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Some of the contact details were genuine, including the email addresses of academics, a House of Lords life peer and BBC employees, all of whom said they had never used a dating website.

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 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.

It’s not as simple as some online dating services claim it is.

Singles, both men and women, are under attack from the fakes.

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they’ll tell you everything you want to hear, but at a price.The messages were almost always from fake, computer-generated profiles – “Virtual Cupids” – created by the defendants, with photos and information designed to closely mimic the profiles of real people.A small “v” encircled by a “C” on the profile page was the only indication that the profiles were fake. 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.

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