Fake Tinder sites lure users to give up financial info

In the UK, 41 percent of online daters have been spammed or scammed when using online dating services.

New research from Symantec says cyber-criminals are now pretending to be Tinder users and tricking other users into visiting a malicious third-party website to verify their profiles and give up their financial information.

The spam bots instruct the user to click on a link to the external website that includes some variation of words about verification, background checks, safety, date codes, or protection in addition to including the word ‘tinder' in the URL to make it appear official.

The website, looking exactly like Tinder, is a scam to rack up charges from the victim's credit card and into the scammers' pockets. Symantec has reported 13 different malicious ‘Tinder Safe Dating' websites.

To stay safe while online dating, users should avoid third-party websites, make sure their username doesn't give away any identifying information and use a VPN when on Wi-Fi to ensure they're protecting the data coming in and out of their phone.

“Scammers are naturally attracted to large online communities and the surge in online dating amongst millennials makes these sites a prime target. In the online world, as with anything in life, people aren't always what they seem and while there are many legitimate daters on these sites, you still don't fully know what kinds of people you're dealing with. Therefore it's important that you are vigilant so you can enjoy dating online without placing yourself in a vulnerable position,” said Nick Shaw, VP and general manager at Norton EMEA.