Tinder Scams and Tinder Catfish Guide- How to Avoid Them
Meeting someone online is fun and interesting.
But what if the nicest guy – “your Mr right” is not real?
In this article, we will find out:
Sit back and read carefully to stay on the safe side!
- This article on Tinder is part of my larger Tinder hub (50+ articles)
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Post 11 of 11 in the Tinder Success Series
Catfishing – What is It?
Just before we dive right into the topic of today, it might interest you to know that while some sites (like eHarmony) focus mainly on people seeking marriage and sites like BeNaughty are mainly for casual hookup dates, Tinder merges both worlds together in what has become the largest community of online dating.
This is why Tinder is a huge market for catfishing!
If we talk about the catfishing in general, we can simply characterize it as a fraud or scam mainly intended to deceive and trick someone into falling in love with the deceiving person.
The deceiving ones achieve this by wooing their victim through a false social media profile.
How does it work and how to figure out a catfish?
To begin with, the basics of all profiles on any kind of social media are giving your name and adding photos.
Those who decide to catfish will have to do this as well.
But, they will neither use their real name nor their own photos.
Instead, they chose photos of other common people (if they are a tad smarter) or they will use a photo of a (maybe lesser) celebrity (and this is where you should start getting concerned!).
In any case, they create a fake personality with the sole objective of tricking someone into a romantic involvement of sorts that ultimately leads to a financial or any other kind of fraud.
How Does it Work on Tinder?
Based on the aforementioned, I can safely say that catfishing on tinder is the next-level scam.
To successfully register on Tinder you either have to go either through your phone number or Facebook profile.
For the purpose of this text, I will only deal with the latter because associating a Facebook profile gives at least some credibility to a fake Tinder account.
Like, I’m not scamming, check the Facebook, you’ll find me there!
So, what are the typical scenarios once you’ve matched with a Tinder catfish and how to tell if a Tinder profile is fake?
I would lie if I told you this never happened to me.
When communicating online, we are all liable to these scams and scammers.
Lucky for you, you got me to help you out in exposing these Tinder scams.
Note that once you are matched with a catfish these three scenarios will most likely happen.
1. “Genuine” scams
This is a personal happened-to-me experience.
I’ve seen these on my Hotmail/Outlook and Gmail too (though rarely) but I was flabbergasted when I saw these on Tinder.
Come on, dude, we’re here to have some fun and this does not include me sending you the trifle $56!
Anyhow, I’m sure you’ve got or at least heard about, the scam about a Nigerian astronaut (!!!) asking for a $1 to return from a space station since he’s stuck there.
Well, this is also how things work with scams on Tinder.
The following may be one of the most common tinder scams.
Namely, you match with someone, you start communicating, it goes all right, you try to set up a date – but it ain’t working since they are working/nurturing a sick family member (you get the gist).
At their request, you will transfer the communication to other media (maybe e-mail or skype?) and it will all seem legit.
Then they come with a story about how they just need these $56 (sometimes even more) to come and meet you.
They lost their card, and the family’s not around…blah, blah, blah!
This should be your red light and a wake-up call.
Although they are real people behind these scams (hence the genuine scam), still run from these as fast as you can.
2. Ever heard of Tinder Bots?
In this case, the spammers come up with bots operating automatically. This is the principle you’ve seen when ordering online.
Thank you for your order! Our team will get in touch with you soon! – that’s the principle.
In Tinder’s case, after a successful match, you will not communicate with a real person.
The bots will create automatic replies that you should figure out easily.
The most likely scenario here is that the bots will send you links to some external sites to make you use your personal details to log in and thus steal your data.
This is also known as phishing.
I think there’s no need to explain why they do this.
Another reason is that they want to get you to sign up for some products and services they wish to offer.
Whichever the case, avoid these at all costs.
No good will come out of it.
3. Less (?) Dangerous Scams
The last example of Tinder catfishing is having an obese guy/chick posing themselves as an attractive blonde.
I did skewer the political correctness here, but is there correctness in what these people do?
Anyhow, here we again have real people hiding behind these profiles.
In most of the cases, they will not ask for money or anything of the sorts.
They will just crave attention.
They know that modern society relies upon the good looks and lacking these, they resort to scamming.
The name might be real but the photos definitely are not!
As I said, this is maybe the least dangerous of scams, and I know I sound like a heartless bastard, but you don’t need this kind of drama in your life.
Not on Tinder, at least!
