Tinder may be the hot new dating app for regular folks and beauty queens, but it's not without flaws. Cybersecurity company Symantec revealed in a blog post earlier this month that it had come across fake Tinder profiles, which spam people and direct them to an apparent porn site designed to take their money.
The fake profiles show up alongside the other photos of strangers you see once you've signed into Tinder through Facebook via the iPhone app. For those who haven't used it, on Tinder you fill out a simple profile and post a few photos of yourself. You are then presented with strangers' profiles one by one and you can swipe the person's profile left to essentially "pass" on them and right to "like" them. If both people "like" one another they are connected through an in-app chat feature.
According to the blog post, the fake accounts only chat with you if you chat them first. Once they start chatting, many of them have similar scripts.
The bots use stunted language, and Symantec even found a few glitches in their chats.
Tinder doesn't currently have any way to report spam in the app, and Symantec suggests that you just "block" any users who you suspect are fake. "We are aware of the spammers and have already taken precautions to prevent them from bothering our users," a Tinder spokesperson said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "It's safe to say that it will no longer be an issue."
The fake profiles are not just there to annoy you, they're there to take your money. Once they entice you with stilted flirty language, they invite you to videochat with them. The "girl" that Symantec chatted with sent a shortened link to a webcam site.
If you're silly enough to accept that invitation, you're brought to a page that asks for your credit card information. The fake "girls" on Tinder will explain to you that the site needs your credit card information to verify your age.
Once you give your credit card information, you will be automatically signed up for the sketchy webcam site's premium membership. If you don't read the fine print you won't realize that you'll automatically get charged almost $80 if you don't cancel your account quickly enough.
Satnam Narang, Manager of Symantec Security Response, who wrote the blog post, gave the Huffington Post some tips for identifying a fake profile on Tinder. "Check to see if you have any interests in common. Of all the fake profiles I encountered, none of them shared a single interest with me," Narang says. "This is likely because they created fake accounts on Facebook and did not populate them with any interests." He also suggests that you read the short bio they provide. Many of them look suspicious. A few fake bios that Symantec encountered included lines like "will u do it right" and "just need a booty call." Also, remember that spam accounts never send the first message.
Fake online dating profiles are nothing new. On one popular dating site, OKCupid, users can be chosen to become moderators. Any OKCupid member can "flag" any content on the site, which often includes fake-looking profiles and messages. That content is then sent to the moderators who each say whether the item or profile should be “deleted,” “left alone” or “can’t tell.”
People are likely less skeptical of profiles they see on Tinder, since most of the information on someone's profile (name, photos, etc.) come directly from Facebook. In order to make a fake Tinder profile, one first has to make a fake Facebook profile with a fake name and fake photos. It takes a lot of work. To make, say, a fake OKCupid profile is simple. You choose a username, use a fake photo you found on the Internet, make up fake information about yourself, and you're all set.
Apple fans rejoice! "Mac-inspired" <a href="http://cupidtino.com/" target="_hplink">Cupidtino</a> will connect members with the Apple fanboys (or fangirls) of their dreams.
<a href="http://diapermates.com/browse.php" target="_hplink">DiaperMates</a> claims to be a forum where people interested in wearing adult-sized diapers or makeshift diapers can search for, share photos with and meet people who have similar interests.
Operating under the motto "Why toke alone?", <a href="http://www.420dating.com/" target="_hplink">420Dating</a> provides a hub where "smoker friendly" singles can meet and mingle, though a disclaimer states that the site's creators do not advocate the use of illegal substances.
"Slow-moving," "fast-moving" or "immobile" zombies turn to <a href="http://mingle2.com/zombieharmony/free-dating-sites" target="_hplink">ZombieHarmony</a> to find love with "freshly turned," "somewhat rotten" or "very rotten" members of the undead dating pool. Even those missing some or all of their limbs can find a match. "...because the apocalypse doesn't have to be lonely."
<a href="http://www.theatlasphere.com/" target="_hplink">The Atlasphere</a> is a community of enthusiasts for the Ayn Rand's <em>Atlas Shrugged</em> and <em>The Fountainhead</em>. The site boasts over 22,000 general user profiles and over 12,000 dating profiles.
<a href="http://www.vampirepassions.com/" target="_hplink">Vampire Passions</a>, a dating site and social network, welcomes "vampires" and "vampire lovers." While searching for potential dates, members can join groups like "sanguine vampirism," "newly turned," "amateur vampire hunter," "Team Edward," "Buffy," "Dracula," and many more.
