Mobile Engagement

Tinder users have been warned about new spam bots trying to convince them to “verify” their accounts through rogue websites.

The scam accounts, uncovered by researchers from Symantec, begin legitimate-sounding conversations with users after they match on the dating app.

But after a few messages they ask if the victim is “verified by Tinder” and tell them to visit a scam website to get a special code to prove they are legitimate.

However, the phoney process collects their credit card details for “secure age verification” and signs them up for subscriptions to adult websites.

“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,” wrote Symantec senior security response manager Satnam Narang in a blog post.

“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 $118.76 (£90) 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.”

Researchers suspect the scammers may be trying to trick users who have heard of Tinder’s legitimate verification feature, which adds a blue tick to the profiles of celebrities and public figures to prove that their accounts are the real thing.

But Symantec warned users to remember that verification websites simply do not exist.

“If you’re using Tinder or any other online dating site or application, be aware that spam bots will continue to come up with creative ways to try to get you to sign up for other websites or services,” Narang wrote. “Do your part by reporting these accounts to Tinder and always make sure you read the fine print on any site or service before you sign-up.”

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