Interested in trying the dating app, Hinge, but wondering if it will download more than your next great date? Many daters try Hinge after souring on swiping left or right on other dating apps. If you’re worried about encountering Hinge scams on the app or just want to know what to expect, we can help! Dating on or off-line should be about love and connection, not being tricked or conned by scammers.
What is the Hinge Dating App?
According to Hinge (Match Group, 2012 and upgraded in 2015), their free dating app is designed to be deleted (because you’ll meet your soulmate). At least, that’s what their marketing materials say. If you go to the Hinge website, you will be prompted to enter your phone number and receive a link to the app download.
The app is geared toward young professionals in the twenty to thirty-something range. Many of those in that target demographic live in larger urban settings, as the app has more traffic in those areas. Hinge works by matching users based on sign-up questions, like OkCupid. New users are prompted to enter questions about their political beliefs and even their “virtues” or feelings about alcohol, smoking, using drugs. They can have specific answers show in their profile, or not.
After uploading (6) six photos (otherwise you can’t proceed), users answer a minimum of one writing prompt. After that, they interact (click on) a section of another dater’s profile to send a “comment” and/or “like”. Mutual likes are notified or you can select an “X” to see another profile. Messaging is like texting and photo-free, unlike Kik. Daters can become paid “preferred” members for around $10 a month or less, depending on the duration of their paid sign-up.
Are There Hinge Scams?
Yes, there are scammers on Hinge. While it may take a scammer more work to upload (6) six photos, instead of one, fraudsters know that this also might lead you to trust them more and believe the app is infallible. Knowing the tricks and sneaky methods of scammers on Hinge can protect you. While scammers are found on almost every site and app, certain varieties of scammers gravitate to specific platforms.
1. Geography Hack
While you can connect your phone’s location directly to the dating app, users are also given the ability to manually enter their location… which scammers use to their gain. Scammers will interact with your profile and write to you as if they were a few miles away. In reality, scammers who come to Hinge to get money or direct you to fraudulent sites may be living halfway across the world or in popular places for scammers, like Nigeria.
2. Link Hack
Since the most popular age range for daters on Hinge is in the mid-twenties to the early thirties, a popular scam is to try and reroute people to paid sites, app downloads (such as paid games), or phished websites that contain fraudulent textboxes or download malware. A scammer, who you think is a dater, might ask for your phone number and send you links. The person could even be a bot designed to interact with users on a dating app and send them to a game, app, or scam downloads that steal personal information.
3. Attractive Photos Hack
While sign-up may take more work and some scammers avoid sites that are only accessible through a cell phone, sign-up is free, and messaging on Hinge is unlimited, with no daily limit. You can only send messages to mutual matches. This means that scammers will try and use the best photos they can to capture your attention. Some scammers pretend to be premium girls that lure you on Snapchat or OnlyFans. Others pretend to be that handsome lawyer, soldier, traveler, physician, or model you just connected with… they might be a scammer.
Messaging is like texting, without the photographs, so you can’t have a user send you a specific image to verify it’s legitimate. If you’re uncertain if a dater’s images are real, try a photo search by cropping their profile pictures and searching through a reverse search engine.
4. Other Warning Signs of Hinge Scams and Military Scams
Some Hinge users feel like they encounter more scammers than not. Really consider the warning signs with anyone you begin speaking with. Do their photos look too professional? If so, the images might be taken from a social media influencer and used by the scammer. If you connect with someone who says they are in the military and stationed overseas, beware that they might be a scammer. Many Hinge users encounter military scams online.
How Does Hinge’s Customer Service Help This Issue?
While not a scam in the traditional sense, bad customer service and trouble getting paid services refunded is a common complaint. Make sure you review all billing details thoroughly, as well as how and when to request a refund (if need be), the rules on how to cancel.
How to Avoid Hinge Scams
1. Don’t go to any external links sent to you, for any reason.
They might be for paid games, phishing sites that steal personal information or download malware. Other times, users will link you to paid service/sites you don’t actually need. However, if you click these links you can also report the scam you were apart of.
2. Search phone numbers online
If you exchange phone numbers with a potential date, perform a phone number search and verify the number is real and belongs to the person you are communicating with online.
3. Search before you meet or invest time.
Don’t spends days, weeks, or months connecting with a scammer, without knowing it. You can crop a user’s profile picture and reverse search that to make sure it isn’t a photo that a user stole from the web.
4. Never give anyone on a dating site money or gift cards.
This is true even if you have been connecting online daily. Strangers don’t need money or gift cards from someone they’ve never met unless they are a scammer.
5. Go slow to avoid Hinge Scams.
Get to know people gradually and meet or video chat, if a meeting isn’t an option immediately. Don’t let them get you off the site without even meeting. When you meet in person, stay in a public location and don’t go to the home of someone you don’t know well or for a first date. Don’t spend every minute of every day messaging a Hinge user or making plans for the future, until you meet in person to avoid Hinge scams.
While your next crush or even the person you marry might be on Hinge, use caution to protect yourself from Hinge scams, just as you would if you first met someone in person. Protect your physical, mental, and emotional health and make it a habit to fact check and verify future dates.
This is an important tool in self-care and can give you the confidence that someone you met on a dating app is really who they claim to be. Reverse search by name, username, photograph, phone number, or email address. Social Catfish is a proprietary algorithm based search engine that can track down the truth and prevent you from being scammed on Hinge!