Tinder Scams: Top 8 Signs to Spot Scammers on Tinder in 2022
Are you a constant victim of Tinder scams? Do you want to spot Tinder scammers from a mile away? Then you are at the right place, my friend.
While most people simply ignore or block the advances of an unknown person from dating sites, scammers usually just know the exact buttons to push to get to that person who’s desperate for love. The risky thing about dating sites is nothing about a person is genuine, including their name and identity. Read on for ways to spot Tinder scammers.
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Top 8 Worst Tinder Scams
Tinder is one of the most widely used dating apps around the world. Unfortunately, through the years, the relevance and applicability have progressively declined to owe to the increasing number of Tinder scammers.
What makes tinder account verification scam easy? First, Tinder’s sign-up process is free and easy to carry out, so anyone can register in there, even if they give false information about themselves. Because of that, you need to be extra careful about who you interact with on Tinder because there are a lot of non-genuine individuals.
Right then, let’s get into some of the worst romance Tinder scams. Some scenarios are scary as hell, so brace yourself!
1. A College Student Was Threatened by His Supposed Tinder Date
The YouTube video Tinder Horror stories sum up two scary stories about catfishing. The first narration is about a college student who joined Tinder for fun during his winter break. After unsuccessful matches, he landed a beautiful lady who happened to like him back.
He sent her a chat, and they began talking. They discovered that they had some common interests, including a Christmas movie they were both watching. She then asked if he would like to go over to her place to watch the movie with her. He quickly said yes because she was his first Tinder date, and he was glad to have such an opportunity.
After she gave her address, he went there. It wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, but he was excited at the chance to meet her. So, he massaged her that he had arrived, but instead of coming out to meet him, she told him to wait at the back door.
He went to the back, but still, she didn’t come out or open the door for him. When he texted her again, she told him just to enter through the door. He found it odd to enter through someone’s house just like that and began to feel suspicious. He also noticed strange things such as someone peeping through the window curtains and running away, in addition to the fact that the house lights were off.
Before giving up, he called her and realized her number was fake. It then hit him that he had been catfished. He also saw a phone light on the other side of the door, implying that someone was waiting for him there. He decided to walk away slowly and went back home.
Afterward, the scammer sent him more messages asking where he went. When he ignored them, the scammer started sending threatening texts telling him that they knew what he looked like and couldn’t do anything about it. Luckily, nothing bad happened to the college student, and he has since closed his Tinder account.
2. A Man Was Lured to A Lonely Park by His Tinder Date
This is the second story of Tinder scams from the YouTube video shared above. It takes on a similar catfishing incidence where a man was lazily swiping through Tinder. He had sent several girls messages on the app, but one particular caught his attention because she texted him first. Her name was Michelle, and she was a 9/10 so, he was excited to meet her.
After chatting a bit, he asked for her number, and they quickly made plans to hook up that same night. She suggested that they meet at a park near her home at 10.00 p.m. before heading to her place. He hurriedly agreed.
He got to the park a few minutes earlier but decided to wait till 10:00 rather than call or text so that he wouldn’t seem too eager. The park was deserted since it was a weekday night so, the man was all alone. The park was surrounded by trees and he sat on the swings as he waited for her. After waiting for a while without hearing from her, he began to wonder whether she’d show up. He then heard a sound from the bathroom and questioned who would be in the park bathroom that late.
Michelle finally texted him at 10:15 p.m., saying that he should meet her in the bathroom because she had a surprise for him. Looking in the bathroom, he saw someone peering out but quickly closed the door. He got scared on realizing that it was a scam.
So he went back to his car, but as he was catching his breath, an adult man came out of the woods and started chasing his car. He got home safe, however, still dreading the thought of someone going after him. He never shared his incident with anyone except his elder brother. Counting his lucky stars, he closed his Tinder account and never used the app again.
3. Beware Sending Explicit Photos to Someone You’ve Not Met: Mark’s Tinder WhatsApp Scandal
This Tinder match turned sour made headlines in April 2018 as, “The Text that Turned a Tinder Match into a Living Nightmare.” It started as an innocent and fun flirtation between 38-year-old Mark and a girl he met on Tinder, but scary stuff began to unravel, sucking out Mark’s joyful experience and his dignity.
