LibraryblogA catfish among the pigeons 

A catfish among the pigeons 

How Veriff’s Biometric Authentication can help prove someone is who they claim to be, adding a new layer of safety and security to online dating.

Header image
Ashley Nelson
June 29, 2023
Blog Post
Fraud Prevention

Online dating is booming, and offers huge potential for future growth. But the industry faces a range of threats, from underage users and romance scams to ‘catfishing’. So how can providers ensure the best customer experience, while also keeping users safe and secure?

What is catfishing? 

Catfishing is a significant problem for online dating websites and dating apps, with catfishing and other romance scams said to have cost victims more than $1.3 billion in the US alone in the last five years. 

Catfishing scams boil down to one key question – am I really talking to the person in the picture?

The scam sees users upload pictures of other people’s faces, with the aim of misleading their targets and scamming unsuspecting recipients out of significant sums of money. 

Scammers use other people’s photos – often sourced from social media sites – to lure their victims and conceal their true identity, helping them avoid the consequences of their fraudulent behavior. 

Bots, meanwhile, are another threat, with advances in AI lending a new degree of sophistication to this danger. Bots can now swipe through hundreds of matches across different online dating apps, send carefully crafted messages, and can eventually send phishing links that could lead to financial ruin. 

What impact can catfishing have?

The potential risks are obvious. Scams like catfishing can cause your customers financial losses, emotional distress, and a sense of betrayal – even physical harm. The net result could be that it makes customers distrust your platform.

The core business of dating companies is trust, and your reputation helps you acquire and retain customers. If there is any question over safety, existing customers will leave – and potential new customers will stay away. 

How can you fight back? 

To ensure users trust your platform, they must be assured that individuals on the site are genuine and that posted images are an accurate reflection of who they are. 

This is important to prevent different types of scams, including the fake accounts that can pose a risk in catfishing and more. 

Dating apps using Veriff’s identity verification platform deploy a process known as ‘selfie verification’, which ensures uploaded images match a person’s real, verified face. This confirms identity through a live photo or video, before comparing all subsequent images that have a face to the verified image. This is key to addressing the scourge of fraudulent accounts. 

Our offering 

Veriff’s process involves a simple selfie, with results on liveness delivered within a second. The technology also uses biometric authentication, with all uploaded images checked against the verified face to confirm a match – or not. This can also be used every time there’s a new login, ensuring the same person is accessing the account.

User privacy is essential. The verified, real facial image is not shown on the site, protecting their privacy; it is only used in that moment as evidence of liveness and as a reference. 

Book a consultation

We can support your brand in identity verification, regulatory compliance and more, using cutting-edge biometrics and automated technology to ensure only the right people have access to your platform. Our approach can be tailored to your needs, ensuring you meet security demands while respecting customer needs on data extraction and use. 

If you would like to learn more, reach out to book a personalized demo. 

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