What is a Tinder Bot?
Online dating platforms are part of the social ecosystem that continue to see the highest levels of engagement. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict social gatherings, and it has only fueled that growth and engagement. With more than 65 million users worldwide, Tinder enjoys the dominant position among online dating platforms.
Almost every social platform has its risks of privacy. When it comes to online dating platforms like Tinder, you have to be careful of Tinder bots that are the new AI-infused way of scamming you. The answer to the question of what is a Tinder Bot is something we’ll explore in this blog.
What is a Tinder Bot?
A bot is a program that has been programmed to execute a certain function. It is repetitive in nature and created to perform tasks requiring manual input from a user.
Bots today are much more complex thanks to Machine Learning that can more closely predict situations and nuances. Chatbots are prevalent, used by services to offload the tremendous duty of answering queries of customers. What used to take a team of customer support now takes a program that can understand and resolve customer issues.
A Tinder bot resembles a chatbot. It is created by scammers to target unsuspecting victims by creating profiles that look legit. The whole premise of matchmaking is to find someone attractive and who shares similar interests. A Tinder bot looks convincing enough that it passes for a real profile.
Tinder has a team that monitors such profiles and any other activities that may get flagged as suspicious.
What Does a Tinder Bot Look Like?
A Tinder bot isn’t always a fake profile that is out there to scam you. Take the example of Jeffery Li, who is the original creator of the Tinder bot. Frustrated by his online dating situation, Li decided to use his data science skills to develop a bot that would swipe automatically on his interests. The bot was trained to predict Li’s likes and dislikes, and from that data, the bot went working.
Called the TinderAutomation bot, the code is available on GitHub for anyone to use. With some modifications, other users have even developed ways to initiate conversations with matched profiles. Thanks to Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, such automation is now possible. There are now multiple variations of the said Tinder bot available online.
The code’s public availability means that scammers have found an easy solution to setup fake profiles that work with little input. The purpose? Malicious intent.
How to Spot a Tinder Bot
In most cases, a Tinder bot is set up for malicious activities. As we said earlier, the premise of online dating is to match with someone attractive. So the first thing a bot will do is put up attractive photos, then it will populate the profile with information to make it look convincing, which includes workplace and school details.
Tinder allows users to link Facebook and Instagram accounts. Some bots will choose to skip this part as it requires more time on their part, but some still do that. The more convincing a profile looks, the successful the match rate will be.
You can spot a Tinder bot by observing a few things. The person will likely message you first and ask you to switch to a different platform like WeChat – for example. It could be a phishing link. These links will be shortened to hide the actual URL, so you might see links from bit.ly and such link shorteners. Phishing refers to the fraudulent activity of tricking a user into giving up personal or financial information.
As powerful as Machine Learning is today, these bots might fall short in the face of contextual challenges. The bots are designed to reply based on certain factors. To run your new match through the bot test, try asking it something on your profile picture or showing it a picture and observing the response. It is usually a good sign if the profile has its Facebook or Instagram profile connected.
However, caution is always advised. Whether a bot or a real person, you should never share financial information or send money to someone you have only met online. Regardless of how you feel about your newfound romantic interest, this is the rule of thumb that you must strictly follow. According to FTC, $304 million in losses from romance scams were reported in 2020.
Not all bots are bad. Some are just lazy individuals who find the exercise of swiping on potential matches time-consuming. The bot test begins when you begin to interact. Observe little things, like if the other person immediately shares a phone number or a link after being matched. Bots have their limitations because they are trained with datasets. And hence, the replies will be generic. If the profile repeatedly fails to understand you, it’s a sure sign of a Tinder bot.
As for profile pictures that seem too good to be true, run a reverse Google Image Search to see if they belong to someone else.
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