Mark, who resides in Sydney Australia began chatting with a girl on Tinder for a while before deciding to take their conversations to WhatsApp. The first red flag is the girl gave Mark an Indonesia number yet she had described on Tinder that she was staying close to him. On asking her out, she told him that she was touring Sydney for a while.
They continued chatting on WhatsApp until she was comfortable enough to send him a nude photo of herself. She asked for one from Mark too, and since it seemed harmless to Mark, he returned the gesture. Immediately after sending his nude photo, the girl quickly changed faces, demanding that he send her money ($500) or she would leak the photo.
Fearing for his public image, Mark sent her the cash, but she kept asking for more from him. After he refused, she started threatening him; telling him not to block her number or he would regret it. Lucky for Mark, the scammer never leaked his photo, but he gave his boss a heads up just in case.
A situation like Mark’s where a simple text could ruin your life is very difficult to erase from your memory. The scammer however tapped into Mark’s Facebook page and Instagram and got the names of his friends and family. As a desperate attempt, Mark sought the services of Internet Removals, a corporation that helps get rid of sensitive information from the internet.
4. A Gang of Teenagers Used Fake Tinder Accounts to Lure Unsuspecting Men
In 2019, a gang of 5 teenagers, three guys, and two girls between ages 15-19 were arrested by Police in San Jose, Calif for using fake Tinder profiles under the names “Becky” and “Victor” to prey on men.
They would arrange to meet such men in the late-night hours, often in secluded areas near a park. The victims were then assaulted, robbed, and carjacked at gunpoint. Though the notorious group was caught, they had already harmed several victims in such Tinder scams.
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5. Ethan’s Tinder Seduction Turns to Money Scam
29-year-old Ethan was duped by R.8300 after believing he had found the love of his life on Tinder. Ethan matched with Chris, and they chatted for around four months before raking it to WhatsApp. Chris’ profile seemed legit so, Ethan saw no harm. They began to have deep and meaningful chats; however, Ethan was cautious not to disclose personal details such as his home address.
Chris had said that he was a gemologist and that he got jewels from different places in the world. Ethan admired his prestigious job. Chris would even send photos of his everyday life like him playing with his pets, which led to Ethan believing that he was a genuine person.
Over the months, their relationship grew as Chris would call Ethan every day and send him voice notes. Romantic calls and texts then turned into gifts sending as Chris claimed to have bought a gift for Ethan; an expensive suit. However, Ethan declined because he thought it too much coming from a person he hardly knew.
Chris managed to convince him, saying that he’s an older guy who just wants to treat his younger boyfriend right. Not long after that, Chris sent Ethan photos of other gifts he had bought for him, including a Gucci bag, a laptop, and an iPhone. Ethan didn’t share his home address but rather gave Chris his work address, which would be safer. To make it seem real, Chris sent Ethan photos of some tanzanite stones he was going to trade in India.
The gift delivery started to take a downward turn when the courier company demanded that Ethan pay a customs fee of R.2300 to clear the three boxes of gifts. Alarm bells began to go off in his mind but considering the expensive gifts he was to get, he decided to pay.
Chris was supposedly unavailable that day as he was attending “meetings” all day. Ethan ended up paying R.6000 to proceed with the shipment, money he was saving for a trip to New York the following year. When he later told Chris about the unexpected charges, he apologized and promised to reimburse him the next day. His goods were to arrive at 5:30 p.m. the next day, but he never got them. In addition, Chris explained that he couldn’t find a Western Union that would initiate transfers since he had only cash. He later stopped responding and even blocked Ethan on all social media accounts.
Ethan took to Facebook to express his grief only to find out that another guy had also been tricked into sending R.20,000 using the same “gifts” Tinder scams from a man he met on Tinder.
6. Natasha Aponte Coned Several Men on Tinder to Fight for Her
An Instagram model, Natasha Aponte used Tinder to trick hundreds of men to meet her at Union Square, New York City. But the dates didn’t know that they’d be gathered at the spot to fight for who emerges victorious, as Aponte’s friend DJs in the background.
Every guy she had contacted on Tinder claimed that she would chat with them for a while before claiming that she’d be busy. After a couple of weeks of being ghosted, the guys would receive an invitation from Aponte to meet at Union Square to grab some drinks.
