Last month, Tinder users reported fake profiles pointing them towards a mobile game called “Castle Clash.” The company behind the game denied involvement, while Tinder told NBC News in an email that it was "aware of the accounts in question and are taking the necessary steps to remove them." The other strategy takes more time and effort, but can result in a huge pay day.
Once someone is on the hook, a real person tries to reel them in and bleed them dry.
The technology might have changed, but many of the scams have been around for decades, like the classic where someone claims to be in the military overseas and then asks for money to fly back to the United States to see them in person.
The popular dating app Tinder claims it has made more than 1 billion matches among its users since launching less than two years ago. Last month, Kristin Shotwell, 21, was walking home from class when her friend told her that he had seen her profile pop up on Tinder while visiting the University of Georgia in Athens.
There was one problem: Shotwell, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, had been nowhere near Athens at the time and had never signed up for Tinder.
Still, she shrugged it off, until her friends sent her a screen shot of a girl named "Kim." “That is when it hit home, when I saw my face on a bio that had nothing to do with me,” Shotwell told NBC News.
Romance scams are nothing new, but the rise of social media has made it even easier for modern criminals to stitch together believable personas from publicly available photos and bits of information.
Shotwell said that the photos that her friends saw on Tinder were were images she had posted on Facebook, which she has since made private.