Beware: Bad Dating Apps

12494027674?profile=RESIZE_400xAlmost everyone knows dating sites can be dangerous, and you need to be careful. But a nasty new threat plays on those fears, and by the time you realize it, it could be too late…..Don't make this mistake on your dating app.

Online dating can be dangerous; who is at the other end of all those flirty and exciting messages, and whose pictures have they chosen to share?  But now, a new FBI warning has taken something of a twist because the latest threat to dating app users plays on those fears that may not be as it seems.[1]

The latest scam, the FBI explains, targets users once a conversation has progressed into more personal subjects, and a suggestion is made to move from the dating app to a private, encrypted messenger—WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger.  It is then, “under the guise of safety,” after the discussion has switched platforms, “the fraudster provides a link that directs the victim to a website advertising a ‘free’ verification process to protect against establishing a relationship with predators, such as sex offenders or serial killers.  The website displays fake articles alluding to the legitimacy of the website.”

It’s easy to be tempted away from the bright lights of the dating app to something cozier, more secure, private, and unmonitored. But not only does that provide a window into your life, but that lack of safeguards puts you at risk.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Dating site verification scam

The best advice offered is not to share personal contact info: phone numbers, email addresses, and nothing in the physical world until you are very sure about who is on the other side of the conversation. If you are disclosing social media profiles, bear in mind the insight this will give a stranger into your life. Above all, never ever share any financial information, such as credit card details.

According to the FBI’s advisory, the private chat will share links to the verification site that will all look legitimate.  “Once the victim submits the information, they are unwittingly redirected to a private, low-quality dating site charging costly monthly subscription fees.  Eventually, the victim's monthly credit card statement displays a charge to an unknown business.”

This is quite different from the current surge in romance scams, which have defrauded tens of thousands of Americans of billions of dollars in recent years. But the very headlines around such scams might, ironically, make people more susceptible to a verification fraud scheme that claims to mitigate the risks and keep you safe.

The basic rules for dating sites are to use reputable sites, never share information until you are sure the other person is legitimate, and try to avoid the temptation to move away from the dating site too soon.  If you do, certainly do not click any links or open any attachments you have been sent, whatever the narrative goes with them.

If you have fallen victim to such a scam, you should immediately contact your bank or credit card company. Then, you can report the incident at


This article is presented at no charge for educational and informational purposes only.

Red Sky Alliance is a Cyber Threat Analysis and Intelligence Service organization.     For questions, comments, or assistance, please get in touch with the office directly at 1-844-492-7225 or    


Weekly Cyber Intelligence Briefings:

REDSHORTS - Weekly Cyber Intelligence Briefings



E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Red Sky Alliance to add comments!