Scam Dating Apps Use Pornographic Videos to Bolster Premium Subscriptions

Written by Dominic Whitlock

A number of fake Chinese ‘dating’ apps have been accused of luring in new premium subscribers by using pornographic videos to promote the services.

The unnamed products targeted single men in India who had already downloaded the app. They then played the users videos of nude and semi-nude women before then forcing them to pay for a subscription to access further content.

However, once the person had paid they were unable to match with any other users. Instead, they were only able to view live video broadcasts and send money to the streamers.

Police in the Indian city of Hyderabad claimed that no victims came forward to report the scam, potentially due to the embarrassment of being tricked by the pornographic videos. 

They only uncovered the issue once it was mentioned on a charge sheet relating to an illegal online gambling circle operated by ‘Beijing T Power Company’.  

A spokesperson from Hyderabad police told Times of India: “Though it is a dating app, it will not facilitate the user to hook up with someone on a date. It is about sharing porn content. Many Indians paid thousands to watch live streaming and these Chinese companies made [tens of millions] of rupees.”

At the beginning of September, more than 100 Chinese apps were banned from Indian app stores, potentially due to their affiliation with the country and its government. Along with several other dating apps, Tantan was among the blacklisted brands.

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