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Tinder Code Scam: Spam bots Initiating Conversation

Spam bots are initiating conversations with a flirty or playful opening message such as “Wanna eat cookie dough together some time?” After a series of messages, the spam bot will ask whether or not Tinder has verified the user. After asking if the user is verified, the spam bot tries to disarm the user by saying “it’s a free service tinder put up, to verify the person you wanna meet isn’t a serial killer.” While online dating has gone mainstream, safety concerns still remain when using these applications. The spammers use this legitimate concern to convince users to verify themselves and trick them into thinking verification will lead to a date.

Tinder Code Scam  Spam bots Initiating Conversation
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Not to be confused with Tinder’s verified profiles

While spam bots may use the term “verified by Tinder,” they are not referring to a feature that Tinder launched last year called verified profiles. Verified profiles is a feature that adds a blue check mark to profiles of notable figures, celebrities, and athletes. This feature is similar to the verified badges on social media services like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Tinder safe dating scam

The spam bots instruct the user to click on a link to an external website which includes some variation of words about verification, background checks, safety, date codes, or protection. Most of the external websites included the word “tinder” in the URL to make them appear official. In our research, we found 13 different “Tinder Safe Dating” websites and we reported all of them to the registrar.

Once the user visits one of the sites, they are greeted with a page that uses a copy-cat Tinder logo and font across the site. It explains how the so-called verification system works, stresses that the service is free, and claims “there is no charge to become verified!”

For added incentive, the site includes photographs of a woman wearing lingerie. The site promises the user that once they are verified, they will receive the woman’s contact information including her phone number, personal email address, Skype screen name, and social media user names.

When signing up, read the fine print

To complete the verification process, the user is required to create a user name and password, and provide an email address. After this information is submitted, the site asks the user to provide a “secure age verification” in the form of credit card details.

According to the fine print, the user is opted in to a “FREE Bonus Offer” of trial memberships to erotic video and adult webcam sites. If the user does not cancel their free trials within the specified period of time, their credit card will be billed by three different websites.

The combined total of these charges is US$118.76 per month. These sites would earn revenue while the scammers would make a commission from the three sites for these referrals. It is unclear, however, how much commission the scammers would make, but for this activity to persist, it must be significant enough for them to continue.

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Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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Tinder Code Scam: Spam bots Initiating Conversation