Much to the guys’ surprise, they discovered at the venue that they had been tricked using the same Tinder scams. The event turned into a public amusement as many of them started booing at Aponte while others exited the scene. Natasha took to the stage to explain her intentions that she intentionally wanted to set apart the crème-de-la-crème from the chaff by making them compete against each other.
The chaff consisted of men already in relationships, Puerto Ricans and non-U.S. citizens, Trump supporters, guys named “Jimmy” (hilarious), guys whose past girlfriends left them first, those only seeking hookups, and lots of other obnoxious dealbreakers such as smokers and alcoholics, beer belly, Tom shoes, khakis & long beard. After thinning the crowd of men, Aponte made the remaining compete in push-ups and sprint as she walked by swiping right or left of them.
Aponte’s callous dating tactic deemed her narcissistic and delusional. She lost several hundreds of followers after that ghastly event and has since kept her social media presence on the down-low. At least the men who participated did it for sheer fun and not to land a date with her.
7. Israeli Con Man Scammed His Dates Millions of Dollars
Israeli man whose real name is Shimon Hayut but who went by the name Simon Levier lived a lavish lifestyle owing to the cash he swindled from women from Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Claiming to be the son of a multi-millionaire Lev Levier, Hayut took the women he met on Tinder on expensive dates to gain their romantic interest. After pursuing them with several dates, he would concoct a story about his business-facing security issues, therefore needing their help in terms of money.
By then, he had established a connection with his dates so, they easily fell for his story. He was also in cohorts with a fake bodyguard to make it seem like he was wealthy. One of his victims, Cecilie Schroder Fjellhoy was duped 2.1 million in Norwegian Krones (244,000 USD) by the con artist who had supposedly taken out a loan.
Before discovering that she had been coned, Hayut issued her a fake TD Bank loan statement. He used the money he got from her to pay for flying lessons before scamming another girl to invest in a ghost business deal.
He served a three-year term in a Finnish prison for fraud but went back to scamming women upon his release. No one knows where he is, so beware of a wealthy man you meet online. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
8. Woman Fell Victim of Image Reversing
In mid-April 2020, a woman met “Ben” on Tinder who claimed to be a widower after his wife and daughter had died in a car accident 5 years prior. They exchanged contacts and continued with friendly chats on WhatsApp.
Two weeks later, they started having face-to-face calls via Skype. Ben invited the lady to visit him in Sweden, and he was to purchase her airline ticket to travel in July when the country’s travel restriction regulations were lifted.
Ben claimed that it would be easier for her to enter Sweden if she went on a business ordeal, so since his late father’s property was available for listing, she was to send some 20% down payment of $ 20,000.
She would communicate with Ben’s International Finance guy “Bradley” via email concerning the transactions. Ben had reduced communication from twice a day and didn’t call at their usual time at 2 p.m. He then stopped communicating altogether. It was then that she discovered it was one among many Tinder scams. She also used a website called social catfish to reverse Ben’s image, and it matched with Stefan, a family guy she saw on Facebook.
So, Ben simply used Stefan’s Facebook photos on his dating profile. Ben was also registered on another dating app, going by the name Allen from Dallas. The lady regretted not knowing about image reversing earlier on but according to her, Ben looked like Stefan because even on their skype interactions, she didn’t notice any contracts from his photos.
12 Signs of Tinder Scams
All these Tinder scams highlighted above could have been avoided if the victims knew the telltale signs. So, here are several signs of Tinder scams to look out for so that you don’t fall victim to similar horrific events.
1. A Tinder Scammer Will Ask For Money
While this sign is rather obvious, it’s quite easy to get caught up in the web without realizing it. Worse still, some Tinder scammers groom their matches through emotional or physical investment, usually lasting for months before they give their victims an excuse or plausible reason to help them with money.
To avoid getting duped of money, never offer a new partner your hard-earned cash until you are completely sure you can trust them. That goes for the ones you’ve dated for some months as well. Always ensure your Tinder partner is in it for the long haul and not because of monetary gains. In addition, trust your sixth sense- if it doesn’t feel right, then be wary.
