You could say it’s a match made in heaven.

In our connected, smartphone-centric society, it makes perfect sense that there’s been a significant shift from web-based to mobile dating. As pointed out by Molly Wood in the New York Times, digital dating has been transformed in the last two years by the mobile phone app Tinder, which uses geolocation plus information from social sites like Facebook to make matches. Tinder lets users anonymously like or reject potential matches by swiping or tapping on their smartphone. If two users like each other they are introduced and allowed to chat.

Dating on the Go

Tinder, OKCupid and Match.com are all owned by InterActiveCorp. Tinder is available exclusively as a mobile app, both OKCupid and Match.com have mobile and web versions. Estimates put Tinder at close to 40 million downloads, with Android and iOS combined, OKCupid at 14 million, and Match.com at 9 million downloads.

At iovation, we’ve seen the percentage of mobile traffic triple within the dating industry over the last three years. In 2012, mobile traffic accounted for 14 percent of overall volume, in 2013 it rose to 31 percent, and in 2014 that number jumped again to 46 percent.

Of course, both mobile and browser-based dating traffic are equally at risk for fraud. As mobile traffic continues to grow, and fraudsters try to take over accounts at login, or create new fake accounts with stolen identities, it’s imperative that businesses protect their mobile apps. Where the traffic goes, we’ve seen consistently, that fraud will follow.

Top 5 Frauds in Digital Dating

The top five types of fraud iovation sees in digital dating (mobile and web) are:

  • Scams/solicitations—User takes advantage of the community to promote nonexistent services and products, or to solicit services from legitimate members
  • Spam—Person is caught sending unsolicited bulk messages via emails, postings, and instant messages to promote other products, websites or companies
  • Credit card fraud—Cybercriminal uses a fake or stolen credit card to create multiple or premium accounts to scam users
  • Profile misrepresentation—Fraudster posts inaccurate identity information in a profile and/or uses bogus profile photos.
  • Identity mining—Scammer makes any attempt to illegitimately acquire personal information from other users through means of phishing, keystroke logging, creating fake business websites, and other methods

According to Statistic Brain, 41.2 million Americans, who were single and actively looking for a partner, used an online dating site or mobile dating app at one point or another. That percentage has undoubtedly grown and will continue to rise. What will also increase is the need for the dating industry to stay a step ahead of fraud in the mobile channel. Solutions that offer a frictionless user experience but accurately authenticate a customer’s identity and stop fraud will be essential to keeping the dating game safe and growing.