How To Spot A Scammer On A Muslim Marriage App
August 8, 2022
Picture this: you match with someone, they’re crazy attractive…almost too attractive, they’re funny and they just seem to be everything you’ve been looking for. Does it feel too good to be true?
We’re sorry, but it might be. Unfortunately there are people online that will say all the things you want to hear, so that they can take advantage of you. That’s why it’s so important that you take precautions and stay safe on our app.
We work endlessly to ensure the app is a safe space for you all. We’ve added new safety features, and our community team is always there to check your reports, but there are still a few sneaky people that manage to get by and misuse the app. Although this frustrates us all, we have to accept it and make you, our members, aware of the possible (but very rare) dangers on the app, and how to look out for them.
Here are some tips from our Head of Community, Anisa Ameen on how you can stay safe, avoid scammers, and other harmful individuals on the app.
1) Keep the conversation on the app
There’s a reason this point is at the top of our list, it’s because it’s the most important one. Please always keep the conversations on the app so that if you’re speaking to someone and a problem arises, we can quickly help you.
We know it can be tempting to move things off the app, but you need to bear in mind that going off the app makes it a lot more difficult for us to be able to help and get involved. We’ve received numerous complaints from members but as they’ve taken things onto apps like Snapchat where the chat can disappear, it’s been difficult for us to investigate and do anything, as there was no evidence.
We’ve developed a lot of new features just so you don’t have to leave the app, e.g. video and voice calling, voice notes, video notes. These are all features that allow you to get to know your match better. So really you have no reason to leave the app, and if someone wants to quickly move the conversation, it could be a sign they’re not very serious and getting to know you isn't their main priority.
In the worst case, if something went wrong but you kept it on the app, we can easily locate those members, and we’ll have the evidence available to us to block them ASAP.
A more positive reason of why you should keep the conversation on the app: If everything goes well and you get married, we can send you your transcript over, so you’ll always have a memory of that precious first chat.
2) Verify their identity
As mentioned above, we’ve added in features like video calling to make your life easier! Please make sure to use these features to ensure the person you’re speaking to is who they say they are. Although we do check each and every account, there are people that change their profiles after...so just always be aware.
If they’re reluctant for a phone or video call… well that’s definitely a red flag!
3) Be cautious of people who overshare
This is a key point. If someone is immediately oversharing emotional sob stories, such as family members being sick, deaths, stories which don’t add up, you should be wary.
Do not under any circumstance agree to send them any money, especially if you haven’t met them in person or haven’t built a relationship of trust. Trust takes time to build, so if someone is begging you for money and saying “don’t you trust me?”- Don’t feel pressured, trust your instincts - If something feels off, then it probably is. It’s also a good idea to discuss with family and friends if this issue does ever arise.
4) Ask the right questions
When getting to know someone make sure you ask all the right questions - this is always important to establish if your match is serious and is marriage material.
Questions you could ask include:
Ask about their families
Ask about their jobs
Ask what they’re looking for
What role does Islam play in your life?
What is your concept of marriage and what are your expectations?
Don’t turn it into an interrogation though, let it come up within the conversation, see if the credentials on their profile add up, and their story makes sense. If it does then you have nothing to worry about and can get to know your match in peace, but if things aren’t adding up, be sure to email us at [email protected]
5) Don’t rush
When getting to know someone, make sure not to rush the process, and to get your family members involved- let them meet your family so your family are aware of what's going on, or if you’re not ready for that, just tell your friends about your match… make sure to tell someone so you’re not in this alone and have support. The search for a spouse can be exhausting and it’s always nice to have someone to discuss it with.
If you ever feel like something strange is going on with your match, or you feel they’re rushing you into marriage/making a decision, you then have this support network to discuss this with as well.
It’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you, which could lead to you rushing decisions without thinking logically. This is why it’s so important to have the people who know you best involved in the process.
6) Keep a record of any mention of a transaction
On the off chance that your match does ask you for money, or a favour of any sort, make sure to screenshot this and keep a record. If they do it repeatedly you’ll get the gist of what they're really after, and you have the evidence right there to report them and protect others from this member.
7) Do your background checks
If you do take the conversation off muzmatch, be sure to connect with the person on social media which can help with background checking someone who you’re serious about.
Don’t limit yourself to only speaking to someone on telegram or Whatsapp where it may be easier for them to target you for a scam- according to our data, most scammers tend to target victims on Whatsapp - it feels more personal, and everyone tends to use Whatsapp. But it’s a scammers paradise, as they can easily have multiple phone numbers or phones.
8) Don’t overshare
Scammers can be very personable, they’re very good at reading people and understanding those who are more vulnerable, so they can take advantage of them in the future. They make you think you have a connection, when you don’t. That’s why it’s so important you do not overshare information about yourself.
Do not share any personal details, contact details or passwords with anyone who you do not know well and trust. And if they get angry or pressure you to share your details, you need to remove them from your life. If someone respects you they won’t ask for this information, they will respect your boundaries. The reason we say don’t overshare is because they can use this information to steal your identity.
No matter how much you trust someone, always think twice before giving out any details.
9) If you’ve seen their account more than once- report them.
If you’ve seen their profiles repeatedly on the app, it could be a red flag- our community team is very vigilant on the duplicate profile side so if you’re seeing the same face as a new member/ diff name/ ethnicity you need to report this. As well as this, it breaks the rules of the app, as each member is only allowed one profile.
There is always the chance that it could be someone’s really old profile, but it’s always worth a double check with us (report them on the app, or email us at [email protected])
10) Protect yourself and be smart when getting to know someone
Always remember to protect yourself when getting to know someone, follow the steps we have mentioned above and make sure to have a family member or friend aware of everything that’s happening. Stay vigilant and be wary of anyone attempting to gaslight or emotionally blackmail you into progressing the relationship more quickly than you are comfortable with.
We know this all seems scary, but this rarely does happen, we just want you to be safe online and always know you can come to us for anything. If you ever feel uncomfortable or feel something isn’t right, we are here to help. You can always reach us on [email protected]
It’s Time For Muslims To Change The Narrative
I’m sure by now we’re all used to the negative way Muslims are often portrayed in the media, the negative spin that’s always being placed on any story involving us. muzmatch ...
Lockdown Eid: Tips on Spending Eid at Home
For many of us around the world, Eid is going to be a lonelier experience this year. With most countries still in somewhat of a lockdown, we've got to adapt like we did for Ramadan...