Claiming to be a haven for furry fandom, <a href="http://pounced.org/" target="_hplink">Pounced</a> presents an open-minded community that connects artists, writers, publishers and "fursuiters" (those who dress in fur suits or anthropomorphic animal costumes for entertainment or pleasure).
<a href="http://www.darwindating.com/" target="_hplink">Darwin Dating</a> requests that only good-looking individuals join and mingle with the site's presumably attractive members. Acne, sweat stains, bulbous noses, pasty skin and saggy bodyparts are only a few of the many banned characteristics. If you're not sure that you make the cut, members will vote your hotness on a scale from "Ass-like" to "Awesome."
The Ugly Bug Ball
Internet daters will find a haven of self-proclaimed "uglies" at <a href="http://www.theuglybugball.com/index.php" target="_hplink">The Ugly Bug Ball</a> (TUBB).
Boasting 150,000 registered users, <a href="http://farmersonly.com/" target="_hplink">Farmers Only</a> bills itself as a personals site for farmers, ranchers, agriculture students, rodeo enthusiasts, animal lovers, livestock owners, country wannabes, and down-to-earth singles. "City folk just don't get it," the site asserts.
<a href="http://www.wealthymen.com/" target="_hplink">WealthyMen</a> purportedly connects wealthy men and attractive women. The site claims that its male members earn over $100,000 a year and even offers women a "sugar daddy" search option.
According to the site's curators, <a href="http://www.meet-an-inmate.com/http://www.meet-an-inmate.com/" target="_hplink">Meet-An-Inmate</a> helps connect "attractive" incarcerated men and women with non-incarcerated singles via letter and photo exchanges. "Whether you just want a friend, pen pal, someone to talk or even a possibility of a long lasting relationship you could find her/him here," the site says.
<a href="http://en.gleeden.com/" target="_hplink">Gleeden</a> purports to be a discreet extramarital dating site that offers married people "a secret little foray into infidelity."
Are you tall? Do you admire tall people? <a href="http://www.tallfriends.com/" target="_hplink">TallFriends.com</a> might be the dating site for you.
Not just for Trekkies, the <a href="http://www.trekpassions.com/" target="_hplink">Trek Passions</a> social network and personals site welcomes fans of Star Wars, Isaac Asimov, Ben Bova, Robert A. Heinlein, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke & more.
Though <a href="http://datecraft.com/" target="_hplink">Datecraft</a> might sound like a personals site catering only to World of Warcraft fans, all gamers and video game enthusiasts are welcome.
For a onetime fee of nearly $2,000, <a href="http://www.scientificmatch.com/html/index.php" target="_hplink">ScientificMatch</a> connects customers based on their physical chemistry, determined via DNA samples.
<a href="http://www.candobetter.com/" target="_hplink">CanDoBetter</a> pairs photos of current or potential couples and lets other members vote on whether the partners have found their perfect match. If someone "can do better," based on the community's votes, he or she has the option of meeting someone new from the member pool.
Purple Haze Vampire - Jimi Hendrix Hip Hop Girls - Vampire Lestat Maison
Vampire Lestat Goth Dating www.vampirelestat.com Goth dating vampire romance - love spells by a gothic Vampire Drac. Jimi Hendrix purple haze song Paranormal Cinema and Vampire Lestat Dating offers both free dating and paid dating. Paid dating is much better as a possible partner is more serious because it's paid. Profiles can be checked and verified and it's much much safer. Also, when a person pays it means that they most likely have money which helps for going out to dinner, to a club or a movie, or to receive flowers. Unlike me whom you wanted want to date cause I spend every last penny I get on recording studio time. I used the free dating hooked up with the Drac, Purple Haze Vampire in the video above I made, got tranced and had a hex put on me. I have no way of tracking her down or finding out who she really is or where she came from to get the Hex off. So, I got what I paid for which was much worse than nothing. LOL! That's her in the video. She called herself the Purple Haze Vampire. I videotaped her in my basement before she tranced and hexed me. So, if you've seen her email me, firstname.lastname@example.org Either way, whichever you choose, whether free or paid hope you find love, romance and great gothic fun! Gotta run now, I'm in need of a witch doctor fast before it's too late. - Jakob Lemy Zook Lestat Maison
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/JakobsDiary"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/twitter_profile_img/1463418.png" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/JakobsDiary">JakobsDiary</a>:<br />Cybergothdating.com is a strange cool dating site for Cyberpunks and Cybergoths who love the neon lights of a dance floor