FHM - Before the pandemic began, 30% of all adults have used dating sites or apps before. Pew Research Center found that 59% of people thought online dating was a good way to meet people. So, how safe is it, and what are dating apps doing to make it safer? FHM spoke with Jeffrey Tinsley, the developer behind the RealMe software that countless dating apps have been putting into action on their platforms that gives users verification and background checks.
Q: How safe is online dating right now?
A: The risk of scams and fraud is increasing. According to Psychology Today, 84% of online daters falsify some portion of their profiles, and~10% are entirely fake. NPR recently reported that Americans lost $143M in romance scams. So a lot more needs to be done to keep people dating online safe.
Q: What things should people look for while swiping on apps that may indicate the other profile is fake, a bot or someone who has a criminal background?
A: One of the first signs a profile might be fake is that it is barely filled out and only has one or two photos. And if they send you links to check them out on another site, delete them. If the dating app partners with RealMe, they'll see the RealMe icon which tells them the truth about the person they're interested in.
Q: What future trends in dating security do you foresee happening?
A: I think there is going to be a safety shakeout. Users will start to walk away from the apps that don't take member safety seriously. One of our recent surveys showed that 9 in 10 online daters wish they could obtain more information about the person they were talking to and would be more likely to meet up with them if their profile was "verified".
Q: Which apps are "doing it right"?
A: WhiteLabelDating, a network of ~4000 dating apps. They have integrated RealMe into all of them. Two dating apps for animal lovers, Dig for dog people, and Tabby for cat people, have also partnered with RealMe. We are in talks with other dating apps.