Top 5 Tinder Scams to Look Out For (2023)

You'd think Tinder's biggest audience would be hopeless romantics, and you might be right.

But there's another audience out in cyberspace that's all in on the location-based mobile dating app, too - scammers and fraudsters.

Make no mistake, Tinder scams stemming from fraudulent activity are the real deal, and the risk of a Tinder member walking away with a compromised identity instead of a date at the local bistro Saturday night are very real.

Due to the company's burgeoning online presence, more and more scammers are setting their sights on Tinder as a way toswipeusers' personal date instead of swiping right or left.

That's not exactly a surprise given that the Tinder app is available in 196 countries, and gets, on average, 1.6 billion swipesa day from among its 50 million users. The site also claims it has potentially 20 billion "date matches" and gets users one million dates per week.

The company, founded in 2011, also does a good job of collecting repeat customers, giving online fraudsters another bone to chew on. According to Tinder, the average user logs on to the dating site a whopping 11 timesa day, giving scammers repeated opportunities to engage and defraud Tinder users.

5 Most PervasiveTinder Scams

That's unfortunate, as nobody should go online looking for a romantic partner and walk away from the experience with their identity compromised or as the victim of financial fraud or theft.

The good news is that Tinder scammers, whether they're purporting to be someone they're not in order to steal money from users or they're identity theft artists looking for personal data, do come with "red flags" that warn Tinder users to log off and walk away.

Let's examine the most common schemes perpetrated by fraud artists on Tinder and examine some ways users can protect themselves while engaging with strangers online on a regular basis.

1. TheCatfishing Scam

A common Tinder scamming technique is for a fraudster to engage with a site user on Tinder, then try to entice the user to get off Tinder and re-engage via email or phone call.

A scammer has several advantages with this gambit (also known as a "catfishing scam").

First, they can say they only have temporary access to Tinder due to a promotional discount, and can only connect outside of Tinder afterward. It's much easier to lift personal data or steal from an individual via phone, email, or in person outside the cocoon of a dating site with security standards and tough data encryption configurations, a process it toughened in 2018 after complaints from data security advocates and members of Congress.

Additionally, once you step away from the security standards issued by Tinder, and start using other communication tools, like email, text or phone, you're operating on a date fraudster's preferred turf, where they can more easily pry the information they need from you to start digging into your personal data, which could lead to identity theft.

If you're engaging with someone on Tinder, or an any dating site, and the subject of getting offline right away arises, treat it as a red flag and either cut the communication off altogether, or proceed with extreme caution.

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2. The Malware Scam

Malware is a common threat online, especially on dating sites. On Tinder, for example, a match may have had several exchanges with you, and wind up offering more information on their personal web page or even fake Facebook (FB) or Instagram post.

These pages aren't legitimate, however. Instead, you're being steered to a web page chock full of malware and spam that can lead to scammers making off with your valuable personal data, and once again lead directly to identity theft and financial fraud.

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Be particularly careful if a Tinder match asks you to meet up on or visit another site, especially if the request seems fishy in the first place. There's a decent chance you're being set up for fraud.

3. ThePhoto Scam

Similar to the scams listed above, this tactic appeals to the emotional side of a Tinder user. He (and this one usually is a "he") is physically attracted to a woman's profile on Tinder and is amenable to sending his contact info in exchange for more (and racier) photos of the scammer.

The Tinder user could regret that move, as the Tinder profile could really be someone fishing for personal data, or even a fraudulent "bot" operation that leverages emotion and excitement, through the offer of more revealing photos, to gain access to a site user's personal data, which they can use to commit financial fraud.

If you're on Tinder, and are offered more photos from a profile engagement in exchange for personal data (especially critical data like Social Security or credit card numbers), pull the plug. It's likely a scammer on the other end of the engagement.

4. The Code Verification Scam

Often, Tinder scams have nothing to do with individuals, real or bot-related, that connect with users on the site.

That's the case with the Tinder account verification scam. Here, the scam involves an email or even text asking you to verify your Tinder account. The message may include a line or two about Tinder updating its records and asking you to verify your account. In other instances, an online Tinder "match" may ask you to verify before engaging in any future communication.

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In the above instances, the scammer will try to steer you to a third-party link to verify your account. Once on the link, you'll be asked for key personal data like your name, address, phone number, email, Social Security number, your birth date, and even your bank account or credit card number.

