Tinder has announced it will be making its ID Verification service available for users around the world..The tool is used to tackle so-called catfishing, or duping someone into a relationship by using false pictures and information.
It works by verifying users photos using an algorithm and human assistance to promp users to take some selfies in real-time.It was first announced last January after having been trialled in Japan the year before and debuted alongside other safety features, including a panic button in case users need to alert the authorities while on a date.Once users have successfully completed the verification procedure then their profiles will receive a blue tick affirming that they look like what they claim to look like.
“The product will begin as voluntary, except where mandated by law, and based on the inputs received will evolve to ensure an equitable, inclusive and privacy-friendly approach to ID Verification,” the company said.
Penny Ward was scammed out of £500, while Elizabeth lost a staggering £30,000 to a Tinder scammer
It follows a Sky News report on how victims of online romance fraud in the UK were conned out of more than £63m last year.
Penny Ward and Elizabeth, whose name Sky News has changed, were both conned by a scammer they met on Tinder.After about two months, the scammer asked both women for money.Penny, who quickly realised she was being scammed but said she “felt desperate not to lose him”, sent around £500, but Elizabeth lost a staggering £30,000.”He said he needed it to keep the farm going, to pay workers’ salaries, to send a worker home to attend a funeral – another time it was because he had appendicitis and it was for hospital bills.”Eventually, Elizabeth used up all her savings.”Once he realised I didn’t have anymore money, his messages stopped,” she said. “He just disappeared.”And you just feel like such an idiot. The story, the photos – all just lies. And afterwards everything seems too obvious.”I’m too ashamed to tell anyone I know, even too ashamed to tell the police. I’m borderline now whether I lose my house or not,” Elizabeth told us at the time.Announcing the ID Verification feature, a Tinder spokesperson said: “We know one of the most valuable things Tinder can do to make members feel safe is to give them more confidence that their matches are authentic and more control over who they interact with.”And we hope all our members worldwide will see the benefits of interacting with people who have gone through our ID verification process. We look forward to a day when as many people as possible are verified on Tinder,” they added.