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The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Dog wins art contest, 1974
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Date Bait
Status: Dating service scam
Match.com, an online dating service, has been accused of sending some of its members bogus romantic emails in an effort to get them to renew their subscriptions. But even stranger, it's also been accused of sending Match.com employees out on phony dates with subscribers:

The Match lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by plaintiff Matthew Evans, who contends he went out with a woman he met through the site who turned out to be nothing more than "date bait" working for the company. The relationship went nowhere, according to his suit. Evans says Match set up the date for him because it wanted to keep him from pulling the plug on his subscription and was hoping he'd tell other potential members about the attractive woman he met through the service, according to Leviant [Evans's lawyer]... Leviant said his client found out about the alleged scam after the woman he dated confessed she was employed by Match.

If Match.com really was paying a woman to go out with this guy, that would seem like an incredibly expensive way to generate a very small amount of publicity. It seems more likely that the girl made up the story about being a Match.com employee as a way to dump the guy.
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 21, 2005
Comments (13)
Alex said:

"If Match.com really was paying a woman to go out with this guy, that would seem like an incredibly expensive way to generate a very small amount of publicity."

I had the exact same thought, Alex. It just doesn't seem cost-effective to me. Match.com has many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of members; how many fake dates could their employees go on? Even if it was a few hundred, would that really result in sufficient publicity for them to make the effort worthwhile?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Nov 21, 2005  at  03:27 AM
So why would the woman confess in the first place? I guess it's possible that her conscience got the better of her, but you'd think that if it bothered her that much she wouldn't have gone to work for them in the first place.

The fake emails I can believe, but the racketeering seems unlikely.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 21, 2005  at  10:20 AM
The posting of bait profiles and bait reactions is an accusation that has been long-standing, and you can read about it on many a dating Blog. I suspect I have encountered it personally once in my dating adventures. It is very hard to prove of course.

With the typical price of a subscription, it however would not be worthwhile at all to employ a fake date with an actual woman, I think.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Mon Nov 21, 2005  at  11:05 AM
40% of the singles in America are using some sort of internet based dating, and Match.com has to have one of the largest shares of that pool.

It seems so ludicrous to think that they are sending people out on dates to keep customers. It just doesn't make financial sense. You have to send a person out on the town for a few hours to keep a subscription that is about 30 dollars a month? I don't buy it.

For fairness: I met 3 women on Match, had good relationships with 2 of them, and I married the third.
Posted by Jordan  on  Tue Nov 22, 2005  at  07:39 AM
Is it possible that it's a scam run on the level of the individual employee, not the company at large? If you're in charge of organizing a database of men, with various levels of despair, picking out ones close to you (without paying the match.com fees) and going out with them might be a nice way to get men to pay for your good time. Need a free dinner? Dip into the dating pool for free, too!
Posted by Liz  on  Tue Nov 22, 2005  at  08:31 PM
Or she could have actually worked for Match and just happened to use their service too... and then maybe used that as an excuse to dump him (as Alex said) I worked there for a bit and had a profile there for a while...
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Wed Nov 23, 2005  at  02:07 PM
For years match.com boasted about 5,000 people signing up with them daily. How many of those are fake?
When yahoo was accused of posting fake profiles, their dating site became inaccessible for several days. They probably needed to pull the fake profiles off the site.
eharmony is another site that most people are unhappy with.
It's probably high time we support the Free dating sites. http://www.oasisoflove.com and a, few others are phenomenal. With free dating, there would be no motivation for fake profiles. All the big companies are motivated by greed.
Posted by RAA  in  CA  on  Fri Dec 16, 2005  at  02:15 PM
Their name should probably be changed to "watch the con", not "match dot com".

Now Match is saying that they've gotten the employee to sign an avidavit that she was never and employee. Yeah right.

Isn't that too easy. If anybody brings up an allegation against a giant like Match that seriously damages its reputation, do you really believe that all Match would do would be to get the person to sign an avidavit? No way, it'd be more like suing the pants off that woman.

