Safer online dating: City Digital’s services are part of Nettideittiturva

The collaboration between E-kontakti and Treffit24 with Nettideittiturva helps create safer dating experiences for all parties involved.

What is Nettideittiturva?

At the core of Nettideittiturva (Love Scam Support -project) is the aim to provide assistance and support for individuals who have fallen victim to romance scams, as well as for their loved ones and even the perpetrators of such scams.

Romance scamming is a form of financial fraud where the perpetrator aims to deceive individuals into sending them money. Victims of romance scams often believe they are in a (long-distance) romantic relationship, when in reality, they are communicating with a criminal or a group of criminals. Romance scams represent a significant form of criminal activity, with Finland alone losing €9 million to such scams in 2022. (Source: Nettideittiturva: Information on the phenomenon of romance scams)

Nettideittiturva collaborates extensively with various organizations, including Victim Support Finland and the Police University College, as well as City Digital’s dating services E-kontakti and Treffit24.

The professionalization of scams is evident in online dating services

Siiri Aarnio, the product manager for E-kontakti and Suomi24, has been working in the dating service industry for a long time and has observed the evolution of scams over time. Collaborating with Nettideittiturva has been beneficial in this regard.

“Just five years ago, scammers were easy to identify. Typically, it was possible to quickly determine the origin of their profile pictures, their texts contained poor Finnish, and there were suspicious links in them,” Siiri explains.

“Nowadays, scams have become increasingly sophisticated. With technology, it’s even possible to convincingly scam during video calls.”

Dating services and Nettideittiturva: diverse collaboration

In addition to providing a service where victims of romance scams and their loved ones can seek help, Nettideittiturva also conducts related training, spreads information, and works to reduce the stigma associated with romance scams.

The teams at E-kontakti and Treffit24 participate in Nettideittiturva’s steering group meetings twice a year. These meetings involve exchanging current information on the latest methods of romance scams and improving strategies for identifying scams.

Nettideittiturva also shares important information on how to best support individuals who have been scammed. The teams at E-kontakti and Treffit24, in turn, can share their own experiences regarding safety measures in their services.

As part of the collaboration, Nettideittiturva has also been given an expert badge for Suomi24 discussions. This badge enable Nettideittiturva’s experts to offer expertise and support to community members discussing romance scams.

How is safety prioritized at E-kontakti?

E-kontakti places a high value on safety within its service, and efforts to further enhance safety are considered extremely important.

One crucial method for maintaining a safe service is the thorough review of every profile added to the platform by the moderation team. Profiles are scrutinized for any suspicious signs, and profiles are removed as necessary.

Safety is further enhanced by the fact that E-kontakti’s customer support is available every day, including weekends.

Additionally, E-kontakti actively collaborates with authorities, and information is readily provided upon request. While this may seem obvious, international players in the dating industry often do not cooperate as directly, if at all.

Joy in online dating in the future too

Online dating is a great way to establish connections, and the vast majority of users encounter sincere and warm-hearted individuals on these platforms. Although romance scams are rare, their impact can be devastating, underscoring the continued need to invest in the safety of these services.

Siiri from E-kontakti and Suomi24 has only positive experiences from collaborating with Nettideittiturva and believes that this collaboration will continue for a long time.

“This is an incredibly interesting topic, and it has been rewarding to be involved in the project,” Siiri expresses her gratitude.

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