Here’s How to Protect Yourself from Romance Scams
Making sure that our community is safe is at the heart of Bumble’s mission. Unfortunately, some users will join dating apps without the best of intentions, and that includes romance scammers. A romance scam is when someone emotionally manipulates you by pretending to show romantic interest in order to take your money or other valuable assets. Scammers aim to quickly build a relationship with their target to earn their trust and take their money, usually by making up a fake story and then asking for help under “dire” circumstances. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, here’s what you need to know.
How to spot a romance scammer
At Bumble we have a team working around the clock to investigate suspicious profiles and to remove anyone who behaves inappropriately. Still, it’s helpful to know the signs of a romance scammer so that you can protect yourself. If a match does any of the following, they may be attempting to scam you.
- They ask you for money. Bumble is for making meaningful connections, not for financial gain. If a match asks for money, Block and Report them immediately.
- They have an urgent need for you to send them money. Scammers often tell heartbreaking stories (they’re stuck in a foreign country, they’ve had an accident and are in the hospital, they need to make rent but promise to pay you back within a few days, etc) to gain your sympathy and convince you to give them money.
- They avoid meeting in person, or sometimes don’t seem like the person you’ve gotten to know. If a match tends to come up with excuses for why they aren’t able to meet in person or video chat, it’s a sign they may not be who they say they are. Or if their messages sometimes have a different tone or style, there may be multiple people working together to scam you.
- The relationship moves fast—even when you’re never met. Scammers will try to gain your trust, empathy, and affection by claiming that they’ve fallen in love quickly, and may even propose marriage.
- It’s a long-distance connection. Of course not all long-distance relationships are fake, but scammers often say that they’re in the military, working on an oil rig, or working overseas. Be extra cautious with these types of connections; go slowly and ask lots of questions.
- They avoid answering your questions while asking a lot about you. If a new match doesn’t share much about themselves, keep your guard up and look for inconsistent information or answers that don’t make sense.
- They want to move the chat off the Bumble app quickly. Scammers will often try to get their targets off safe platforms as quickly as possible. Only take the conversation off Bumble when you feel comfortable doing so.
How to stay safe from a scammer
Bumble always has your back! Here are some simple steps that our community can take to help protect themselves from a romance scammer.
- Never share sensitive personal information, such as your home address, work address, email address, or account passwords with someone who you just met on Bumble.
- Never share financial information with a new Bumble match, including credit card, PayPal, CashApp, or Venmo details, your PIN, or any banking information. Never send money or gifts to a match who you haven’t met in person.
- Go slowly. Scammers will often pressure their targets to move quickly and emotionally manipulate their targets to feel guilty when they don’t do the same. Only move at a pace that you’re comfortable with. Don’t move off the app, share your phone number, or continue chatting unless it feels right to you.
- Know that romance scammers may use personal information from social media to build trust and a fake connection with their target, so be careful of what information you share publicly.
- Use Bumble’s features to ensure that your match is who they say they are. Make sure that their photos are verified, and ask them to Video Chat or Voice Call in order to confirm their identity.
- Check-in with a friend. Sometimes telling a good friend or family member about your new connection and what’s going on with them can help surface red flags or inconsistencies in their story.
- Always proceed with caution when making new connections, and never hesitate to Block and Report someone if you suspect they’re trying to scam you or if they make you uncomfortable in any way.
How Bumble works to protect you
We know that making yourself open to a new connection can be vulnerable, and to ensure that you can swipe with confidence, we work incredibly hard to maintain a community of authenticity and accountability. Here’s what we do to protect the safety and wellbeing of our members.
- We have a worldwide team of moderators working diligently to investigate reports of potential fake profiles, catfishing, abuse, or anyone who does not adhere to our guidelines.
- We restrict or ban users who don’t follow Bumble’s Community Guidelines. Violations of these guidelines include using Bumble for solicitation, using someone else’s photos, pretending to be someone who you’re not, and engaging in illegal activity. Absolutely no predatory behavior is allowed on Bumble.
- There is a Block and Report button on every profile, so you can easily report a potentially fake account to us. (More information on what happens after you report someone on Bumble here.) Our robust reporting system allows you to be specific about your reasons for reporting someone—options include “feels like spam,” “has asked me for money,” and “fake profile”—to ensure that our moderators can take action as quickly as possible.
- We use proactive processes and tools to detect fraudulent or scammer profiles that may ask members of our community for money. These users may be automatically blocked, or asked to verify their identity before continuing to use the app.
- We’ve introduced Video Chat and Voice Call features so that you can see and hear who you’ve matching with. You can use these features if you don’t feel comfortable giving a match your number before meeting in person, or if you have a suspicion they may not be who they say they are.
- Bumble’s Photo Verification feature allows you to see if a match has verified their photos, and also allows you to request that they do so if they haven’t gotten around to it yet. All photos are reviewed, and if a member has been reported as a potential fake profile and is rejected in verification, their profile will be turned off. This means they will see no one on Bumble and no one will see them.
Unfortunately, romance scams are a real issue, and it’s one that Bumble takes seriously. If you think that you’re being scammed and need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team here. If you have been a victim of a romance scam, don’t feel ashamed. Know that it’s not your fault, and you’re not alone.
For more information on avoiding romance scams, here’s some advice from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. If you or someone you know may have been the victim of an online scam, you can find more guidance and report it here.