Guest Editorial: Helping To Avoid Heartbreak

Newest Arizona Law helps people date smarter and save them from a date with the fraud department

By Valley Girl

Dating during the time of advancing technology can be a challenge for most individuals to find their next whirlwind romance. But then add in the fact that anyone can sign up on dating sites, even under an alias, creates a cesspool for scams. To combat this very issue Arizona lawmakers have passed a new bill that aims to keep users of dating apps safe from online scammers.

The state Senate approved safety protocols that allow dating platforms to notify members when one of the people they have been dm-ing with is banned from the site because of a suspected scam. Fraudulent activity on dating sites has become an epidemic on the rise. According to Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman in an interview with Daily Independent; “Arizonans lost about $8 million in 2018 to these kinds of online dating scams.” And today, more people are falling victim to because of the pandemic limiting in-person interactions.

Current dating sites like have preliminary settings that enable them to monitor messaging that alerts if currency transactions take place in messaging through the site. Scammers will lure people to other forms of communication in order to bypass this safety feature. Other forms include social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even the traditional route of texting or phone calls.

Through passing this bill the goal is to lessen the risk of scams by minimizing the chance of these types of users luring victims off of the sites. Ultimately, HB 2396 will require the dating service to reach out within 24 hours to anybody that has been in contact with a potential scammer. The victims would be informed that the person they were in contact with will be flagged and subjected to “fraud ban”. Disclosed information provided user would also include the person’s username and other identifying information to help the potential victim identify who is trying to scam them in the first place.

Arizona legislators are working in favor of the people with that preventive steps taken to protect citizens on dating sites. Altering people and informing them of the potential risk of talking to certain people on dating sites eliminates the liability of the services as well. Educating the public and putting these types of laws into place help residents move closer to safer decision-making. And in turn, the law would aid in eliminating the progression of predators scamming those with wholesome intentions simply looking for love.