How to protect yourself from dating app scams

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new scam on dating apps has the FTC warning against sending explicit photos.

Here’s How the scam works… you meet someone you are interested in on a dating app, the person sends you explicit photos of themselves and asks you to reply with your own revealing pictures. If you send the images, the scammer then begins to blackmail you.

Then, they threaten to send those pictures to your family, friends and co workers. The FTC reports that this particular scam is especially common on LGBTQ dating apps, such as Grindr. They are urging people not to send any money but instead contact the FTC.

How to avoid dating app scams

  • Never share your personal information with someone you just met. Don’t give your cell phone number, home address, email address, or even your social media profile to a stranger. Wait until you know and trust a person, preferably when you’ve already met them in person.
     
  • Research your love interest. One telltale sign you’re dealing with a scammer is a stolen profile picture. Do a reverse image search of the person’s profile picture to make sure it isn’t being used under a different name or on multiple profiles.
     
  • Think before you send photos or videos. Once you send a photo or video, you cannot get it back. Keep in mind that even video calls can be recorded, and use good judgement to protect your reputation.
     
  • Don’t pay money to scammers. Even if you pay them, you have no guarantee that scammers won’t use the photos or videos anyway. Plus, your money could be funding criminal activity.

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