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Most are mild lies like weight and wealth, but some users are what would be called more severe “catfishers” and pretend to be someone they are not.Beyond catfishing, thousands of reports of stalking, rape, abductions, murders and physical attacks have emerged from dating sites.
Users are also likely to spend more money on dating sites that have identity verification standards in place.
Romance scams and similar scams cost consumers more than any other type of internet fraud, with consumers losing more than 0 million in 2016, according to the FBI.
Businesses can expect this number to be much higher.
A study by Statistic Brain There is virtually no digital identity verification process when creating an online dating account to ensure the digital identity of the account holder matches the physical identity, nor an ongoing authentication process to ensure an online account is still being operated by the same person. Following a year full of high-profile data breaches, a user’s PII is now more readily available for use by cybercriminals to conduct fraudulent attacks.
Most dating apps verify through other apps such as Facebook, and it’s easy to create a fake Facebook profile. A 2015 Ashley Madison breach exposed the data of some 37 million users.
To be clear, fraud in online dating isn’t new — the term “catfishing” became mainstream following the 2010 documentary “Catfish.” However, recent data breaches have given fraudsters an excessive amount of personal identifiable information (PII) to be used in online dating scams.