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“Historically, most links shared by these spam bots would be masked behind short URLs, but in this case, they want users to see the URLs because they include words like Tinder, Protection and Match,” Satnam Narang, Senior Security Response Manager at Symantec, tells Tech Crunch. This is far from the first time that Tinder has been afflicted by spam bots.
He adds that the bots are currently only affecting U. Common on dating sites, Tinder has had bot problems since 2013, including those that have flirted with users to direct them to webcam sites as well as install games, like knock-off versions of “Clash of Clans.” In other cases, spammers moved to SMS-based attacks after Tinder increased its security measures.
Meanwhile, Twitter finally opened up its verification system to all users, making its coveted checkmark something attainable by the masses, where before it was handled manually and at the company’s discretion, making for a fairly large group of users who felt slighted when requests were ignored.
Adding to the confusion with regard to the Tinder bots, is the fact that Tinder, too, offers a verification process of its own.
New research from the Pew Research Center shows that in the past two years, the percentage of US adults who had used a dating app tripled.
But that doesn't mean all dating apps are created equal.
Public figures and other celebrities on Facebook and Instagram are offered a blue checkmark alongside their name so you know which accounts are legitimate.
“What makes this particular spam operation unique is that it’s not trying to drive users directly to an adult webcam or dating site overtly, but it’s using the premise of the safety element to convince a user that he should be verified first before they meet,” says Narang.
Reached for comment, a Tinder spokesperson offered the following statement: Tinder will never ask users to verify through a third party website, download link, or app.
According a recent report from security researchers at Symantec, scammers are now using verification as a lure to sign up people to fake “safe dating” websites.
These fake verification sites collect users’ personal information and payment card details, and proceed to sign up victims for subscription-based memberships to adult video and webcam sites that total nearly 0 per month in fees.
And when a female (bot) asks the male (victim) if he’s verified, he may be more interested in following through to do so, because it could lead to a date.