Grindr users complain that ads auto-dial £1 a second scam phone numbers

Joseph McCormick January 30, 2015
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A number of users have complained that third-party adverts on Grindr were automatically dialling scam premium rate numbers costing as much as £1 a second.

The third-party ads displayed on Grindr, now withdrawn, were displayed to UK Grindr users, and dialled the premium rate number without any prompt from users.

One user Tom, told the Register that even if cancelled quickly, “you still get hit with the connection charge.”

The number linked to the complaints also revealed another, relating to Grindr’s premium platform ‘Xtra’, saying the number was dialled after pop-up ads featuring the dating app.

The amounts charged by the scam number ranged from £1 a second, to some users paying up to £65.

A statement from Grindr to PinkNews read: “Grindr is aware of this issue and takes it very seriously. Ensuring that our users have the best experience possible is one of Grindr’s top priorities and we will not stand for users having to deal with malicious advertisements.

“We have both direct advertisers as well third party ad networks which supply advertising to the app. The ads you reference were served by one of these third party ad networks. While we do have a number of safeguards in place to monitor for ads on third party networks, we serve billions of ads on our network, so there is the occasional chance that ads like this may appear.

“In this instance, we immediately reached out to our third party networks to have these malicious ads removed.”

Gay social apps Grindr and Hornet last year confirmed that they had disabled ads which were redirecting users to gambling and gaming apps, including William Hill.

Users of the apps previously voiced annoyance at the auto-redirect, which was taking them out of the app, and into the iTunes store, to the William Hill betting app.

Related topics: Advertising, Grindr, number, scam, third party

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