Dating can be tough, but online dating is notoriously challenging. When it comes to Tinder, however, it can be more complicated than deciding how to break the ice or who should pay for dinner. Recent trends have shown that a wave of malicious bots has infiltrated the popular online dating app. Scammers are using these bots to infect the devices of other users and extract sensitive data from their victims. If you’re using online dating apps, it’s important to know how to avoid Tinder scams and keep your information safe.
What is a Bot?
Internet bots, also known as “bots,” “robots,” or “botnets,” are specific types of software coded to carry out certain requests. These applications imitate human behaviors and run automated scripts. Scammers can use bots to increase view counts for online videos, drive false traffic to a site to get money from advertisers, and more. Unfortunately, there are many bots that act maliciously on the Internet.
Malicious bots gather personal data and perform actions like spamming a website’s bandwidth or harvesting email addresses. Depending on the bot’s purpose, it can also deposit viruses or worms onto unsuspecting devices and even perform DDoS attacks. Bots can be a dangerous asset to cybercriminals hoping to steal personal data and infect unsuspecting users, especially on Tinder.
How to Spot a Bot
Now that you know what a bot is, it’s important to learn how to identify them. Distinguishing between a fake Tinder account and a bot can seem tricky at first, but there are several telltale signs. Although someone with a fake Tinder account may behave like a bot, they each pose different threats. As an example, a user who created a fake Tinder account will:
- Avoid talking on the phone or over video chat
- Avoid meeting in person
- Never share other photos of themselves
- Ask for money or gifts
- Ask you to click a suspicious link they send
Fake Tinder accounts can be tricky to spot sometimes, but identifying one can prevent you from experiencing a financial disaster. The people who create these fake accounts usually hope to trick other users into giving away their personal data. Frequently, that data is then leveraged to commit identity theft and can even be used as blackmail.
On the other hand, Tinder bots behave a little differently than fake accounts. Although bot technology is now incredibly advanced, you can still identify a bot by looking for a few key features. For example, a Tinder bot will have:
- Links to fake social media accounts
- Suspicious links on their profile
- Confusing information in their bio
- Spelling errors on their page
- Personal images that are taken from Google
If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to disengage from the conversation. Don’t waste your time on fake profiles and spambots that can try to steal your personal data.
You Found a Bot – Now What?
Recent reports indicate that more than 20% of Tinder profiles are fake accounts or bots. If you do come across a bot while browsing Tinder, you can contact Tinder support regarding the issue. Luckily, the developers at Tinder have made it easy to report bot accounts and avoid Tinder scams.
Report Tinder Bot Accounts
- Open the chat and click on the red flag icon on the top right corner.
- Click on the “Report” option.
- Choose the reason for reporting the account.
- Click “Submit.”
It’s important to report these bot accounts before you unmatch them. Your chat history disappears once you unmatch an account, making it harder to locate them again. However, if you find a fake account or bot profile while swiping through potential matches, you can report them too. To report an account before you match on Tinder:
- Tap on the “I” icon located on the bottom right corner of their image.
- Click on “Report (User)” under their bio or name.
Once you have reported the account, you can then unmatch them. Tinder will no longer show you that profile while swiping, and your information won’t be shared with them. The privacy guidelines on the Tinder app indicate that you may not receive the full details of the report once you’ve submitted it. However, Tinder encourages you to reach out for a follow-up if you have any questions.
Online Privacy Tips to Avoid Tinder Scams
Your online safety is important to maintain, especially on dating apps like Tinder. Fake accounts and bots often steal private information and sensitive data, leading to cases of identity theft and fraud. As a result of these rising cybersecurity risks, protecting your personal data is more necessary than ever. Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe online and on Tinder:
- Avoid sharing personal information to strangers or suspicious accounts.
- Never agree to meet up with someone you don’t trust.
- Avoid suspicious links sent to you through private messages.
- Use search engines to check the validity of personal photos from suspicious accounts.
Tinder has increased its security measures in recent years, making the app safer for its users. Protecting your personal data should always be at the forefront of your mind when interacting with anyone online. Don’t take any risks when it comes to your privacy.
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