are being preyed upon by criminals using fake profiles.

It’s far too easy to set up a fake profile on an online dating site or social media platform.

It’s important to note that this problem isn’t isolated to dating sites; fake profiles are a wider problem across social media where over half of romance scam cases reported to Royal Bank originated on platforms such as Scrabble Go, Facebook and Instagram.

These companies need to do more to prevent fake profiles from being created.

We hope our five-point red ROSES warning will help raise awareness of some of the techniques criminals use and help customers avoid falling victim to these types of scams.”

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