A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.
Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.
But as I learned at Ok Cupid, men don’t necessarily end up dating young women, even if they think they’re gorgeous.
Men on the site tend to message women closer to their own age; very few men over 30 actually reach out to 20-year-old women.
While this has led to dates, relationships and marriages around the globe, it has also been a boon for enterprising researchers — providing huge datasets chronicling real world behavior.
Psychological scientists have been studying attraction, love, and romantic relationships for decades, but online matching and speed dating have given researchers unprecedented opportunity to explore who’s attracted to whom and why.
This study also found that the narrative self-descriptive sections of the profiles played a key role in attractiveness, but the fixed choice sections of the profiles (where users have to pick from a specific set of descriptors, i.e., “Have children now,” “Want children someday,” “Don’t want children,” smoker/non-smoker, etc.) only minimally affected attractiveness ratings.
One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.
But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.
These algorithms take personal information, such as your interests, and push the data through a computer to calculate a couple’s degree of compatibility (or lack of).
Services like Gene Partner offer DNA tests to check for genetic compatibility, while Ok Cupid’s matching algorithm is powered by a user-generated personality test.