Considering the above, if you were to ask Is Tinder a scam?, I will again say “No, it’s not!”.
Deceitful people are everywhere and you just need to be extra careful to preserve yourself from scammers.
Reading the Signs
The next logical step after seeing the forms of potential catfishing is for me to tell you how to check if someone is catfishing you.
There were probably times when you felt something isn’t right with the person you are chatting with on Tinder.
The photos are convincing, the writing is just right, but something seems off.
Simply, the credulity is far-fetched.
I believe that you’ll probably figure out the most of scammers on your own.
But, the additional precaution is always a good idea.
Whenever you are doubtful or have suspicions about a match on Tinder, look for these signs.
1. The celebrity profile
This is usually one of the first signs that you are dealing with a scammer.
The people who join Tinder for the purpose that Tinder is made for will never have a profile looking like it was made for a celebrity.
So, steer clear of profiles like these.
It’s a scam in 99% of the cases.
2. Lovers in need are lovers indeed. Not.
With this kind of scammers, you’ll end up clicking links to god knows what.
Moreover, under the same circumstances, you might eventually figure out that the communication is so unreal that it looks like it was written by a robot.
Chances are that it was.
Obviously, you don’t need any of that.
3. Money makes the world go round
Here we are dealing with the obvious scammers who will ask you to send money and they promise they’ll return as soon as you meet in person.
You are smart enough to figure out that this is not gonna happen.
These signs are rather easy to read and spot. The first conversation shall be casual, getting to know you, the second one will be something like, “Hey, I never knew I could fall for you this fast! I really like you”.
In the third conversation, they will ask for money directly coming up with some sleazy excuse.
Be smart and never ever send money to people you don’t know no matter how insignificant the amount and from whatever reason.
4. Setting a real date – not today!
The only fear of scammers is to not get exposed.
This is why they will never agree to meet you in person.
Surely, this does not mean that you should stop communicating immediately.
Give them another chance, it can happen to anyone that we have some other plans.
But if it happens more than twice, you’re good to go and move on to someone new.
5. No photos
Or at least, there are no adequate ones.
You’ll recognize a catfish by the lack of photos of their profile.
In the majority of cases, there will be only one photo that won’t tell you much.
It’s either blurry or incomplete and you don’t know who you’re looking at and talking to.
Those catfish frauds out there who think are smarter will add some more photos, but again, the quality of these will be rather questionable.
They will be taken either from the back or so that you still don’t know whom you are dealing with.
Online Dating Tips on Tinder – Staying Safe
When doing anything on the internet, you need to be extra careful about revealing your personal details, financial data (credit/debit card pins, bank account numbers, etc.).
If we talk about romantic and sexual undertakings online, this is where you need to be careful all the more.
When it comes to the preservation of self on the internet, these are some of the best precaution measures you can follow.
1. If it doesn’t seem right, then it most likely isn’t.
Trust your instincts.
You can never get too precautious.
If you feel awkward when talking to someone, there must be a reason.
You know that this can happen even when the person on the other side is all sweet and understanding.
2. If you think you are catfished, well, you probably are.
First of all, let me be clear – this can happen to anyone and you are not the only one who was asked for money or was offered some products on Tinder, even though you just wanted to get laid.
Similar to the previous point, if you feel that the person texting you isn’t real, either stop all communication or ask a question that might reveal what’s behind it all.
If you prefer wasting your time, you can ask for some trifles such as their birthplace or the date of birth.
This will get you nowhere.
Instead, ask for a current photo.
Carefully inspect what you get. It should be simple to recognize a fake.
Or, maybe download it and run a search by photo and see what happens (more on that later).
Another thing you can do is to try and set up a date, like right here right now.
I mean, Tinder shows the people nearby.
So, this person should be close to you (unless you activated the Passport feature).
If they keep coming up with excuses, you are being catfished, honey!
In the last chapter, I listed all the potential signs you can notice about catfishers.
Look for these cautiously and try to figure them out on your own.
4. Employ search specialists
If you truly like the person on the other side, but you still have doubts and can’t be bothered to make any search by yourself, you can always hire a specialist to that for you.
These people work with the details you give them by running thorough research in multiple databases that you usually do not have access to.
Once they collect the pieces of information, they give you all the details and it’s up to you to decide what to do with these.
Letting the experts do the job for you is definitely a good idea.
But, I know there is a bunch of you control freaks out there who go by the rule If you want something done, do it yourself.
This is why I would like to share with you another way how to check Tinder scam.
