#RedHeartsRedFlags – Romance Scams, Young Adults

Applications like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, and Hinge are popular dating platforms for young adults! While these apps can be a great way to meet someone special, they can also expose you to fraudsters and romance scams. A romance scam occurs when a scammer pretends to be someone that they’re not in order to gain your trust and solicit you for money. Online fraud and cybercrime can happen to anyone at any age! According to the FTC, the median individual losses from a romance scam averaged at $2,600 for all ages. So, what happens if you find out you’ve been chatting with a scammer?

Stop all contact. This can be an emotionally difficult step in recovering from a romance scam but is ultimately necessary to ensure your personal security. Block any accounts the scammer could potentially reach you on. If you are experiencing emotional distress, reach out to a friend, family member, or counselor for support in this process.

Report financial losses. You should close any compromised accounts as soon as possible. Freeze your line of credit if necessary. Once you’ve reported to your financial institution, report the incident to the FBI/IC3. The FBI/IC3 reporting process helps collect national data to provide law enforcement and government officials with cyber-threat data. This report helps give state/local officials and law enforcement a better chance of decreasing cybercrime.

Report the individual to the dating site that you found them on:

Tinder: The app that lets you swipe left and right for love. With approximately 7.86 million users, Tinder is the most popular dating app.* Tinder makes the safety of its users a priority with features like photo verification, Noonlight protection, and more. Report to Tinder

Bumble: Bumble is the second most popular dating app with 5.03 million users!* Bumble’s community guidelines prohibit fake profiles and solicitation. Report to Bumble

Grindr: With 1.64 million users, Grindr is the most popular dating app geared towards gay, bi, and trans people.* Grindr’s articles walk you through the steps of reporting and blocking a fake profile: Report to Grindr

Hinge: Hinge is a dating app that focuses specifically on those looking for a more serious dating relationship. Hinge’s customer service staff is available by email to support you with any concerns you have while using the app. Report to Hinge

The AARP survey found that 11 percent of adults have either been victimized by an online relationship scam or know someone who was. Remember, anyone can experience cybercrime and online fraud at any age, know that you are not alone. CSN is here to help! If you are unsure about the person you’re chatting with online, please reference the list of red-flags below. For regularly updated cybercrime recovery information, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

*Dating app statistics: Statista