How is AI affecting online dating? How to stay safe

A woman looking for love uses AI for online dating.

With more than half (59%) of people considering using AI as their online dating coach, looking for love is more complicated than ever before.

While romance scams are nothing new, the inclusion of AI in online dating has only made it easier to fool those hoping to find love. According to Norton’s new global survey, daters from all over the world invest an average of seven hours per week and over $140 throughout their lifetime on dating apps. With all of this effort and investment in online dating, it’s no surprise that many are now turning to AI as their dating wingman to help guide them and up their chances of matching with a potential partner.

Whether you’re currently using dating apps or planning to dive back into them this summer, it’s never too late to learn how to keep yourself safe when online dating. Let's take a look at what this latest global survey—which examined the online dating habits of 13,000 adults across 13 countries—discovered about finding love online in the age of AI.

Using AI for Dating Coach

For the love of AI

With AI readily available to most, many people no longer need to look to their friends to help them create profiles or figure out what to say to their potential matches: the data found that 64% of people are interested in using AI to write pick up lines/conversation starters, 61% for dating app profile development, and 56% for photo enhancement.

Current Online Daters are considering using AI to support their Dating Life

On the flipside, Norton’s data also shows that one in four (26%) people report having been targeted by a dating scam, with more than half (56%) falling victim to the scams. Additionally, nearly one third (32%) of people who have used an online dating app or service reported they’d been catfished. It’s clear to see that the continual advancement of AI technology is making it more and more difficult to detect who is real online, making the already difficult world of online dating harder than ever. It’s no wonder people have trouble finding love online. People say there are “plenty of fish in the sea,” but with the use of AI, that sea may have just gotten a little bigger and more complicated.

One in Four Report That They Have Been Targeted by a Dating Scam

Stay safe while online dating with Norton Genie

No matter how you choose to date online, with or without the use of AI, it’s important to educate yourself and leverage digital safety tools like Norton Genie. Powered by AI, Norton Genie is a free scam detection tool that can review suspicious texts, emails or web links, and confirm if they’re malicious. 

Additionally, here are few ways to stay safe from online dating scams that may be enhanced by AI:

  1. Ask for a phone call or video chat to help verify the identity of the person that you’re talking to. If they protest or make excuses, it is best to err on the side of caution. If they agree, check for strange effects like unnatural facial expressions or hair that doesn't look real, as that could be an indication of a deepfake.
  2. Do your homework on your potential sweetheart. Check their social media for bare profiles or no connections. You can also reverse image search to see if their photos are on other sites by right clicking their photo. Click “Copy.” Visit and paste the image. This can help you determine if the photo was enhanced by AI or if they stole their photos from someone else.
  3. Don’t visit links sent to you by people you haven’t talked to for very long. AI scams target people based on their interest and online presence, and scammers will try to get their target to click on links, usually leading to porn or webcam sites, or even malicious sites that download malware onto your computer. Whenever anyone sends you a link, it’s better to be safe than sorry by uploading a screenshot into Norton Genie to confirm if the link is malicious.
  4. Be cautious about what you upload or post online. The more scammers know about you, the more they know how to lure you, especially with the help of AI. Consider keeping your dating profiles anonymous by using different usernames on sites or even different emails to protect your privacy. Additionally, it may be a good idea to reevaluate your online presence outside of dating profiles, like on Instagram, X, and TikTok. Scammers will likely be able to find more details about you by connecting your dating profile to the rest of your accounts.
  5. If you notice that the conversation you’re having seems a bit off, or the person isn’t answering your questions directly, chances are it’s an AI bot. Scammers create fake profiles that are run by programs called bots. Their objective is to get you to click on a link that will lead to either porn, malware or scam you out of credit card information. It’s quite easy to spot a bot, as they have a set of predetermined “canned” responses.

While AI isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and neither are cybercriminals, these tips will make online dating a little easier and safer for everyone on their journey to find love.

To learn more about the findings, check out our new 2024 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Online Dating.

About the 2024 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Online Dating

The study was conducted online within 13 countries worldwide (USA, UK, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand) by Dynata on behalf of Gen from March 6 to March 24, 2023 among 13,107 adults ages 18 and older, with a minimum of 1,000 respondents per country. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, and region, to be nationally representative.

Leyla Bilge
  • Leyla Bilge
  • Director of Scam Research Labs
Leyla Bilge is a Director of Scam Research Labs at Gen. She specializes in data analysis for cyber security, DNS-based malicious URL detection, predictive analytics, cyber insurance, and web privacy.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


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