Woburn, MA – August 2, 2021 – Today Kaspersky announced survey results finding that dating app scams pose a serious barrier to the use of such services. In particular, 40% of respondents in the U.S. said they are afraid to use them, due to fear of being deceived by fraudsters. Thirty-four percent said they generally do not trust people in dating apps. Twenty-two percent of respondents in the U.S. were actually targeted by cybercriminals (compared to 15% globally).

Millions of people use online dating applications or social networking sites in order to find a partner. But instead of finding love, many people encounter a con artist attempting to dupe them into giving money. Scammers are drawn to dating services because they know that people on these platforms are looking for a personal connection, and they can take advantage of that.

Of all the different types of issues on dating apps, American users most often encountered catfishing (50%), malicious links or attachments (17%) or found that their identity had been stolen (21%).

Among American users who managed to avoid an attack, people were able to identify a fraudster with a suspicious profile that looked fake (49%); were extremely careful and never sent money to dating applications (55%); or paid attention to suspicious messages (52%). Almost a fifth (18%) of respondents became suspicious when the scammer refused to arrange a video call.

Lack of privacy is also a serious issue for dating apps. Twenty-six percent of global respondents are worried that their personal data will be circulated online. Nineteen percent of global users (15% in the U.S.) of users deleted dating services because they wanted to make personal information more private.

“Dating online can be perceived as a risky adventure, as at the beginning of the acquaintance you don't know anything about each other,” said David Jacoby, security researcher at Kaspersky. “However, keeping an eye out for some red flags can help you stay alert and pay attention to your digital match’s behavior. If they ask for money or personal details during the first or second day of online dating, it’s better to consider whether it’s safe to continue communicating. Additionally, security measures can be a helpful way to keep your online dating experience safe and enjoyable.”

“In these situations, you should immediately ask the counter-question, why is this information important to the other person?” said Birgitt Hölzel and Stefan Ruzas, therapists at the Munich practice Liebling + Schatz. “Whether they are asking about your financial situation, health, a recent major life event, exact employer and position in the company, request for erotic pictures, request for linking with friends, secrets or weaknesses, to name just a few. Great caution is required and if a strange feeling persists, the contact should be cut off immediately.”

To help you avoid scammers while dating online, Kaspersky recommends that you:

  • Double-check your privacy setting across your social media accounts as well as your dating apps to make sure sensitive information, such as your home address or workplace, isn’t made public.
  • Reduce risk of doxing by carrying out a little check: Google yourself. Imagine that you were trying to find information on you and see what you can find. There is a chance that you’ll be surprised by the data you find.
  • Use an effective security solution that offers advanced protection across multiple devices. Kaspersky Security Cloud can help manage your apps and remove permissions that are not necessary, as well as protect from phishing and other threats.
  • Don’t share your phone number or a messaging app handle. It’s safer to use a dating app’s built-in message platforms, and it is wise to do so until you are sure you can trust the person you’re chatting with.

The full report is available here.

About the survey

In June 2021, Kaspersky commissioned Sapio to conduct an online survey of more than 18,000 respondents to explore the role of dating apps and the current state of technology and relationships. The sample included 2,000 respondents from the UK, 1,000 from each of the US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands; and 500 in each of the following: Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, UAE, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, China, Japan, India, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, and Russia.

About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at usa.kaspersky.com.

Media Contact

Sawyer Van Horn
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40% of people have never used dating apps out of fear of scammers

Today Kaspersky announced survey results finding that dating app scams pose a serious barrier to the use of such services.
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