Dating and Romance Fraud Bots

How to Prevent and Stop Dating and Romance Fraud bots

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Does Tinder have bots? You bet it does. Dating and social media bots are particularly prone to bot attacks. These bot attacks prey on the more lonely and vulnerable, who are already stressed out from hanging out on dating sites and responding to the sometimes bizarre sets of messages from actual sentient humans. 

Bots are all over Dating Sites

These bots hit all the major platforms, Tinder, Bumble, but are also rife on platforms like Linkedin. Typically, most platforms have a free initial trial period, or special free offers, and the bots create fake accounts and start using all their messaging allowance. These accounts will be short-lived. The site admin will pick them up from user abuse reports, or simply their credit or time limit will end. The bots have one purpose, to persuade you to handover your mobile phone number, so they can continue the scams on chat services.

Bots are all over Dating Sites

Increasingly, the dating sites are putting in more and more verification to stop the spread of these bots. However, the bots respond by using a hybrid model of human based Click Farms and CAPTCHA farms to evade the two factor authentication, and sign up checks. Once they have successfully registered an account, they use automated scripted bots to start chatting online. Dating sites are also asking for verification via other social media platforms, such as Facebook, to try and authenticate the membership. However, the bots simply fake these accounts as well, until they have acquired a comprehensive digital footprint, that not only fools the admin checkers, but fools anyone else searching for their digital footprint online.

What are the telltale signs of a Bot? 

The attack types vary massively according to the platform, but in general you will find a mixture of the following tell tale signs

Typical Romance Bot
  • The message isautomated, It’s not written for you, so it won’t have anything specific. It’s all vague, non strangely impersonalised, and frankly it’s nearly always badly written. It’s nearly always written to boost your ego.

  • Sure signs are a total lack of visible profile, face turned away, shadowed appearance, or simply a blank image. Profiles will have a minimum of connections, likes, endorsements etc. They probably won’t have a link to a legit social media account. It’s too much hassle to fake a real account, and they won’t have the history

  • Superficial or spurious reach-out reason, that won’t have anything specific that is personal to you.

  • The sure sign is a very quick attempt to immediately switch to another platform - claiming irritation with the platform, chat software, foreign travel, or some other emergency that tries to get the victim’s compliance in handing over their mobile phone numbers. Once they off platform, the full on romance scams starts to unfold. Most of the time, the hackers will sell on the mobile contacts and name to professional network of romance scam fraudsters, who simply buy the name and numbers of potential victims for a fee. Usually, the victims details are sold by the thousand on the Dark Web, which gives you an idea of the massive scale of the fraud.

Once the bots have done their deeds, and found people gullible enough to hand over their personal contacts, the romance scams then start in earnest. 

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