Tinder Scammers: What Can They Do With Your Phone Number?

Here’s what a Tinder scammer can do with your phone number:

At a minimum, a scammer can sell your information and lead to you getting spam calls and advertisements that are annoying at worst. 

More successful scammers can use your phone number and personal information to steal just about anything from you. There’s not really a ceiling on how bad it can get.

So if you want to learn all about what a tinder scammer can do with your phone number, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right in!

What Bad Things Can a Tinder Scammer Do With Your Phone Number?

Phone numbers used to be a part of the public record. Literally anyone could look up your number, and a lot of these registries still exist. How can a scammer knowing your phone number cause so much damage?

Well, the bigger risk with a Tinder scammer is that they will likely learn personal things about you. Even just reading your profile, they might be able to target you and find ways to get you to give up information. 

It takes talent and effort, but the most successful scammers can cause all kinds of harm with a Tinder contact and a phone number. These are the most common things they will try to do.

Sell Your Number

The most common thing a scammer will do with contact information is sell it. There is a massive market for personal information. It can be used by other scammers to try to contact you. It is also used for high-end ad targeting.

Suppose you have ever suddenly received ads for things you were recently thinking about. In that case, it’s because a lot of big data companies use personal information to make targeted decisions about advertising. It feels spooky sometimes, and part of the entire engine stems from scammers selling personal data.

A Tinder scammer, in particular, will probably learn a few personal things about you in pursuit of your phone number. They can sell all of it to an interested party.

As far as consequences of this action. You will probably get spam phone calls and more targeted ads when you use the internet. These things are annoying, but not necessarily dangerous.

Catfish

The danger level increases with catfishing. For anyone unfamiliar, this is a common scam. The scammer will try to get another person romantically interested in them. 

When they have you “on the hook,” they will ask for money. The purpose of the money will depend on the scam. Some might claim to have medical bills they can’t afford or family members they need to support. 

Often, they will ask for money to come and visit you (although this is less common on Tinder). Because it’s a scam, you can trust that any money sent is lost.

Now, sending your phone number doesn’t really play an essential role in a catfish scam. Instead, if you’re giving out your phone number, it’s more likely that you’re interested enough to fall for such a scam. It’s a bit of a red flag on your part.

Crack Accounts

This is where sharing your phone number gets a bit scarier. Phone numbers are frequently used as identifiers for tons of different accounts. Pretty much every digital account is married to a phone number, an email address, or both. If a scammer gets your phone number and your name, they are well on their way to trying to steal an account.

This is scarier with something like Tinder because you are having personal conversations with the scammer. They can use what they learn about you in those conversations to try to guess passwords or security question answers. 

Once they do that, they can steal any number of accounts that use the same information. Some of those accounts might not matter much to you, but some will.

Steal Your Phone Number

The account that matters most in all of this is your phone account. If they can guess questions, they might be able to contact your carrier and essentially steal your phone number. 

With this, they can reroute calls intended for you to them. This might sound like a nuisance, but it’s actually the biggest problem of all, and that’s because of how your phone is used to secure most of your important online accounts.

Break 2-Factor Authentication

The most important internet-based accounts will insist that you use some form of 2-factor authentication. For anyone unfamiliar with this term, 2-factor authentication requires you to prove you own an account after you put in a password.

There are two ways to do this. The second form of authentication essentially requires you to have direct access to a secondary account tied to your security. 

In simpler terms, the site you are trying to access will send either an email or a text message with a temporary access code. You need that code to finish logging in. This is extremely common, especially with financial websites, like the ones you use for banking.

If someone can steal your phone number, they can set it up to reroute calls and texts that are sent to you. They will receive those calls and texts instead. 

You can see the problem now. When they try to access a financial account, they can request a text to authenticate themselves. They will actually receive the text, and then they have access to your account.

This is by far the scariest thing that can happen when a scammer gets your phone number. They can completely clean you out and cause endless amounts of trouble to crash down upon you. This, above all else, is why you want to protect your phone number when dealing with potential scammers.

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Tinder Scammers?

There really is no limit to what a talented scammer can do with a phone number, especially when they are talking to you on Tinder. You can see that the risk levels don’t really have a ceiling. Since everything is online, and a phone number is one of the key security features for online activity, it’s a dangerous mix.

So, you need ways to protect yourself. The good news is that it’s fairly easy. There are ways to give out a phone number with virtually no risk. 

There are also ways to communicate without using phone numbers at all. With a few workarounds and ideas, you can avoid the worst and try to enjoy Tinder the way it was intended.

Use a Second Phone Number

The easiest thing in the world is to use a secondary phone number. Getting a second line from your carrier can be expensive. Instead, you can use a service like Google Voice (or any competitor). 

They will give you a phone number for a super low price (completely free if you use it strategically). You can automatically set this number up to forward all calls and such to your primary number.

This creates a barrier between your real phone number and someone trying to scam you. You can give out the Google Voice number. It isn’t used for any two-factor authentications, so you don’t have to worry about that kind of scam. 

In fact, you shouldn’t have this number, as a security feature, tied to anything at all. So, if you happen to give it out to a scammer, you have lost nothing.

In a worst-case scenario, your Google Voice number might get spam calls. You can just drop that number and get a new one (although this might require you to try a different service provider).

Use Different Forms of Communication

You can also skip phone numbers altogether. There are tons of ways to communicate that don’t involve any kind of phone number. You can talk on different messenger services if, for any reason, Tinder isn’t sufficient.

There are two things to remember when you go this route. First, you want to avoid giving out social media contacts that you have curated. 

That exposes personal information, and people can use it to cause you problems. Instead, you can create junk social media profiles for this kind of purpose.

The second thing to remember is that some communication forms make your phone number visible. WhatsApp is known for this. 

So, even though you didn’t directly give out your phone number, they can find it by looking at the profile. Always be sure before you give away any profile information.

When used correctly, though, this method can help you spot scammers. If they absolutely insist on a phone number when you offer an alternative, it’s a red flag.

Keep it to Tinder Only

This is by far the easiest way to protect yourself. Tinder has built-in communication services.

It’s designed to be self-sufficient, so you never actually need anything beyond Tinder to talk to someone you find interesting. Even if it gets to a point where you want to meet the other person, you can still exclusively use Tinder to set it all up.

There is one final warning to remember. It feels a little cynical, but be aware of the fact that there are scammers who live in your region. 

Scams aren’t limited to people in foreign countries trying to convince you they are a prince or whatever. There is every chance you can meet a scammer face to face through Tinder. It’s tough to always keep your guard up, but remembering that risk exists can help to protect you.