Several Irish men have reported someone initiating a new chat on the dating app, which asks for an “LGID.” The scam artist then shows a picture of a battered face, explaining he got attacked and wants to protect himself. He then explains that an LGID is a special kind of registry for LGBTQ people to find out if someone has a history of physical assault, and sends a link to his victim.
When the victim clicks the link, it redirects him to a professional-looking website that will screen out potential offenders. The catch: in order to be declared “clean,” a patron must provide vital information, as well as a 50-Euro payment via credit card. The website also attempts to allay fears by noting “50% of all payments will be donated to LGBT harassment victims.”
Of course, there’s no such thing as an LGID, and the website merely scams users out of money. It also collects personal details that could be used for blackmail or other forms of harassment in the future. A number of cybersecurity firms, including ESET Ireland, have declared the entire website “a scam” and caution users not to fall for its carefully orchestrated scheme.
The scheme is just the latest in an ongoing series of scams and crimes perpetrated using Grindr. Of late, the company which owns the popular networking app has come under fire for not doing enough to protect user data, and for being owned by a homophobic Chinese company.