The case of her signing an avidavit just means she's been bribed with a few millions to keep her quiet. Scams will never end. Support the free sites and end the greed.
Posted by RAA  in  CA  on  Sun Dec 18, 2005  at  07:02 PM
regardless of whether this is really happening or not, i agree it would be a huge waste of corporate funds to do this for a measly membership. i think it may be more like this guy just couldnt accept no for an answer to a second date and she just suckered him so hard either way. or that he is just another one of these sue happy bastards that wants to get rich quick...
Posted by FoxPhyre  on  Thu Jan 05, 2006  at  05:19 AM
The dating scam no, the fake profiles YES! I've reported six requests for my email address from fake profiles. Let's be honest: Why is a model looking for any guy 3ft tall to 8ft tall, from 30-60 years of age with "any" in the rest of the search criterial. In the several months I've been a subscriber I've notice several profiles using models (and real women) with this technique. It allows their profile to show up in almost all searches, increasing contact possibilities. I have to admit I sent one an email, she came back asking for my regular email address and when I sent it to her I got about 20 spam messages the next day (and that has been going on for few years now). When I let my subscription lapse my profile stayed up. In calling customer service I've found that "members" can have a profile but only "subscribers" can email, view all pictures or read emails.
Posted by Jon  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  12:44 PM
While it doesn't seem likely that this lady was actually a match.com employee, I can confirm just about every other scam story I've ever heard or read concerning both match as well as Yahoo.
I'm getting more and more convinced by the day that probably about 20 % or so of the total, and about 60-70% of the attractive profiles on both sites are fake, and exist only to rope more dopes (like me).
Some of my favorites include:
The 'ladies' who live in Chippamacqua,MA (or some other town in the US no one has ever heard of (or on Wall Street,NY...), but turn out to 'live' in Ukraine, Ghana, Costa Rica, Philippines....or perhaps just cyber space.
The already mentioned 19 year old super models looking for guys from '18-90' with 'any' attributes....
The short notes - often peppered with strange letter combinations - by 'members' without pictures and/or odd .uk or Yahoo addresses who tell you you're 'hot'....
The alleged 18 year olds who open the conversation by describing their moral openness and physical flexibility.
So far the best may have been the 'letter' I got from this supposed girl who said she was from the US, but with international parents, and was being held 'prisoner' in a Nigerian hotel room, because she lacked the funds to pay the bill....priceless!
Or how about those who tell you the picture you saw on Yahoo was actually someone else's, but you can see 'better' pictures of them if you subscribe to an 'adult passport' to a 'neglected housewives' site.....
With all the zillions of warnings about the Russian dating scams, isn't it about time someone went and seriously investigated Match and Yahoo (and others) stateside?
Posted by Wolfgang  in  Albuquerque, NM  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  07:35 AM
I would not doubt it at all. These places are a scam. I rejoined Match when I was moving to a new city as a way of meeting people, to see what was out there. Seemed that it had a good amount since I was moving to a large metropolitan area. Did not pay yet....then I got an email. I could not read it or see who it was sent from until I paid. I figured what the heck, and used a 15 percent off deal I found online for three months.

Well, turns out that it was a guy 1500 miles away, who had long hair (listed as one of my turnoffs) and no profile. Now I tried to wink earlier but my profile was invisible and I could not, according to them, until I made myself visible. So how does a guy with no profile manage to email a generic letter that was too cheesy to respond to?

I then got a wink from a guy, also from the same area (1500 miles away) who according to his profile has not logged in for "over 3 weeks".

After a week, I got ONE wink from someone whose profile was so full of contradictions he got a "not interested" right out of the gate. So I paid 60 bucks for ONE wink? Wrote and winked at several who did not bother to write back (I paid 2 bucks for the ability to see if the emails were read...only one was not.)

They are indeed scamming the public, and I hope they lose their shirts.
Posted by Anne  on  Mon Apr 07, 2008  at  10:37 AM
I'm convinced in the "date bait" controversy of Match. I've let my subscription lapse twice now. First time a day before it was over, I wasn't going to renew, but got suckered into it because I couldn't read an email from a local girl that I just magically received at the end of my subscription. So, email back and forth, text a bit, then go on one date, which went well, and cold turkey don't hear anything from her again.

So, just this past weekend my membership was going to lapse again. A few days before, I get a wink back from a girl from a town not far away. I figure what the heck and send her an email. She responds an hour before my subscription is up. Hmmmm. It doesn't prove anything, but it sure seems suspicious, doesn't it?

I won't be renewing. Going to try the freebie sites for a while.
Posted by rakman  in  Ontario  on  Mon Apr 18, 2011  at  10:11 AM
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