Dating application Tinder and its parent company, Match Group, are partnering with American actor Jonathan Bennett to teach users how to avoid online financial scams and toxic behaviours online in light of World Romance Scam Prevention Day.
The dating app will be launching a new campaign that finally confirms Bennett’s iconic Mean Girls question: “What day is it today?”, which is a nod to Bennett’s famous dialogue in the cult film. The answer to the question is 3 October, which is now known as World Romance Scam Prevention Day (WRSPD). The day was created to help fuel more education and awareness around an issue that impacts millions of people of all ages around the world and to remind them to never send money or invest with people they’ve never met.
This campaign follows recent in-app safety messages that were rolled out across Southeast Asia as well as a public awareness campaign that Match Group launched in January to remind users of ways everyone can protect themselves from online scams.
“Fans have a lot of fun celebrating all their favourite memes and quotes every 3 October, but it’s also important that we take this day to acknowledge some important lessons about how we interact with others online,” Bennett said. “We want everyone to continue to recognise this day, while also being more aware of the types of common behaviours of online scammers to watch out for.”
According to the FBI, crypto scams such as “Pig Butchering”, now serve as the largest financial scam in the US, totalling over US$3 billion.
Additionally, while older adults have the highest percentage of romance scams reported, investigators say reports made by younger adults are increasing each year. "At Tinder, we are proud to lead on safety efforts and create campaigns that are both beneficial and culturally relevant that can help drive more awareness and make dating safer on our app and across online platforms,” said Stephanie Danzi, the SVP of global marketing at Tinder.
Kathy Waters, the executive director at Advocating Against Romance Scammers said that WRSPD aims to squash stigmas that prevent approximately 97% of victims from reporting and obtaining justice. “Advocating Against Romance Scammers created this day to help bring together every global entity affected by the scams to increase awareness and help others understand the severity of the controlled manipulation in order for the fraud to succeed.”
Over the last few years, brands across Match Group have also taken proactive steps to help prevent and warn users of potential scams or fraud, from the introduction of new product features like selfie verification and video chat to sending popup messages with safety tips if certain language is detected in conversations between users.
Tinder initially rolled out this campaign in August this year where Tinder users will receive an alert upon launching the Tinder app. They will then be directed to more information on how they can stay cautious of romance scams on the app. The campaign will also be accompanied by in-app inbox messages and push notifications. In Singapore, Tinder users will be directed to Scam Alert SG - a resource supported by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF). The comprehensive guide will serve to remind Tinder users to be alert and aware as they look to make new connections online.
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