Dating App Scams Unveiled: ‘Match’, Date Night, and a Huge Bill

Dating App Scams Unveiled: 'Match', Date Night, and a Huge Bill

Dating App Scams Unveiled: 'Match', Date Night, and a Huge Bill

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Cafes, Conspiracies, and Hidden Agendas: Inside the World of ‘Dating Scams’

July 1, 2024

In latest dating app scams, a civil service aspirant from Delhi was left with a staggering ₹1.20 lakh bill after a date. He was scammed by a woman he met on a dating app. This incident is one of many in a growing trend of ‘Tinder scams’ that have become rampant in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. However these, scams often go unreported. The victims generally, fear revealing their use of dating apps to their families.

Multiple accounts on Reddit detail similar experiences, where individuals were scammed into paying exorbitant amounts during dates with women they met on platforms like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and OKCupid. 

The modus operandi is straightforward yet effective: after matching on the app, the woman quickly shares her WhatsApp number and plans a date. She insists on meeting at a specific locality known for its cafes and pubs. Upon arrival, the victim is guided to a particular cafe where the woman orders lavishly. Sometimes orders, even items not listed on the menu then she fakes an emergency and leaves abruptly. When the bill arrives, it’s several times higher than expected. The victim, under threat from cafe staff or bouncers, has no choice but to pay.

In the latest case involving an IAS aspirant, police arrested a cafe owner and the ‘date’. The scam thrives on an elaborate network involving cafe owners, managers, and women who lure targets. The owner admitted that the scam’s proceeds are split, with 15% going to the woman, 45% to the managers, and the remaining 40% to the owners.

A Reddit user shared his harrowing experience where his ‘date’ ordered firecrackers, which were not on the menu. The order pushed the bill to over ₹40,000. Despite his reluctance, the woman proceeded, leaving him to foot the exorbitant bill.

These scams are not limited to men. Earlier this month, Delhi Police arrested two men for robbing women they befriended on dating apps. The accused, Vijay Kumar Kamal (28) and Rahul (35), posed as potential dates. They then robbed their victims at home. One victim reported being tied up, assaulted. They also robbed of her of gold ornaments, a mobile phone, and ₹5,000 in cash.

The Delhi Police have been cracking down on such scams. However, the perpetrators frequently shift locations and tactics, making it challenging to apprehend them. Some, incident highlighted that some clubs operate under multiple names, targeting unsuspecting individuals.

Activist Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj recently highlighted a similar scam in Hyderabad also. The victims were lured to pubs and forced to pay hefty bills. Despite the severity of these incidents, many victims choose not to file complaints. Most of victims preferring to stay anonymous.

As these dating app scams continue to proliferate, it is crucial for users to remain vigilant. Avoid unfamiliar locations suggested by dates, and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.