Dating App Scams: ‘Match’, Date Night And A Huge Bill

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One of the several instances of the “Tinder scam” that has grown widespread in big cities is the aspirant from Delhi who is aiming to enter the civil service and whose meeting with a woman he met on a dating app resulted in a ₹ 1.20 lakh bill at a cafe. Because the victims do not want their relatives to know they are using a dating app, the majority of these situations remain undetected.
Many Reddit posts—some of which are over a year old—tell the stories of people who were conned into paying outrageous sums of money to go on dates with women they met through dating apps. Even though NDTV is unable to confirm the legitimacy of each of these apps, they do indicate a similar workflow.

How Is The Victim Lured

Using a dating app like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, or OKCupid, the victim matches with the woman. They start conversing once she reveals her WhatsApp number with ease. A date will be arranged shortly. The woman then insists on meeting at a certain location, saying there are lots of cafes and pubs there. The woman advises the victim to meet at a specific Metro station and they may proceed from there when he asks for directions and the name of the cafe.

The woman placed the order at the cafe. Usually, the victim is too eager to impress his date and does not suspect foul play. The woman then places an order for something that might not even be on the menu. Sometimes the woman acts as though there is an emergency and rushes out of the cafe. Upon receiving the bill, the victim discovers that it exceeds his initial estimate by many times. He gets threatened by bouncers or café employees when he protests. With little option, he makes the payment. The majority of people avoid calling the police for fear that an investigation could tell their family that he is meeting people through dating apps.

Many Players Involved

Police have detained Akshay Pahwa, the owner of the cafe, and Afsan Parveen, the victim’s “date” in the most recent incident in Delhi that targeted an IAS candidate. According to police, this scam is based on a complex system with multiple participants, including managers, cafe owners, and women who entice the victim.

Every participant receives a portion of the money; according to Akshay Pahwa’s police testimony, 15% goes to the woman, 45% is split between the managers, and 40% is given to the owners.

Not Just IN Delhi, in Hyderabad Also

Police stated during their investigation into the Rajouri Garden incident targeting the IAS candidate that this fraud is active in various cities, including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. An activist named Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj wrote about a similar Hyderabad-based fraud on X earlier last month.

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