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When Boko Haram kidnapped a group of school girls last spring, Winchester said, dating profile fakers would claim to be there abroad as part of a US special forces mission.
The bigger danger comes from human interaction, where, as in those familiar scam email exchanges, the person behind the profile doesn’t want your heart; they just want your money. While the UK’s favored scammer line sounds ridiculous, the top spot in the US goes to “i am very easy going and laid back.” Okay, so it’s no Pablo Neruda.
If one bot network pushes out the same garbled phrase to millions of profiles, it can quickly skew the pick-up line popularity contest.
These bots aren’t necessarily looking for love, or even for a direct cash transfer; they’re often simply trying to convince their marks to install something, like an app, in a case of direct marketing gone gross.“In some ways the target isn’t really the victim of anything other than having their time wasted, and installing a game that they don’t necessarily want,” says Winchester of these bot-based shakedowns.
To qualify, an app had to have more than 2,000 reviews across the App Store and the Google Play store.
Applause found that, in general, the most popular US dating apps trailed other apps in quality by 23 points (out of 100).