Using Fake Profiles

handsconnect posted 6th of November 2009 in Community Voice. 3 comments.

Fake profiles have been discussed in the past, there are a number of mods available on Expertzzz that offer member profile databases, or generators.

If you are using these or intend to in the future you may want to read this, before trying to mislead anyone on how many real members a site may have.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has started Federal Court proceedings against the operator of a dating website.

Dating website misleads singles

 
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mydatery
The fake profiles are simple to identify by just about anyone who browses any site. I'd really hate to see who the people were who fell for these profiles. Beyond that, dating sites especially are notorious for fake profiles. Those posted by the sites and those that the members themselves post up.

Not sure what the issue here is unless the site was charging a membership fee (annually), though it could be a huge issue if they we're charging per contact e-mail/IM... Then well, that could get see more pretty expensive for someone e-mailing a fake profile the site put up.
handsconnect
Fake profiles used as real members in contacting other members.

I think the issue was the way in they used fake profiles to force members to upgrade, in order to read what mail was sent to them from these fake profiles.
CALTRADE
It is a terrible idea. I had a big battle here a while back with a guy who operates one of those fake profile sites, and I could never get a rational explanation as to why he did it. The only reason to load a social network with fake profiles is "intent to deceive" - the very definition of fraud. Given that it is fraud though, what kind of fraud? i.e. what is the scam?

There are really only two groups these people would be trying to fool. 1. - advertisers - "look at all these see more members I have - you should pay for advertising space here". The problem here is I can't imagine advertisers being that stupid - they are going to do at least a little due dilligence, and 2. Members - "look at all the members I have - you should join this site too". The problem here is they will quickly find out - no one will answer their private messages, etc. They will quickly find out.

The example cited is even more blatent fraud. I joined a dating site a few years ago and I was suddenly getting messages from all sorts of hot women (and yes, I was supposed to pay to read these messages). Now I don't think I am too much of a toad, but I know that is not going to happen!

Even if it is not intentional fraud, it is just a bad idea. Some people think they should load their sites up with fake profiles to make them seem big right away, then presumably they plan to remove the fakes later. The problem is, how do you get from here to there? Your first members are not likely to like the site too much once they find they have been tricked.

p.s. before I get flamed, I am not talking about "test accounts" or putting in a handful of fake profiles to test things out and get started.
 
 
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