As you have probably figured it out yourself already, you can run a Tinder background check scam yourself.
There are multiple platforms and website that allow you to run a check of your Tinder match.
These operate by allowing you to enter the details you have in possession of this person and they will collect and present to you all available data on them.
6. Photos are Gold.
We established that scammers will most likely use a photo on their Tinder account.
This photo will be a perfect tool for you.
Since in the majority of cases this is a photo of someone else, you can use it to check Tinder scam.
How to check if someone is catfishing you using a photo?
There are specialized websites that allow you to search only by photo.
These run on a more advanced technology than Google Images, for example, so the reliability rate is rather high.
7. Don’t share any codes.
It is a fact that Tinder code scam has been going on for a while.
The scenario is such that you meet someone through other dating apps.
Then they come up with a story of how their Tinder account has been deactivated and Tinder won’t accept verification code through their phone.
Then they ask you to forward the code to you to verify the account for them.
You can probably figure out where this is going?
8. Stay on the right path
If you matched with someone on Tinder, keep your communication within the app.
Don’t add them on other social media, especially with the Tinder Snapchat scam going around.
In this case, somebody gets in touch with you through Tinder, then they tell you how they are new and not very skilled with the app.
Then they suggest exchanging Snapchat data, you accept it eagerly.
You communicate for a while, then they ask for photos, you send them and never hear from them again, neither through Tinder nor Snapchat.
And your photos will most likely be used to create fake Tinder accounts for further catfishing.
With this, I have covered the most important measures to avoid being catfished in the first place.
But, what if they still trick you?
The (Figurative) “Morning After”
Before anything else, pay attention to this.
Should it happen that you do fall for a catfish and decide to meet them in person, this is the most important thing that you need to do.
1. Always, always, meet them in a crowd.
Meeting someone new in person where there aren’t many people around, is not a good idea.
It’s a great risk and it’s always better to go to bright places, crowded where you can hint to someone that something isn’t right.
2. Keep the location settings on your mobile phone on.
I’m not saying that something WILL happen, but just in case, make sure that the location settings on your device are on.
In the worst-case scenario, this is how the tech-crime department can track you.
I know how ominous this may sound to you, but your safety is the priority here.
3. Call someone.
I know you want to keep your romantic and sexual conquests to yourself in most of the cases.
But, these are high-risk encounters.
So, give a call to that best pal or gal and let them know your whereabouts.
If your date decides to change the meeting address, text your person.
Let them know that you’re not where you were supposed to be.
Of course, try not to reveal to your date what you are doing.
If they figure you out, they will act as if nothing is happening so you’ll keep having doubts.
Now, if you suffer the consequences of dealing with a catfish, these are some of the things you need to do.
1. Remove all info.
Yes, remove all the personal details from your account or maybe even deactivate it for a while.
It does sound a bit extreme, but in this way, you’ll spare yourself from the further inconvenience of dealing with a catfish and you may even save your financial identity.
2. Don’t give them any money.
Or, at least don’t give it any longer if you have already made a mistake of doing so.
No matter how sweet-talking they are, if they ask for money repeatedly, they’re not in it for you or having fun with you.
3. Report the catfish.
Tinder is committed to protecting its user as far as it’s in its power.
If you think that you are dealing with a catfish, you can always report them through the app.
All you need to do is go to the profile of the suspected scam, scroll to the bottom and tap report.
After this, Tinder will deal with the Tinder scams and you can continue with safe swiping.
4. Call the cops.
I’m not joking.
If you are catfished, take a step further and call the cops.
You send nudes – so what?
Nothing they haven’t seen already.
Seriously, you need to be a socially responsible individual.
Your complaint will help the cops in tracking down the perpetrator and you will save someone else from going through the same disaster.
We’re all in this together after all.
5. Be more careful in the future.
Now you have all the signs on how to recognize Tinder scams and Tinder catfish and you have all the details on how to protect yourself in advance.
So, just take extra care in the future and avoid being catfished.
Final Word on Tinder Scams and Tinder Catfish
These are the best of times, these are the worst of times.
The possibilities that the internet offers are many.
You can find a date through dating apps at any time you like.
Tinder, being among the most popular is a frequent choice for all those seeking a bit of fun or even serious commitment.
Unfortunately, it’s in human nature to try to trick someone every once in a while.
So you must be careful what and who you choose.
Here you have all the details on what to do and how to deal with the Tinder Scams and catfish situations.
Apply these and enjoy a safe online dating experience.