By Jeff Pizzino, APR, Corp. Communications –
How about just a date with truth?
Online dating has experienced explosive growth. In 2022, there were 366 million users participating in this $2.86 billion industry.
But as the industry grows, so do the many stories of scams and lies.
Of particular concern is “catfishing” — a term used to describe when someone uses a fake persona to lure someone in for attention, to create a false relationship, or to scam. Catfishing is more common among men than women.
Here are a few catfishing statistics:
- It’s estimated 10% of all online dating profiles are fake.
- Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) catfishers are pretending to be a different gender.
- 41% blame loneliness as their main reason for catfishing.
- From 2015 to 2019, catfishing increased in the U.S. by a whopping 52%.
- In the U.K., more than a quarter (27%) of online daters claim they were catfished in 2022.
Lying Dating Profiles
When reading someone’s online profile on a dating website, how do you know if the person:
- Is really single?
- Is actually the gender he/she claims to be?
- Is planning to financially scam you? (More about this in a bit.)
- Has a criminal background?
- Is actually living in the location he/she states?
It’s estimated as many as 42% of those using the Tinder dating app already have a partner. However, more conservative data from YouGov Omnibus says 7% of those who have ever used a dating app or website did so with the specific intention to cheat on their partner. They also found one in six (17%) current users of dating apps or websites say cheating on a partner is one of their reasons for using them.
How to Catch Fake Profiles
Fortunately, advanced technology is now available to help thwart cheaters and scammers lurking on online dating websites.
VerifEye is a new truth verification mobile app by Utah tech company Converus. This 10-minute, self-administered test can verify the truth of an individual’s online dating website profile by using the cell phone’s camera. During a true/false test, it measures changes in involuntary eye behavior — such as pupil dilation and blink rate. Several scientific research studies show lying increases cognitive load, and that’s manifested in changes in involuntary eye behavior.
This method of verifying truth (and conversely identifying those engaged in deception), made its debut in 2014 in a computer-based test called EyeDetect. EyeDetect is currently used by more than 600 customers worldwide — including over 80 U.S. law enforcement agencies and nearly 100 worldwide.
Law enforcement agencies use EyeDetect to screen job applicants for issues that would disqualify them from working for the organization — such as serious crimes, drug use, terrorism and other criminal or unethical behaviors.
VerifEye, released last month in the U.S., is the mobile app version of EyeDetect. It can also be used to verify fidelity or sobriety. EyeCanKnow, a U.S.-based company, has launched an online service for anyone seeking to quickly create these tests.
Jeff’s been a spin-free public relations pro since 1987. He’s passionate about telling true stories with clarity, impact and authenticity. He’s currently the Chief Authentic Officer at AuthenticityPR, based in Johnson City, TN. Jeff also functions as the virtual VP of Corporate Communications for tech startup Converus, a client.