2. Avoiding In-person Meetings
If your Tinder match avoids meeting you or makes excuses every time you suggest a date, your red alert flag should be sky-high. While some people might be shy, you can only play along for so long. A genuine person would eventually want to meet in person. So, someone who avoids doing so may not be who they say they are on the app or are hiding something.
3. Sharing Few Details and Photos
If your match only has one photo on their profile or their bio is empty, they may be a Tinder scammer or Tinder bots. A Tinder bot is a fake profile run on computer programs. Scan the profile for unrealistic premium quality pictures.
Bots often use images from other social media accounts or studio-quality pictures. If the photo seems too good to be true, then the profile is likely a bot. However, not everyone with limited photos or information is a scammer, but the stakes are high when you encounter such. Besides, someone with no bio and only one or two photos are probably not interested in getting a date. A genuine person would always invest in sharing some info about themselves.
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4. Asking Too Many Questions
A scammer may bombard you with questions to try to squeeze as much information from you as possible. But if you ask them in return, they give you vague answers. If you engage in a Tinder conversation where it feels like you’re the only one sharing details about yourself, it’s probably time to disengage or be extremely cautious.
On top of that, if they start to ask for personal details, such as where you live or the names of your family members, best to block them immediately before things get nasty.
5. Sending Links To Download
Never click or download a link someone sends to you on Tinder, especially if you’ve just met. Let them refer you to a website instead. Luckily, these days the app can detect potentially harmful links or content and will warn you. So, click at your own risk.
6. No Common Interests
Oftentimes, Tinder links you with people you connect with on Facebook. That means you could have mutual friends or similar Facebook interests.
Be very careful when dealing with someone you have nothing in common. Though some people aren’t active on social media, Tinder will always try to match you with those with whom you have at least one thing in common so, watch out for this.
7. Rushing into Things
Some scammers would rather go for the kill than take the time to connect with you. They will be more eager than usual to advance things with you, such as asking for your phone number the same day you met or asking to meet before getting to know you well. If someone rushes you or comes on too strong, then it is a red flag.
While some people may be anxious to find their long-awaited match, it’s good to tread with caution. Furthermore, good things take time so, a genuine person would be willing to slow things down if they want a long-term connection.
8. Answering Suspiciously Fast
This is another sign of a Tinder bot. If you get an unnaturally fast response, it could mean that you aren’t dealing with a person because most people don’t just sit around waiting to respond to messages within seconds.
If you always get immediate responses at all times from a particular match, it’s time to cut communication because you are dealing with an automated Tinder bot.
9. Not Answering Specific Questions
Scammers can play along with casual conversation, but when it comes to questions requiring personal details, they give generic answers. Also, if you suspect you are communicating with a Tinder bot, try asking common-sense questions that stretch beyond small talk. Questions such as “how many dogs can I fit in my bag pack?” are surprisingly hard for bots to answer. If the person avoids the question or doesn’t offer a straight answer, you can assume it’s a bot and stay away.
Another way to spot a bot is to text nonsensible words like, “I’ve just come from ndfma;dk. Have you ever been to ndfma; dk?” A real person will logically ask you what you mean, but a bot will repeat what you text as part of a normal conversation.
10. Suggesting to Meet at Strange Places or Odd Hours
It’s always safe to meet someone new at a public place and in broad daylight. So, if your match insists on meeting at an unfamiliar place in the late hours of the night, they are probably trying to scam you.
Moreover, never agree to meet at their home on the first date, even the second or third. Always meet in public at all times until you are certain you can trust the person to visit their home.
11. Getting Serious Too Soon
Someone who professes his love to you without meeting you or getting to know you are untrustworthy. Worse still, if they claim to send you gifts, particularly expensive ones, it’s their strategy to lure you into their trap before dropping the bombshell on you.
12. Sending Explicit Photos
Someone who sends you nudes even without you asking is a dangerous person. It could be a ploy to get you to send yours as well, then use your imagination to manipulate and threaten you. Furthermore, sending explicit photos to a person you hardly know should be the last thing on your mind, unless you’re looking for a casual hookup. But if you’re searching for a long-term connection, it’s best to steer clear of exchanging such content.
