A recent global survey commissioned by Kaspersky examines the role of dating apps and the current state of technology and relationships. According to the study’s findings, scammers significantly discourage people from using dating apps.
Millions of people use online dating apps or social media sites to date. But instead of finding a partner, many people are confronted by con artists trying to exorcize money from them. Scammers are attracted to dating services because they know that people who visit these platforms want a personal relationship and can take advantage of it, Kaspersky points out in its new analysis.
According to the company’s survey of 18,000 people, users most often encountered the following problems when using dating apps:
- catfishing, i.e., deception based on false identity (51%),
- malicious links or attachments (21%),
- or identity theft (17%).
Those who managed to avoid an attack successfully identified a suspected fraudster with a false profile (50%); they were cautious and never sent money to dating apps (49%) or listened to suspicious messages (47%).
Almost a fifth (21%) of respondents became suspicious when the fraudster refused to go into a video call.
Lack of privacy is also a severe problem for dating apps. Twenty-six percent of respondents are concerned that their data will circulate in the online space. What’s more, 19 percent of users deleted dating services because they wanted to make their personal information private.
Online dating can be a risky business, as we do not know anything about each other at the beginning of the acquaintance, explained Árpád Tóth, Director of Kaspersky in Hungary, who believes that by paying attention to sure warning signs, we can remain vigilant and take care of the behavior of our digital partner. Suppose you’re already asking for money or personal information on the first or second day of online dating. In that case, it’s better to think about how safe it is to continue the relationship.
“Anyone who registers on a dating app is theoretically willing to open up and release their personal information to a certain extent. After all, to get to know each other, we must be willing to reveal certain details about ourselves. However, taking advantage of this openness and a little helplessness can cause serious wounds. Hopefully, during an analog meeting, we will recognize whether someone has good intentions or bad intentions. Here, however, we can be wrong because experienced scammers are incredibly good at disguised.”
According to Kaspersky experts, observing three principles can avoid many scams.
- Carefully check your security settings in your social media and dating app accounts to make sure sensitive information, such as your home address and work address, isn’t public.
- Use an effective security solution that provides adequate protection on multiple devices.
- Don’t share your phone number or the name you use in messaging apps. It’s safer to use the dating app’s built-in messaging platforms, and it’s wise to continue to do so until you’re sure you can trust the other person.