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When AI delights scammers on dating apps

© Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Dating apps are more popular than ever. Today, most people under 30 have already used it and more than 55% of Tinder users have already had a serious relationship with someone they met on the famous application.

But that's no reason to let your guard down. “Sentimental scams” ​​do exist (remember The Tinder Scammeravailable on Netflix) and users have every interest in being vigilant. Scammers do not hesitate to tap into this irrepressible need for love to fool their victims. In France, a quarter of dating site users have already been victims of a scam.

If technology makes dazzling progress, and that's all the better, the rise of artificial intelligence is cause for concern. In 2024, with the right tools, it is easier than ever to fool your target. Just look at the ultra-realistic videos that can be generated with Sora, the new OpenAI tool. Thus, a 37-year-old American woman, recently divorced, lost $450,000 after being tricked by a scammer she met on a dating application. Unfortunately, it is far from being a unique case.

Also read – Do artificial intelligence and love go well together??

450 000 dollars gone

A few months ago, Shreya Datta crossed paths with Ancel, a French wine negotiator, on a dating application. The relationship goes well between the two, and they maintain a virtual relationship for several months. They send each other messages, exchange photos… They even call each other by video! For Shreya, this proves that Ancel is not a “catfish”, that is to say a false profile. And that's the whole problem. Today, artificial intelligence has made so much progress that we can no longer even rely on video calls. In reality, Ancel is not who he pretends to be and he uses deepfakes to maintain the illusion in Shreya's heart.

Although the famous Ancel constantly postpones their meeting, Shreya has no doubts. It must be said that the young man does everything possible to make the relationship credible. In particular, he sent her flowers on Valentine's Day… Everything is done to gain the trust of the thirty-year-old, who believes in it wholeheartedly. This is where the trap closes.

Ancel starts talking about investing and boasts of having accumulated a nice jackpot, allowing him to retire well in advance. He questions her: “you, do you really want to work until you are 65 ?”. A question that resonates and pushes Shreya to download an application to invest in cryptocurrencies, like him. But it is a corrupted application sent by Ancel. At first, everything is perfect. Shreya's winnings are considerable, she forgets the stakes and the possibility of losing her winnings. So much so that she invests more and more, even if it means dipping into her savings. In total, the American invested 450,000 dollars in this corrupt application.

Everything collapsed when she wanted to withdraw the sum, which had doubled in three months . A tax is demanded from her and, finally, Shreya sees the flaws in this matter. His brother puts the nail in the coffin of his virtual love story: a simple Google search allows him to prove that the so-called Ancel, supposedly a French wine negotiator, is actually a German influencer. The money is gone, and so is the crook. The victim falls from a height and reports symptoms of post-traumatic stress, unable to eat or sleep.

Unfortunately, there are many scams on dating apps. With the rise of artificial intelligence, they are not expected to decrease. As for cryptocurrency scams, they are no less numerous. The FBI lists more than 40,000 victims in 2023, but the figure is surely higher, because many of them are too ashamed of their naivety to file a complaint.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116