Romance scams are 'a common occurrence in life,' says CEO of the largest dating app company in the US

Online romance scams kept scammers coming through the door $1.1 billion by 2023, with an average reported loss of approximately $2,000 per target. These victims, ranging in age, gender and demographics, often lack not only money – their time, emotions and sometimes even physical safety can be on the line. And while the CEO of the largest online dating company, Match Group, sympathizes, he claims that sometimes life apparently just gives you lemons.

“Look, I mean, things happen in life. That is really difficult,” says Bernard Kim, CEO of Match Group CBS reports during an interview during the weekendbefore adding that they have “an enormous amount of empathy for things that happen.”

“I mean, our job is to keep people safe on our platforms; that is the most important thing for us,” Kim continued. Kim's statements come after a year of controversy CBS research series about online romance scammers, and the devastation they continue to inflict on their victims.

Match Group oversees some of the world's most popular dating platforms, including Match.com, Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid. According to his Impact report 2024, a total of 15.6 million people worldwide subscribe to at least one of the service's premium features, while millions more take advantage of free tiers. Although the FTC's count of annually reported romance scams While the numbers are down slightly from pandemic-era highs, experts warn that these numbers may be vastly understated due to the potential – and unwarranted – shame of victims.

Authorities believe there are only so few 7 percent Romance fraud is actually being reported, but while older age groups are often targeted, they are not the only ones. Some even investigate shows younger internet users are more likely to fall for online fraud than their elders, given their greater willingness to share personal information. Some of these scam campaigns can span several yearsand emptying victims' entire bank accounts and savings. At least one death may even have been associated with such situations.

[Related: Cryptocurrency scammers are mining dating sites for victims.]

Regulators and law enforcement agencies have tried to hold companies like Match Group accountable because of fraud scams keep shooting up– an industry driven in part by the proliferation of tech-savvy approaches involving chatbots and other AI-based programs. For example, in 2019, the Federal Trade Commission filed $844 million lawsuit claiming that as many as 30 percent of Match.com's profiles were opened for scam purposes. A U.S. district judge dismissed the FTC's lawsuit in 2022citing Match Group's immunity from third-party content posted on their platforms.

says Match Group Last year, it invested more than $125 million in its trust and security strategies, and removed about 96 percent of new scam accounts created on a given day. The company reported a $652 million profit in 2023 – a huge increase of 80 percent year-on-year.

[Related: Don’t fall for these online love scams.]

The FTC advises Internet users to never send money or gifts to someone they have never met in person, and to keep trusted loved ones or friends in the loop about new online relationships. Experts also warn against anyone who repeatedly claims that they cannot meet in real life. Conducting reverse image search of photos provided by a new online acquaintance can help confirm fraudulent identities. The FTC also encourages everyone to report suspected fraud and scams here.

In its 2024 impact report, the company praised the inaugural 'World Romance Scam Awareness Day' sponsored by Tinder, in addition Mean girls actor Jonathan Bennett, who promoted similar strategies. However, according to the event's official website, it is technically called the PSA event World Romance Scam Prevention Day.

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