Fake profiles on online dating sites
The scam typically works like this: A con artist, usually based in an Internet cafe overseas, will lift a photo from Facebook or another social networking site.They will painstakingly craft a fake profile and begin targeting people that are looking for love.“JDI Dating used fake profiles to make people think they were hearing from real love interests and to trick them into upgrading to paid memberships,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.“Adding insult to injury, users were charged automatically to renew their subscriptions – often without their consent.” According to a complaint filed by the FTC, JDI Dating and William Mark Thomas operate a worldwide dating service via 18 websites, including cupidswand.com, and On a false test profile set up by the documentary makers for “James”, 46, from Glasgow, received nearly 500 messages in two months.One perfect match was “Kazb”, who was using a photograph of Karen Bartke, an actress appearing in several prime-time dramas, including Monarch of the Glen.The defendants offered a free plan that allowed users to set up a profile with personal information and photos.As soon as a new user set up a free profile, he or she began to receive messages that appeared to be from other members living nearby, expressing romantic interest or a desire to meet.
Panorama purchased the data of 10,000 people from Usdate – a company which sells profiles to sites - and found it included photographs of Brad Pitt, Michael Caine and Rick Stein.
It turns out that the crippling fear of an awkward first date is the least of your troubles.
A fraud is sweeping online dating sites, according to a special report in this month’s issue of Glamour Magazine.
He said: "We'd steal someone's identity through say My Space or something, we'd take someone from a totally different country, ie. “We'd take the person's photos online and we'd start knocking out messages.
It was all fake and under the pretence that it was real." Global Personals said that since 2010 it has ensured that the site is free of pseudo accounts.
It’s not as simple as some online dating services claim it is.