UNC student says her identity was stolen on dating app Tinder

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tinder-slideCHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A UNC student says her photos were used to create a fake profile on the dating app Tinder – and she’s starting a campaign to track down “Kim.”

Tinder is a location-based dating app for iOS and Android that uses social graph information from Facebook. Users can browse profiles and “like” or “dislike” a profile.

Users that mutually “like” each other will be linked through the app.

In a blog post, Kristin Shotwell said she recently found out her photos were being used on the dating app.

Shotwell was walking to class when a friend told her she was in Athens, Ga., and found a girl named “Kim” on Tinder who was using Shotwell’s photos.

A user can link their Tinder account to a Facebook account. Shotwell later discovered there is also a fake Facebook account using her photos.

img_8ds025Shotwell is now on a mission to find “Kim” in Athens, Ga.

Because the app can only search for people based on location, Shotwell is asking people who live near Athens to search for Kim and send her an email if they find her.

The popular dating app has 4 million daily active users and has been recently flooded with fake accounts, apparently used by spam bots and hackers to send malware to users.

If real-life users choose to engage with one of the fake accounts, they are sent a link that asks them to download a game and offers a phone number as a gift.

Here’s a security and privacy guide from BitDefender to help Tinder users.

Tinder has issued a statement about the recent surge in spam accounts:

“We are aware of the accounts in question and are taking the necessary steps to remove them. Ensuring an authentic ecosystem has always been and will continue to be our top priority.”

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