Connecticut Attorney General Tong warns of dating app scams

Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler” educates scammers on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said online dating scams have stolen more than $1.8 billion from American consumers over the past five years.

Tong says a Connecticut woman was scammed by a man she met on Bumble for a six-figure loss.

“He said he needed help with some damaged equipment I think was the story he told her. And she felt bad for him and sent him over 100,000 dollars,” Tong said.

He said the scammers target the loneliness and generosity of their victims and usually present an urgent or life-and-death reason why they need the money now.

“These kind of ultimatum-type, time-sensitive, high-pressure tactics are also a red flag,” Tong said.

Scams can be reported to the attorney general’s office or local law enforcement. But Tong says once you’ve paid, it’s often too late and the money is usually gone.

When you’re dating online, it can be hard to tell for sure if the person you’re chatting with is who they say they are.

“Try to check where they live, where they work. Is there a website they work on? Are they on that website?” Tong said.

The Attorney General says you should never make major commitments or give gifts to people you’ve only met online and never met in person.

“It’s really hard to trust someone you’ve never seen in person. Don’t send money to people you haven’t met,” he said.

Tong said dating apps can be invaluable tools for connection, as long as they’re used safely.

“I’m not saying don’t communicate with people — you should,” Tong said. “And if it works for you, great. Just be careful.”

If you believe you or someone you know has been the target of a dating scam, contact the Attorney General’s Office at 860-808-5318.

Comments are closed.