It seems like every single app you download now needs your phone number. I mean, that’s very flattering but I actually already have several apps on the go…
Okay, that’s not what the apps need your phone number for. No one from Tinder HQ is going to call and ask you out. Tinder actually just uses your number to send a verification code so you can sign into the app for the first time, and also from new devices.
So, if by ‘Is it safe to use a phone number on Tinder?’ you mean is it safe to give your cell number to the app, yes it is. You won’t get any promotional messages, nor any messages from a third party.
And Tinder take their security pretty seriously, especially these days, with several new security features in the works at Tinder both last year and this.
However, maybe you’re asking whether or not it’s safe to give out your number on Tinder. This is a little more complicated, and is really down to your own discretion. I mean, people used to hand their numbers out to pretty much any hottie they saw in the street/subway/bar/movie theatre/insert venue here, at least if ‘80s and ‘90s movies are to be believed.
Then again, that was likely the number of a home phone is a shared apartment, or maybe the pay phone in the restaurant downstairs. A cell number is a little more personal. So, let’s think about it carefully.
Should you give out your cell number on Tinder?
Don’t put your cell number anywhere even semi-public. This includes your Tinder profile. I know you like adventure, but inviting every weirdo on the biggest dating app in the world to call you at 2am (red flag – who calls? Just text like a normal person!) is a bit beyond adventure, verging on idiocy.
Of course, if you’re really getting on with a match and you feel comfortable with them having your number so you can start talking about meeting up soon, go for it. You could also connect with them on a messaging app, sure, but most people use Whatsapp and that’s linked to your number anyway.
Remember, if you don’t quite feel comfortable but you need to move the chat off Tinder you can also give them your Snapchat or Insta handle first.
Overall, I would always advise caution when giving out your cell number but if you’re planning to meet up with a match then a cell number can be useful.
Just follow your gut on this one, and don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help work out whether your match is perfect and the one, or definitely trying to catfish you.
To be honest, I imagine it’s somewhere in between but emotions can run high when you have that new match buzz!
If you’re worried about potential scams though, let’s take a look at the kinds of scams that happen on Tinder so you can be aware.
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Are There Scams on Tinder?
Catfishing scammers may well try to lure you off of Tinder and into texting or emailing way quicker than would seem normal or comfortable (okay now that’s a genuine red flag – no one EMAILS a potential date.
This is a 90s Romcom thing like writing the number of the downstairs payphone on a girl’s arm in her eyeliner pencil. It is literally the plot of You’ve Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks).
You should also be careful of unsolicited links sent to you by matches, especially matches you haven’t already been vibing with, as these could be malware. Again, this is internet survival 101 stuff, just don’t forget it all as soon as you think you might be in with a chance of a date!
Another old favorite is a woman (usually) asking for more personal info – that email again, for example, or, more believably at least, a cell number – to send nudes to. I know there’s a saying that goes, never look a gift horse in the mouth but there’s another that goes, don’t be an idiot. Wait, no, some things are too good to be true.
A more modern scam (well done scammers) is based around a match asking you to verify your identity and providing you with a link she claims will allow you to do that. This should be pretty much sorted by Tinder actually launching verification, though, because there’s no need to click on dodge links to get the job done!
Oh, and this one is a little too close to comfort for me – there have been reports of fake Tinder gurus offering advice. I was so shook by it, I wrote an article. If you feel like you ever need help taking your online dating game up a notch, make sure to only seek the help of legit dating coaches.
Obviously, there will always be strange new scams out there. The rules are quite simple though, and if you think something seems suspicious then just get out of the situation.