Utah ranked 4th for ‘Most Likely to be Catfished’ amid online dating surge

Aug 10, 2020, 1:59 PM | Updated: 2:17 pm
Utah lawmakers want to require dating apps to warn their users on dangers of online dating....
Utah lawmakers are working to make dating apps safer. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Love can hurt, but so do online catfish scams. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept everyone inside, several dating apps reported surges in online activity — prompting warnings from the FBI to be wary of potential romance fraud. 

 Utah sits in the Top 5 states in the country for “Most Likely to Get Catfished,” according to a report by HighSpeedInternet.com. The Beehive State ranks fourth for its likelihood to be catfished — or falling victim to an online scam by a fake profile — with an average of $19,926 lost per victim. 

This puts Utah just behind Nevada, Wyoming and Washington — which topped the list. 

The rankings come after warnings from the FBI of money mule schemes, which became increasingly prevalent as more Americans began working from home. These “money mules” would prey on fear and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic — with scams promising easy money through work-from-home deals and investments. 

However, these warnings also apply to online scams through dating apps, which saw a surge in usage during various stay-at-home orders. 

The dating app Bumble reported a 21% message increase, with larger increases in areas with higher numbers of coronavirus cases. Similary, Tinder reported a 10-15% increase per week, according to findings from Online Catfish

Experts say there are several ways to avoid a catfish scam, and it starts with being cautious from the moment you connect with someone online. Fraud experts say to be wary when you encounter these circumstances: 

  • You connect with someone who is unbelievably attractive, rich, single or “has a great job”
  • They ask you for money
  • They ask invasive questions about your personal life (i.e. about family, friends, life) 
  • They claim to be from another country, but promise to visit — although excuses always get in the way

If you can’t tell whether you’re being catfished, there are other ways to keep your information safe even while connecting: 

  • Don’t disclose personal information online — wait to make that decision once you meet in person
  • Never send money to someone you haven’t met
  • Never reveal information that could be used as online security questions
  • File a police report if they ask for money 
  • Block them and don’t respond to their messages

Today’s Top Stories


A brush fire started in Saratoga Springs last night. Photo Credit: Saratoga Springs Fire Department...
Devin Oldroyd

Fire officials say aerial firework caused brush fire in Saratoga Springs

An aerial firework caused a brush fire in Saratoga Springs Sunday night.
16 hours ago
Photo credit: American Fork Police Department...
Devin Oldroyd

Silver alert activated in American Fork, missing possibly in Wendover

A silver alert has been activated for 71-year-old Gary Lee Cordon. Dial 801-794-3970 to contact the American Fork Police Department.
16 hours ago
The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville. Photo credit: John Wilson....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire starts in Centerville overnight, evacuation order lifted

The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville.
16 hours ago
Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening. Photo Credit: Tooele City's Faceboo...
Devin Oldroyd

Tooele City releases fireworks restrictions map

Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening.
2 days ago
Photo credit: UDOT...
Devin Oldroyd

Semi-truck rolls on I-80 at U.S.-40, Silver Creek Junction

What caused the semi-truck to roll is still under investigation at this time. All lanes in the area have been cleared and are operational.
2 days ago
Image from the scene of the shooting on South Major street in Salt Lake City (Photo courtesy of SLC...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: SLCPD arrest two in connection to Sunday’s Ballpark neighborhood shooting

Police received multiple calls regarding shots fired near 1485 South Major Street at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday July 3, 2022. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah ranked 4th for ‘Most Likely to be Catfished’ amid online dating surge