Ruby Radar uses biometric ID verification to stop online dating scammers

Service compares members’ photos to their drivers licence using biometrics

Australian online dating website, Ruby Radar, has used a biometric identity service called My Verified ID to stop scammers from creating fake profiles on the site.

My Verified ID is a platform that lets users authenticate themselves through the use of face biometric recognition. The user only needs to be verified once and can re-use the verified authentication to sign-in to a network.

Ruby Radar owner Trudy Gilbert said that members who want to use the security service upload a copy of their drivers’ licence to the system. They also have to take a photo of their face using their computer’s camera.

“It [My Verified ID] will compare the photo of your face with the drivers’ licence photo. You get a My Verified ID logo which you can put on your profile. Any visitor who comes to your profile page can see that you have taken the steps to verify yourself,” said Gilbert.

“It gives the [Ruby Radar] member who has paid for the service peace of mind that they are talking to a real, verified member.”

According to Gilbert, online scammers in the dating space are prevalent and it’s “very traumatic” for people who go on a dating website to be approached by scammers.

“We specialise in dating services for professionals and business owners who would be a hot target for scammers because they have a high disposal income,” she said.

Prior to the introduction of My Verified ID in November 2013, Ruby Radar had problems with scammers pretending to be single and asking members for help to get funds for a sick relative.

Approximately 42 per cent of its members currently use the service.

As part of National Consumer Fraud Week in July, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned people to be wary of online scammers who try to win people’s trust before asking them for personal details or money.

Scammers will say anything to avoid a face-to-face meeting, whether it is in person or over the Internet via a video chat. If the person refuses to do a face-to-face meeting, break off contact, advised the ACCC.

Scam artists steal photos and profiles from genuine LinkedIn or Facebook accounts to try and fool prospective victims.

“Run a Google Image search on photos and search words in their description to check if they’re the real deal,” said an ACCC spokesperson at the time.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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