StaySafeOnline Series #2: Fake dating not only about the scammers

One of the many fake profiles online purporting to be Captain Thomas Lindegaard. All images used are with his kind permission.

Is your online dating blowing up or imploding?  Did  you join a great site that seemed to have lots of promise when you had the free basic version, with almost instant messages from a really cute guy or a really cute chick?  You hastily signed up for the premium version and you replied with your best chat up lines and then – crickets!

Was it something you said?  Something you didn’t say?  Or was your potential crush simply a lure?  A favourable profile designed to get you interested and believing you had a chance of meeting someone great – and so you signed up and handed over a not insignificant amount of money to be able to exchange messages.

Not only that … but even though you handed over a bunch of money to be able to exchange these messages, if you want to get ahead of the game and be highlighted, or if you want to send more than a couple of messages – then there are all these “upgrades” that have to be paid for.

One of the worst sites for this, and one which is actually a paid promotion on Facebook, is Dating.com click on the link for sure, but whatever you do – DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT sign up to this site.  I did – on the premise that a paid promotion on Facebook would lead me to a great site that I had not heard of before.  Boy was I in for a ride.  All these cute guys were messaging me – oh my – and after a couple of message exchanges, I then had to PAY to receive more.  Each interaction with a new guy was FREE.  The pattern repeated – once a couple of messages had gone by, it was a further fee to read more.  Not only is this a really expensive site – I am pretty sure the majority of profiles on there were models, fakes etc etc etc.  If you don’t believe me, just read these reviews.

So, back to the original purpose of this post

It seems, dear reader, that it is not only the fakers and scammers that we have to look out for on social media and dating sites.  Dating sites have admitted to adding fake profiles.  In fact, when challenged on this, one site retorted that it was stated in their disclaimer that some profiles may be fictitious.  Now who on earth is going to sign up to a paid membership site, looking for love, dates or hookups for that matter, when the site not only advocates fake profiles, but actually creates them?  Not many I would hazard a guess, which is why such a statement is buried in the small print.  Not only are they duping their patrons, I would suggest that such a disclaimer is designed to ward off any legal challenge on the basis of trades description infringement.

When challenged, this is what one website site had to say:

they pointed to their small print disclaimer acknowledging that “some” profiles may be fictitious

One intrepid web surfer came across this post for site Elance.com, which provides outsourcing services for freelancers:

“Need 500 unique dating profiles included. English must be readable and understandable. Include age, interests, and what your looking for in a date.3-8 sentences. Sample profile included.”    Source

If you check out the source link, you will see that the author goes on to reveal that a company called Jetplace was ordered (by a judge) to own up to adding fake profiles to dating site redhotpie.

It turns out this one site owned up to the following:

  • The site owner added 1371 fake profiles
  •  Fake members messaged real ones

In this case, the Judge ordered the site to own up and make refunds to the patrons of the site.

In another case, it was the site’s staff that were messaging members.

It is not only the patrons of such sites that are affected, however, as the point below illustrates only too well.

It was reported a model sued Match.com claiming that her photo has been used in hundreds of fake accounts without her permission.

This is a salutary warning to us all … if the person contacting you is super cute, then maybe it isn’t that they are looking for personality over looks (let’s face it … most of us scrub up ok when we make the effort, but we are not going to incite a Helen-of-Troy-esk clamour for our attention).

We all need to be more discerning even in the presence of a striking photo.

So, what is the answer?  In the modern age, there does not seem to be a good alternative to online dating as it is now the norm.  Particulary, if like I, you are a little older.  Many of the sites favour those under 40.

It is also worth noting that many of the major sites own more than one.  So for example, if you are signed up to Match.com, and you also sign up to Ourtime which is designed for the older member – you will effectively be signing up – in my opinion – to the same site.  It can be no coincidence that many of the sites have the same profiles that you have seen before.  If they weren’t a good match for you on one site – they really aren’t going to morph into super match on another.

What is needed here – is an authentic site that is not controlled by algorithms.  Potential suitors need to have things in common sure – but it ignores the old adage of opposites attract.

Of late, I have attempted (with little success) to organise some real life singles events.  It seems that online dating and the constant repetition is so ingrained that we have forgotten how to date in the time honoured way that is now declining, it seems, at a rate of knots.

I did muse over the possibility of creating my own dating site –  nice idea – but not sure it would take off if I can’t even entice people to a cool night out, near Christmas, for cocktails!

In one of the posts cited above, the author talks about one guy who experimented with a bot.  All messages he received were answered by this bot – I’m thinking of contacting him so that I can have by own and leave my bot to tap out the same old tired lines over and over and over and over ……

Well, that is all I have time for just now, but I will make sure to post again.  If anything here resonates with you, please do like, comment and share.

Later

Carol xOxO

Website www.FakeDatingDotCom.net

Facebook @FakeDatingDotCom

As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.  He can be contacted via Facebook Messenger @CaptainThomasLindegaard to report any profiles that have contacted you using his images.  You can also check out his Fake Alert page on Facebook by clicking the link.

 

 

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