Thanks to Netflix and its viral documentary film, ‘The Tinder Swindler,’ online dating scams have gone from distant facts and figures to internet fodder and front row seat entertainment. But it’s not so entertaining for the women (and men!) of online dating who’ve had their hearts (and wallets) broken. Long before the captivating Netflix film, the online dating industry was well aware of the very real problems with its services and their fake dating profiles, catfishing, financial scams, and the need for online dating identity verifications.
Before we get into all the drama singles encounter with scammers pretending to be someone else online, a quick recap of the film! By now you know the story. But for those who haven’t gone on the internet or tapped into meme culture in the last few weeks, who is Simon Leviev?
Simon Leviev, a scammer dressed up in a billionaire and diamond mogul clothing, or now better known as the ‘Tindler Swindler’ conned millions of dollars from his victims with his epic romance gestures. Private jets, fancy dinners, and “good morning” and “I miss you” texts? Who wouldn’t fall in love. After luring his victims to fall in love with him and his lavish lifestyle, Simon convinces each woman to financially help him to escape his “enemies” (who knew the diamond industry was so dangerous!). Ironically, he’s currently public enemy #1 in the world of online dating. Is there anything better than a series banding together the masses against a common enemy? We haven’t seen strangers come together like this since “Tiger King” in the early pandemic days (*memories*).
While Tinder has now banned the scam artist, Simon Leviev was still active on the app when the film was released. Tinder released a statement after the film, “We have conducted internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is no longer active on Tinder under any of his known aliases.” But why did it take so long to ban him? We don’t know, and frankly it doesn’t matter. Online dating apps have proven time and again that consumers and their emotional, mental, and physical health are not a priority – especially Black women’s health.
The language that most dating apps are currently built on is antiquated, inefficient, and designed by (mostly white) men with no consideration for Black women’s specific needs, desires, and demographic. It also comes with a host of unintended side effects that we recognize are not so great for your mental health and actually work against our basic human instincts.
The facts speak for themselves as to why our mission to make online dating safer is so important. Did you know around 1 in 10 online dating profiles is fake? What about that 60% of all online profiles are inactive? Still not convinced? What if we put a dollar amount to the problem? The FBI says Americans lost $1 billion to Tinder-Swindler style romance cons last year. Yikes!
While some of our competitors have concluded selfie verification is sufficient to “vet” members (e.g., Tinder). We disagree. How do you know if a Tinder profile is fake or if Tinder is safe? Well, it’s one thing to verify using a selfie, it’s another to verify whether the person in that selfie really is who they purport to be. And Google and Instagram “background checks” ain’t it either. At CarpeDM, we conduct a thorough background check to verify every member’s identity.
What do CarpeDM verifications include? They include member identity, employment, income, sex offender registery, and criminal history. Key criminal history markers include, but are not limited to: sex crimes, domestic violence, violent crimes, financial crimes like fraud and theft, and identity theft. While membership invitations are extended at our discretion, low-level infractions, traffic violations, and misdemeanor drug offenses are not alone disqualifying; the team is more focused on key markers that meaningfully impact a potential member’s dateability and fitness for membership.
While you don’t have to worry about how to tell if an account or profile is fake on CarpeDM because we run verifications on and interview every member, it’s still always important to do your due diligence. The truth is, when it comes to online dating, we’re already taking a chance on meeting a stranger.
Here are five red flags to watch out for to avoid becoming the next romance scam victim, how to outsmart a scammer, and signs someone is bating you:
We get it, being single can be lonely and it’s hard to turn away someone charming. But let’s avoid you having to learn how to get over being scammed. If you’re single, dating, and overwhelmed – there’s really only one thing to take from us – when a man asks you for money, err on the side of caution and run with a full pocketbook!
Do you have more questions about verified safe online dating and online dating sites with background checks? Check out our FAQs or contact email@example.com.
Seize the Dating!