Netflix’s hit “The Tinder Swidler” captivated viewers with a story of lies, deception and financial gain. The show highlights the dangers of online dating. With the increase in the number of lonely and the decrease in accidental collisions due to the pandemic, many are seeking communication and turning to online dating to help. However, how can you be sure that Cupid is who they pretend to be? How far if you look for love on the World Wide Web?
From serious relationships and casual relationships to communication and commitment, the popularity of dating apps has increased since their inception. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, in the United States alone, about 26 million users actively participated in dating programs. The number of crimes is expected to decrease slightly, but romantic crimes continue to rise and claim to be vulnerable singles. On the list of the most popular dating apps in the country, Tinder has over seven million users on its platform. With the increasing number of viewers of The Tinder Swindler many singles are now on alert on all dating platforms.
In 2020, the Center for Cybercrime Complaints, or IC3, reported 572 victims of romantic crimes in Michigan totaling more than 26 million in financial losses. Recorded 168 cases, law enforcement urged residents to remain safe and report to the relevant authorities on suspicion of romantic cybercrime.
“If you suspect that you have been the victim of these specific scams, the first thing to do is to stop communicating with the person who introduced you to the scam, as well as anyone involved in fraudulent trading websites, and report the scam immediately. to the Center for Cybercrime Complaints, IC3.gov, ”said Dan Rutherford, deputy director of customer service for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. “The reason is that many times alleged love interests will use shame, threats and even blackmail to force victims to keep paying. Other schemes tell victims that they can get their money back if they pay extra fees or taxes or invest more. It’s usually a lie to get more money from victims. “
Because cyber dating is most popular on college campuses, cell phones are a major catalyst for romantic crime. In the digital age, young people are turning not only to dating apps but also to social media to find love. The same level of danger exists because users tend to pass on to their followers, making them vulnerable to cybercrime.
“Today, cell phones and technology go hand in hand with dating, so sometimes we use information from phones to help investigate these crimes,” said Detective Specialist Isaac Kwiatkowski of Michigan Police.
Staying safe while using a dating program is a major challenge for organizations and law enforcement. Michigan State Police and local jurisdictions continue to track romantic cybercrime cases and share best practices so that singles can avoid the pitfalls of dating programs.
“Don’t give people personal information, many people call it. So do not say your full name, date of birth, passport. I would refrain from using my personal address if you can avoid it until you check them, ”Kwiatkowski said. “Secondly, slowly, because there is no better term. Some people rush into things. ”
To help victims of romantic crimes, Tinder works with RAINN, the National Network on Rape, Abuse and Incest, to fight romantic crime cases and provide support to survivors.
“By adopting more informed support practices, Tinder will be in a better position to support members who may have been harmed and to take faster and more transparent action against bad actors,” said Clara Kim, vice president of consulting. RAINN services. to release.
Tinder is committed to ensuring the security of its users and privacy on its platforms. Many new security and reporting options have been deployed to increase their commitment to their users. The Security Center will allow users to access data validation, and creates easier ways to report and track app actions.
“Our participants trust us with an incredibly sensitive and vulnerable part of their lives, and we believe it is our responsibility to support them at every stage of this journey, including if they have bad experiences in the program and beyond,” Tracy Breeden said. , vice president of security and social advocacy for Tinder and Match Group, in a statement to the press. “Working with RAINN has allowed us to take a sound approach to supporting members for victims of harassment and attack.”