If someone sends you their nudes, simply cut communication or report them. In a world where everything revolves around the internet, a nude photo that may seem harmless could ruin your reputation in a second. So be wise.
Here are five extra tips to help you spot a scammer on Tinder:
1. Asking to Move Your Conversation Off The Site
A common technique of dating scammers is asking to chat via email or WhatsApp. Don’t be too quick to share your phone number or email address with someone you hardly know.
2. The Profile Seems Too Good To Be True
If the person seems too perfect for life, they could be a scammer. Are their photos always in exotic locations? Or do they look like a model? Scammers often use such tactics to get victims to fall for them.
3. They Always Seem To Be Abroad
Have you ever met the perfect match, but they always seem to be stuck in another country? Be wary as this could be another scam to eventually get you to wire them money so they could visit you. It starts with a business trip, then an unexpected tragedy or emergency to get your empathy, finally helping them out by sending cash.
4. Some Things Don’t Add Up
If they can’t keep their story straight or can’t remember something they had shared with you before, it’s a red flag. Some scammers work in groups, so if they seem to have forgotten a past conversation, it could be a hint of scamming teamwork at hand.
5. They Bring Up A Tragedy
Scammers usually know how to play with human psychology. A common tactic is bringing up a tragedy to get your compassion and sympathy, and sadly, women often fall victim to this. The story could be they recently got bereaved, or a family member falling seriously ill, or they got robbed. Whatever the reason, it’s not your job or place to sort their financial misfortunes, even if they claim it’s a loan.
What To Do If You Suspect You’re Being Scammed
⫸ Conduct Reverse Image Search on Their Profile Photo
To ensure that they are who they say they are, copy and paste their profile photo on Google Images to see whether the picture is being used somewhere else. This reduces the risk of catfishing.
⫸ Ask To Talk Via Video Call
Request for a video call to see whether their features match those of their profile. Most likely an ingenuine person will give excuses not to engage in a video conversation such as being camera shy.
⫸ Don’t send Money Under Any Circumstances
Even if you’ve already met this person, don’t send them any money. Scammers can be notorious for hiring other people to meet you to make their story more convincing.
⫸ Contact Your Bank
If you suspect that the scammer has tapped into your bank details, contact the bank immediately. They might be able to block or hold any suspicious transactions before the scammer gets a hold of them.
⫸ Report The Scam
If you suspect or are sure you’ve been communicating with a scammer, report the incidence ASAP to prevent someone else from falling prey in the future.
Could You Be A Victim Of A Tinder Romance Scam?!
The premise presented appears so unbelievable that we’re sure we’d never fall for such a ruse. Nonetheless, many individuals do. As a result, the issue is if psychology can assist in forecasting the kinds of individuals who are most prone to become victims of romance hoaxes.
Frauds are more likely to be perpetrated by those who scored high on impulsivity.
The scammer’s strategies are to instill a sense of urgency in the recipient to reply to their demand by telling a story about a crisis demanding immediate assistance. Because the victims do not have time to analyze the culprit’s financial demand or reaction properly, impulsive people are more prone to succumb to this technique.
Nevertheless, a Tinder Romance scam victim should effectively cross-check every detail an online proclaimed lover provides. However, the background checking process is often tedious and complex as most fraudsters are well skilled in hiding their identity.
In this situation, one ought to delegate the duty to BeenVerified for background information checking. BeenVerified is a for-profit background check firm that uses its website to deliver user-initiated criminal background and person search services.
Wrap Up: Be Aware of Tinder Scams!
While Tinder dating can be fun and offers a great platform to meet new cool people out there, it is always good to be aware of the dangers caused by scammers. Anyone who has tried Tinder can tell you that they have fallen victim to scams such as catfishing.
Such negative experiences can ruin your chances of meeting that genuine special someone who could be waiting for you on the other end of the phone. The trick is to be extra cautious with every person you meet on Tinder by looking into the signs we’ve highlighted for you.
Also remember that whenever you go on a Tinder date, let a close person as your brother, sister or roommate know where you’re going just to be safe. As long as you know how to protect yourself from scammers. Tinder can be a fun site to find love.
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Author: Ruth Jesse
Ruth is a life coach who specialises in finance, relationships and career development. Outside work, she loves writing novels and guides for personal development.