This information is sourced from the Grindr Scam Awareness Guide © Grindr LLC, the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people.
Romance scam or “Lonely heart scam”
- The scammer will win your trust by telling you a story about themselves that makes them seem reliable. For example, they claim to be in the military or a doctor working overseas.
- Once they have your trust, they will tell you a story about how they need money. For example, because they’re stuck in a foreign country, they need someone to deposit a check for them and transfer the money.
- They will often ask for your contact info right away and try to continue the conversation off platform because they know they will get banned here quickly.
- Never send anyone money, for any reason.
- If a story sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Use RealJock’s messaging system (chat/video too) until you really know someone well.
- Helpful resource: FTC – What You Need To Know About Romance Scams
Money flipping scam
- The scammer will claim to be a sugar daddy who just wants to give out “free money” with no strings attached – often with very specific dollar amounts and wanting to connect via Cash App/ Venmo right away.
- The scammer will connect stolen credit cards to Venmo or Cash app and use them to transfer the “free money” to you. Then they’ll say that they accidentally sent you too much and ask you to please return a portion of it. If you do that, the scammer will have deleted the stolen card info from their account and added their own, so the “refund” goes to their card instead of the stolen one. Eventually, if the stolen card is reported to Venmo or Cash App, any money that was stolen from that card will be returned, so you’ll be out the “free money,” and the scammer will have yours instead.
- The scammer may also claim to work for a bank or other financial services company and ask you to invest money, claiming that you will get a large return on the investment. Once you have sent the money, the scammer cuts off contact.
- The scammer will transfer money into your bank account saying that you can keep a percentage of it, and request that you either transfer the rest to another bank account owned by the scammer or buy a prepaid debit card and share the info with the scammer. The money sent to your bank account will have been a fraudulent transfer, which you are liable for paying back.
- There is no such thing as “free money.”
- Don’t ever share your own financial information, even if it is to receive money.
- The scammer will agree to meet with you. However, they will tell you that they want you to pay for something upfront before you meet.
- They could ask for a gift card to keep their kids entertained while you meet up, money for gas or a taxi/rideshare, etc.
- They will insist that you send them the money/ gift card right away. They will then give you a false address or location and will not meet up with you.
- Do not send anyone money or gift cards.
- Be very suspicious of anyone trying to turn a meet-up into a transaction.
Sextortion / Blackmail scam
Sextortion is a term for when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t give them what they want. There are two common scenarios:
- Skype/video sextortion: The scammer asks you to connect on Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media. The scammer will ask for Skype sex calls, often using fake/ pre-recorded video so you never actually see the person behind the scam. The scammer secretly records the intimate video conversation and then threatens to send the video to your social media contacts if you don’t pay money.
- Underage sextortion: The scammer sends intimate photos and asks you to do the same. After photos and messages are exchanged, the scammer later claims to be underage. You are then contacted by the “parents” who state that if you pay their demand for money, they will not go to the police. Note: RealJock is for adults ONLY. Users must be at least 18. We take any potential underage use of the platform incredibly seriously. If you come across anyone who appears to be underage, please contact us and report the profile.
- Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are (or say they are).
- If you are receiving “sextortion” threats, you are not alone. It is likely the perpetrator is an adult pretending to be a teenager, and you are just one of the many victims being targeted by the same person.
- Do not give them any money or send any more pictures of yourself. Giving in to demands may make things worse, as paying a blackmailer will only result in more demands for payment.
- Do not be afraid to call the FBI (if in the US) or your local authorities and report the scam.
Security app registration scam
These scams are meant to get your personal and financial details when you register with a third-party site that is claiming to be a “security app” but is actually fake. The scammer often claims that they were previously assaulted by someone they met on an app and that the registration is to ensure their safety.
- “Before we meet I need to make sure I am safe with you, is it fine with you, Can you add me on (MAFA meet and fun affairs) on google?”
- “Before we can meet or maybe fun? I need to make sure I am safe with you, is that ok? Can you do the MMRM verification first? You can search it on google “MMRM meetmyrightmate” Is it fine with you ?”
- “But before we meet I need to make sure I am safe with you, is that ok? Can you add me on (EASY AND WELL VERIFIED)”
- Do not register on a “security app”
- Do not trust anyone who tries to get you to follow links or go to another site quickly.
3rd party app links
A common method by scammers is to “spam” or send mass messages with links to third-party sites. Generally, they know that it will be an obvious spam message to most people, but if they get only a small portion of people to click through, it’s worth their time. These messages will ask for payments or credit card information or send requests to search for a name that leads to a 3rd party site. These sites will often contain malware, bad ads, or will solicit your personal information or money.
- “Нi, We are having a sex p*rtу very soоn) Wоuld yоu like to jоin? Photos of раst сеlebrations hеrе (link)
- “google me” “mikeshown—”
- Don’t follow suspicious links.
- If a user asks you to Google them instead of providing info directly, it’s suspicious.