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Around 7.8 million UK adults used online dating sites in 2016, up from just 100,000 in 2000.But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.However, on one of their sites, Flirt Naughty, investigations uncovered 198 profiles of women within five miles Hogha Gerraidh in the Western Isles.In reality fewer than 100 people live within five miles of the tiny hamlet.JDI allowed users to set up profiles on its sites for free, and then sent them fake messages purportedly from people living nearby who wanted to meet, according to the complaint.
Whistle-blower Ryan Pitcher has also confirmed he ran a team creating “pseudo” profiles for Global Personals, the third largest dating company in Britain, responsible for more than 10,000 dating sites, until 2010.The answer for most sites involves a two-step process. Step two is to provide completely free accounts to the first 100,000 users.This process creates a sufficient population of members that most people will be able to find someone in their area when using the site.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.On a false test profile set up by the documentary makers for “James”, 46, from Glasgow, received nearly 500 messages in two months.