While Tinder does include verified accounts, it's done in-house at Tinder. Also note that Tinder verification is rarely used for average users - it's usually targeted toward celebrities and influencers, so Tinder can confirm their identity.

It's also worth noting that you can identify a Tinder bot right away.

Tinder users will rarely contact you and ask you to click on any links. Another way to reveal a Tinder bot is if your message to the contact is returned right away - almost too fast. That's a sign the contact is of the digital variety, and not the flesh-and-blood variety, and should be avoided entirely.

5. The Tinder Blackmail Scam

Old-fashioned blackmail has a new life in the digital age, and dating sites are a favorite blackmailing platform for fraudsters.

In this case, blackmail can work in various and nefarious ways.

One gambit is to procure nude or otherwise compromising photos of a Tinder user, then use that photo as leverage - if you don't agree to transmit money to the fraud artist, he or she will threaten to post the photos online. That could lead to any one of negative outcomes for the target, including loss or job or public position, or interference with the target's family life (think a divorced dad getting back into the dating scene or a married individual who shouldn't be on a dating site, but does so anyway.)

Never, ever send compromising images of yourself to a stranger on Tinder, or to any stranger, for that matter. End of story.

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What to Do if You Think You've Been Compromised

If you suspect you're engaging with a Tinder match who doesn't seem to be on the up and up, don't continue to engage with the contact any longer. If it's a bot, any direct response is an invitation to draw more information out of you and that scenario should be avoided.

If it's a real person, he or she may appeal to your human emotions and hang on to the connection as long as possible, in order to also siphon as much personal data out of you as possible.

Instead, close down the engagement right away and contact Tinder directly and let them know there's a problem. The site security experts will take it from there.

If you've actually been defrauded on Tinder, or on any dating site, let law enforcement officials know immediately.

Report any identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Reporting and file a complaint. Agency staffers will review your report and steer you to the correct recovery resources.

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After you issue a fraud complaint with FTC, you'll soon receive anIdentity Theft Victim's Complain and Affidavit. Use that document to file a police report to accompany your identity theft affidavit. Make sure to secure the theft case number and ask for a copy of the police report.

Do that, and you'll possess the necessary documentation to share with any creditors you contact to try and recoup money lost in a financial fraud or identity theft scenario.


Top 5 Tinder Scams to Look Out For? ›

Here are some Tinder scams that you should look out for, along with advice on how to avoid them.
  1. Tinder Verification Code Scam. ...
  2. Tinder Bot Profiles.
  3. Catfishing on Tinder. ...
  4. Tinder Blackmail Scams. ...
  5. Tinder Dating Arrangement Scams and Venue Promotion on Tinder.
Sep 21, 2021

How do you tell if someone is scamming you on Tinder? ›

Real scammers on Tinder will try to solidify a connection with you. They will ask you lots of questions about yourself, particularly about past relationships and your financial situation. They won't want to tell you lots of details about themselves, and if they do, look out for any inconsistencies.

Are there any scams on Tinder? ›

Your scammer may also say they are expecting a cash gift or an inheritance, so they ask to 'borrow' money for a short while. An emergency or disaster: For some, being a romance scammer is a full-time job, so spending time building trust with multiple victims is simply part of their working day.

How can you tell if someone is real on Tinder? ›

  1. Their Profile Is Missing a Bio, Occupation, or Other Basic Information.
  2. They Only Have One Photo.
  3. They Reply to Your Messages Super Fast.
  4. They Respond to Your Messages With Nonsense.
  5. They Want to Move the Conversation Off Tinder Immediately.
  6. They Seem Too Good to Be True.
  7. How to Report Fake Profiles.
Apr 26, 2016

What can a Tinder scammer do with my number? ›

Once they have your number, the bad guys can clean out your financial accounts, confiscate your email, delete your data and take over your social media profiles.

How can you identify a scammer? ›

Four Signs That It's a Scam
  1. Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know. Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government. ...
  2. Scammers say there's a PROBLEM or a PRIZE. ...
  3. Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately. ...
  4. Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.

