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WARNING: These Grindr profiles are actually robots trying to steal your info

Joseph McCormick August 11, 2015

Users of apps like Grindr could be putting their personal information at risk, as bots are being used to add viruses to users’ devices. Warning: Some NSFW language below

Several PinkNews readers in the UK have reported conversations with what they thought were real guys, only to realise that they were bots.

An Internet bot, also known as a bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. In this instance the software would lure users to a malicious web address in an attempt to install a virus on the device being used.

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Users pointed out that one way to spot a bot is that their height is often listed as under 3 foot

The bots, after sometimes convincingly carrying out a conversation, try to lure the user into clicking on a spam link to a fake webcam site.

Some readers wrote in to point out that the bots often have a very small number listed under height, usually just over two feet. Others tested the sophistication of the conversation the bots were capable of by saying their penis had fallen off, or that their mother had just died.

One user said he rarely used Grindr but that he had been contacted by a bot each time he had logged on in recent months.

He told PinkNews: “It’s not a natural conversation flow – so it seems supicious but equally it its convincing enough to be real.”

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One Twitter user questioned why, if trying to convince Grindr users a bot was a real man, would they name him Herbert.

The reader, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had received the same set of messages more than once, and that he realised he was not speaking to a real person when he began receiving responses not lining up with what he said.

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One Twitter user tried an unusual method to discover that the guy was not real

“When you get it the second time – you’re like ‘what?! -I’m sure I’ve had these messages before'”, he said.

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The reader confirmed that he was talking to a bot after he sent the same message over and over and got the same responses each time.

The bot invites users to click on a link to a fake webcam site link, which installs a virus on some devices.

A Grindr spokesman told PinkNews: “Grindr is definitely aware of spambot activity and security improvements are a top priority for us.  In fact, we devote significant engineering resources and expertise to addressing the spambot issue.  We use automated tools to detect spambots, and our team of moderators diligently track and ban these kinds of spam profiles.

“At the end of the day, education and information remain an important defense against spambots – and Grindr notifies our users with broadcast messages on this topic while actively discouraging users from clicking on spam profiles and links. We know that companies like ours can never be complacent about spambots – and want to assure users that we have more tools in development – including authentication and authorization tools — that we believe will significantly reduce the spambot issue.”

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