Photo via PBS
We’re sure you’ve heard plenty of stories of people getting scammed or “catfished” online, especially when it comes to dating apps.
But ever wondered how many people actually fall victim to these scams?
Asia’s first and largest dating company Lunch Actually released the results from its Annual Singles Dating Survey 2020, with participation from over 3,500 singles in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia, and it seems the numbers are actually quite worrisome.
These findings provide insights into how singles navigated dating during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has changed their mindset and expectation towards their potential dates and the future of dating.
“This year is a truly unprecedented year. For most of the singles in the countries we surveyed, they have been complying to various movement restriction orders which prevents them from going on a date and meeting new people,” said Violet Lim, CEO and Co-Founder of Lunch Actually.
“However, our survey shows that the pandemic has increased their desire to find love because it made them realize the importance of having a partner in life. And as a result, their behavior and expectations are changing,” she added.
Here are TWO key findings from Malaysia:
- One in two singles have encountered scammers on dating apps
The study found that 25% of Malaysian singles are seeing more fake profiles. And while scammers have always been around even before the pandemic, the usage of dating apps have increased with 40% of the singles surveyed sharing that they have only started using dating apps this year.
- 54% of singles believe video dating is here to stay and are willing to give it a try
Video dating is another new trend that emerged during the pandemic, and many singles agree that it’s a great alternative form of dating as we embrace the new norm.
Male respondents said that it’s a new and fun experience for them and their dates (79%), while more female respondents said they like it because it helps them filter out the people that they want to meet in real life (54%).
Also, 74% of respondents who’ve tried video dating said they’d do it again.
Photo via Freepik
“While the pandemic has brought on new challenges when it comes to dating, it has brought on new opportunities that are ultimately helping them in their search for love, such as video dating.
“Even though it won’t replace face-to-face date, video dating solidified its place as a new stage in courtship, enabling singles to save time and get to know each other better before committing more time to meet in person regardless of distance,” Violet shared.
As there’s no telling how the pandemic is going to progress here in Malaysia over the next few months, it’s probably inevitable that using dating apps is the new way of finding that special someone.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that there still are people falling victim to love scams.
In 2012, 814 cases were reported with losses amounting to about RM33.61million, but the number of cases increased last year to 1,095 with losses totaling RM35.69 million.
Not to mention the network of Nigerian love scams that were uncovered here over the past couple of years.
Laws and regulations specifically pertaining to love scams and online dating need to be drawn up.
People need to be aware of this problem, and romance scam victims should help create that awareness among others with this issue.
Keep informed, guys!
by Kyle Roshen Jacob