What should I look for on Tinder? ›

Here are some Tinder scams that you should look out for, along with advice on how to avoid them.
  • Tinder Verification Code Scam. ...
  • Tinder Bot Profiles. ...
  • Catfishing on Tinder. ...
  • Tinder Blackmail Scams. ...
  • Tinder Dating Arrangement Scams and Venue Promotion on Tinder.
Sep 21, 2021

Is it safe to give your phone number to someone on Tinder? ›

You should never share personal information with anyone on Tinder until you get to know them. There are tons of Tinder horror stories and scammers, so don't give out your email address or mobile number until you feel comfortable that your date is genuine.

What does a romantic scammer do? ›

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day.

How do you tell if someone is scamming you online? ›

Common online scam signs
  1. Tries to gain trust. An online scam will often try to gain your trust in some way. ...
  2. Asks for action. ...
  3. Asks for personal info. ...
  4. Overpays you. ...
  5. Promises something. ...
  6. Wire transfer request. ...
  7. Pretends to be a family member. ...
  8. Offers something you want.
Oct 16, 2021

How can you tell if someone is real online dating? ›

The 8 Ways to Spot Fake Online Profiles
  • Fake online profile power words. ...
  • Nonsensical messages. ...
  • They only have one photo. ...
  • They have empty profiles. ...
  • Empty social networks. ...
  • They're “famous” or “royals” ...
  • They're way too forward or flirty. ...
  • They request your personal information.

What percent of Tinder profiles are fake? ›

The results? We discovered that 10% of all new dating profiles created were fake. We also found that: Male profiles are 21% more likely to be fake than female profiles.

How do you tell if a girl is a bot? ›

Here are a few ways to identify a typical bot while swiping:
  1. A profile not linked to an Instagram or Facebook account. ...
  2. A profile linked to a social media account that looks fake. ...
  3. The bio looks fishy. ...
  4. The photos look too good to be true.
Feb 3, 2021

How do you outsmart a romance scammer? ›

That's why it's important to know how to outsmart a romance scammer and how to act fast if you think you've been scammed.
  1. Be aware of the warning signs. ...
  2. Evaluate your online presence. ...
  3. Approach online relationships slowly. ...
  4. Set up a phone or video chat early. ...
  5. Don't send compromising pictures.
Feb 4, 2022

Can someone hack my bank account with my phone number? ›

With your phone number, a hacker can start hijacking your accounts one by one by having a password reset sent to your phone. They can trick automated systems — like your bank — into thinking they're you when you call customer service.

What are the dangers of giving someone your number? ›

Some of this information may seem innocent enough, but in the wrong hands, it can expose you to criminal activity. Hackers, identity thieves, and scammers can use your phone number to find out where you are (and where you'll be), impersonate you, hijack your phone, or use your accounts.

How do you tell if you are talking to a bot on Tinder? ›

If you notice that all the images and interests are too common and the profile lacks a personal touch, it might not be authentic; The bio looks fishy. If the bio includes lots of grammar mistakes, invitations to suspicious links, or personals details that do not make sense, you might have encountered a bot.

How do you know if it's a bot on Tinder? ›

Some bots will ask for your financial information or send you random links. If your Tinder conversation heads in a strange direction, don't entertain any bizarre or suspicious messages—chances are, you're dealing with a bot. A real-life scammer might also ask for money.

Is it safe to text someone from Tinder? ›

You should never share personal information with anyone on Tinder until you get to know them. There are tons of Tinder horror stories and scammers, so don't give out your email address or mobile number until you feel comfortable that your date is genuine.

How do you verify Tinder? ›

How does it work?
  1. Open Tinder and tap the profile icon.
  2. Tap the gray checkmark by your name/age.
  3. Select 'Verify your profile' to begin.
  4. You'll be shown a pose and we'll ask you to copy that pose by taking a selfie.
  5. Confirm that your selfie matches the pose and hit 'Submit for review'
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 one more time.

What percent of Tinder profiles are fake? ›

The results? We discovered that 10% of all new dating profiles created were fake. We also found that: Male profiles are 21% more likely to be fake than female profiles.

How do you tell if you are chatting with a bot? ›

The most common way to tell if an account is fake is to check out the profile. The most rudimentary bots lack a photo, a link, or any bio. More sophisticated ones might use a photo stolen from the web, or an automatically generated account name. Using human language is still incredibly hard for machines.


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