Dating apps and social media tech: responsible and irresponsible?
From surveying of 330 crypto-romance / pig-butchering scam (PBS) victims, almost 40% met their scammer on Facebook platforms. Facebook and Instagram together got the lion's share of successful romance-investment SZP scams, despite not being made for dating. Facebook Dating itself is only 7 - 10% of the dating app market. To note, one creates a Facebook Dating app account through a regular Facebook account. A Facebook account also allows for an Instagram account.
Online scams overall occur the most on Facebook. https://socialcatfish.com/blog/state-of-internet-scams-2021/.
Ease of signing up / faking an account
Proposed head-to-head comparisons. Imaginary results from Oct 2021 are shown:
While we did NOT do a comprehensive comparison of how common verified scammers are in various social media and dating apps, Facebook and Facebook Dating ranked among the highest in scammer frequency, in our internal opinion surveys (PBS scammer criteria: handsome/pretty, Asian, rich, engages in some cryptocurrency business, and gives you a website platform link). Put another way, we cannot find anyone who disagreed.
Fake accounts and fake moderators
The last thing a scammed romance victim wants, is to talk to another soulless bot.
Bots and scammers live forever on Facebook.
Contrast these to treatments we've heard victims got from Coffee Meets Bagel. They get prompt, tailored emails from their staff. At risk of being accused of endorsing Coffee Meets Bagel, here are some more examples of what they're doing right:
Prompt, effective and specific warnings
Cost of doing social media business
If financial institutions are the necessary channels for money laundering, then social media are the essential tools for brainwashing. Content moderation by social media companies is a big hairy subject, but there is one thing online everyone can agree to hate: scammers.
Scammers are not mere nuisances. PBS scammers don't just leave victims with a shitty week. They can and have made victims lose their entire life savings, their relationships, their house, their sanity, their dreams and their lives in a couple of months.
Too bad that some can be so careless and fall for scammers, isn't it? That is underestimating both the victims, who can be anyone you know, and the scammers, who can be just as smart and persistent as anyone you might know. That is also underestimating how many people fall for the scam. However rare you think scam victims are, they can't just be the cost of dong business. Hardly anyone now thinks that car accidents are the cost of making cars. Making death traps on wheels and wishing your buyers to drive safely isn't going to cut it.
Hoping users will be careful online while adding as many users as you can as fast you can is plain naïve. Reportedly, Facebook itself lost track of how many users it has. We have previously covered third-party apps developed to create and control dozens of accounts.
It is quick and easy.
There are rumors --a lot of rumors--- that Facebook is under-investing and under-staffing in user safety and account authentication. Mark Zuckerberg had a stated dream of connecting everyone in the world, though now that dream seems to be as pretentious as building the storied Tower of Babel. Today, a next-door girl in New York can have daily heart-to-heart conversations with a trained, heartless killer or team of killers* in a humid, dingy office in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
*Killers - PBS scammers are taught that victims committing suicide is their destiny, not on them salespeople. It's their victim who chose to believe them, give all that money to them, and do whatever victims do afterwards.