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UK consumers lack confidence in the accuracy of online dating profiles

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Just half of UK consumers are confident that the personal details on someone’s dating profile are true, a worrying indicator of trust levels in the online dating industry. These figures come from a new survey of over 2,000 adults by Yoti and YouGov into trust and identity in the online world.

Interestingly, men are twice as confident as women when it comes to taking a virtual conversation into the physical world. 27% of men compared to just 13% of women would be confident when meeting up with someone they had met via an online dating service, without using an identity app before meeting.

People are struggling to trust each other given the financial and physical risks that come with meeting someone anonymously, whether these meetings remain virtual or move to the real world. Online dating is a regular target for scammers: latest figures from Action Fraud reveal that the number of online dating scam victims reached a record high in 2016, and cost users £39m.

“Consumers should not be taking a 50/50 chance when it comes to meeting people face to face from online dating sites,” said Robin Tombs, CEO, Yoti. “Many genuine daters assume the platform they are using has checked people are who they say they are, but this usually isn’t the case.

“Simply put, there is often no easy way for people to know who they are dealing with on peer to peer platforms. The dating industry is starting to make headway on the issue and is constantly on the lookout for new ways to offer a great user experience AND a safe platform. Happy online daters and a positive industry reputation are the best way to ensure this modern phenomenon continues successfully.”

The report looked at various aspects of trust and identity within peer to peer transactions such as the sharing economy and online trades community. The study also finds that one in five people are not making use of platforms like Airbnb to rent a property because they are worried about scams.

18% of people have not met up with a person to exchange goods from an online marketplace because they don’t like dealing with strangers and 39% of people would not be confident that the personal details on a buyer or seller’s online profile were true.

You can download the full report here.

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