Tinder to Expand ID Verification Requirements as Crime on Dating Apps Rises

Tinder, the world’s most popular dating app, announced on Tuesday its plans to expand its ID verification requirements in response to the rising crime on dating apps and the increasing difficulty in distinguishing real users from fake ones due to advancements in artificial intelligence. The new features, set to launch in the coming weeks and months across the US, UK, Mexico, and Brazil, will include a video selfie submission along with a valid driver’s license or passport to obtain a blue verification checkmark.

The verification process involves checking the user’s birth date and comparing the face on the video with the profile pictures and ID. Tinder conducted successful tests of this system in Australia and New Zealand, where newly verified users experienced a 67% increase in matches compared to those who opted out.

Tinder, a unit of Match Group, initially tested the ID verification feature in Japan in 2019. However, a recent surge in dating app-related crimes has accelerated the rollout of this technology. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 70,000 individuals reported falling victim to romance scams in 2022, resulting in financial losses of $1.3 billion. The agency noted that 19% of these scams originated from dating apps.

The US Embassy in Colombia issued a warning to travelers in January about the growing number of incidents where criminals exploit online dating platforms to target victims. The embassy reported cases of US citizens being drugged, robbed, and even killed by their Colombian dates, with applications like Tinder being used to lure victims to bars, hotels, and restaurants.

In response to these concerns, Tinder has advised its users to exercise caution by thoroughly vetting their matches, meeting in public places, and sharing their plans with trusted individuals. The app has faced scrutiny in the past, with a US House subcommittee investigating its lack of safeguards against minors registering on the platform. Although Tinder raised its age limit to 18 in 2016, users are still required to manually enter their birth dates without further verification.

Author: CrimeDoor

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