If you are a user of dating apps and consider yourself to be in the LGBTQ+ category, then you need to pay particular care when perusing potential matches.

The truth is that all users of dating apps need to exercise caution against romance scams, but for some reason, this particular scam is more common with LGBTQ+ apps such as Grindr and Feeld. I'm not sure why that is but the Better Business Bureau reports that according to the Federal Trade Commission, that seems to be the case.

According to a media report sent to us from the Better Business Bureau, and to the information available on its website, if you are using a dating app as a member of any community, you need to think twice before sending revealing photos or videos to anyone, as con artists are taking a "sinister" approach to these "romance scams" by blackmailing their victims.

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The Scam Works Like this...

The scam is set up when someone you are interested in on a dating app sends you a revealing photo or video and asks you to reciprocate with a photo or video of you. That is when the scammer can blackmail you. They will use your social media profiles or your phone number to look up your family members, your co-workers, or even your boss and threaten to send your photos or videos to them... unless of course, you send them a heft sum of money. They often will ask for gift cards, wired funds, or even bitcoin.

What can you do to avoid being conned by these scammers? Here are a few tips from the BBB...

 

  • Never share your personal information with someone you just met.  Don’t give out your cell phone number, home address, email address, or even your social media profile
  • Research your love interest. One telltale sign you’re dealing with a scammer is a stolen profile picture.
  • Think before you send photos or videos. Once you send a photo or video, you cannot get it back.
  • Don’t pay money to scammers. Even if you pay them, you have no guarantee that scammers won’t use the photos or videos anyway. 

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