Dating apps and the internet have given singles more ways to meet but come with hazards.
In 2018 there have already been 1267 dating scams reported costing singles over 7.5 million dollars. Many of these cases were older single women, however there is a recent Tinder scam targeted at all ages.
The scammer has a carefully crafted profile to draw you in. When you match with the scammer you are not talking to some bot but a real person. They will chat to you on the app for a while flirting and making you comfortable and then get your phone number. They text back and forth and get flirty, getting their match (victim) to exchange explicit photos and videos.
This will go on for a couple of days when the scammer will send you a message – ‘Hey, I want $500 or I am going to post your photos online’.
Research by the RMIT University has found that one in five Australians have experienced ‘image based’ abuse and that both men and women are equal victims.
This particular scam is like a real life episode of the Netflix series Black Mirror and is very distressing for the victim. In fact is has been proven that victims experience a high level of physiological distress.
Many Australians have paid to stop their photos being posted online, however this is never the answer as the scammer will then continue to ask for more money.
This scam can be pretty simple to avoid!
Don’t send any photos or videos to someone you haven’t yet met full stop EVER! You don’t know the person and you don’t know where those photos/videos are going.
Also many scammers profiles look too good to be true and they usually are.