And I Wrote This Book.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scammers in Little Black Dresses Target Match.com

     I've spent years perusing dating ads for pure entertainment and blog-post purposes. During that time, I've placed my own personal ads sporadically, in attempts to meet a decent fellow. Last month, I ended a nice reprieve from internet dating and re-registered with Match.com. That's where I encountered Little Black Dress Man. Remember him? He likes to let his hair down and toss on a little black dress.
Here he is, minus a photo of an older man with short gray hair, the ocean in the background:
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johnsmith  56 year old man | Chico, CA, USA | Seeking women 47-56 within 50 miles / 5'5" / Languages: Norwegian, English / Never married, no kids, definitely wants kids.

 In his own words I am an honest heart that's looking for a stable relationship…I am not interested in games or drama. I enjoy..good food and fine wine. I amjust as comfortable with my hair up in old jeans as with my hair down wearing my favorite little black dress. I love to dance: All styles, disco, house, or swing…I love spontaneity and being a bit impulsive. I am continually attempting to function from the inside out and to go with my intuitive impulses, because sometimes the spontaneous actions are the most fun, not expected and purely delightful. I generally try to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle...eating healthy, (trust me, I love sweets and pastries, but try not to over do it). I would also like to find a like-minded male.
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     I assumed Little Black Dress Man was simply too lazy to write his own ad. But my blog-friend, David Oliver, commented that he was almost positive he'd seen the exact same profile, one supposedly written by a woman in Alabama. Ah ha! Thanks, David. I had to get to the bottom of this.
    First, I played a bit with Little Black Dress Man. I "winked" at him and marked him as my "favorite" (silly ways to flirt with people you're too shy to write to).
No response. So I sent him this message: 

Hi Johnsmith,
  I hope you don't mind a few questions.
  Do you really speak Norwegian and have blonde hair? It looks gray to me and your name - John Smith - doesn't sound at all foreign. (Thank goodness for hair dye and creative pseudo names, right?)
  Are you really only 5'5"? I like short men, but you look taller than that. Just wondering. And where is that photo taken? There's no ocean anywhere around here. Must have been a stuffy vacation, having to wear that suit and tie on some tropical isle.
  What I'd really like to know is: What size do you wear? It'd be great to exchange little black dresses. Please respond. I'd like to shake up my wardrobe.
Cheers,

Robyn

No response again.
Next, I reported a concern that his ad is possibly fraudulent.
Match didn't respond or remove his ad.
So I called them.

My phonecall with Match.com:

Me: Hi, I'm user #blahblah, and I'm concerned about a particular profile.
Match Rep, very matter-of-factly, looks up my information. What is your concern?
Me: I got a profile of a man who wears a little black dress and a friend of mine says he saw the same profile for a woman in Alabama. I don't have issues with men wearing dresses, but there are other suspicious things, like he claims to have blonde hair and speak Norwegian and be only 5'5" and he's by the ocean. We don't have any ocean in Chico.
Match Rep.: You say you have some concerns about a profile for a man because of some suspicious things like wearing a black dress?
Me: Yes.
Match Rep: Well, you can block the profile. All you do is...
Me, interrupting: No, I don't want to block the profile. It's entertaining. In fact, I favorited and winked at him. I'd actually like to swap dresses with him, if he's a real person. I'm just concerned that it's a fake ad. Does match use fake profiles?
Match Rep politely informs me that there are scammers out there who, for unknown reasons, place fake profiles.(But you have to pay for a 6-month membership to place an ad. They must be paying off of someone else's credit card.)

Me: Okay, thank you, because yeah, it just didn't seem right to see a man who likes to wear a little black dress (I couldn't help but giggle. I held it together pretty well until now) and advertises this in his personal ad.
Match Rep, giggling (alas! I got a giggle out of her!), Thank you for calling. We appreciate the information and will look into it further.


Follow up to follow up: John Smith is still on Match.com, still likes to let his hair down and wear his favorite little black dress. Work it, John!

PS This just proves that scammers, while lacking scruples and brains, possess keen fashion sense.

37 comments:

  1. At least you both got a chuckle out of it. Bummer he hasn't responded! Keep trying, Robyn.

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  2. I would like to hear a response from him. My question is... why would this 56 year old man want kids at his age .. and who would be dumb enough to agree?

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  3. I have it on good authority that Al Penwasser is not real. Nor does he wear little black dresses.
    He went to Norway once, though.

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  4. I had the same question, Terry, amongst many others. Oy vey!

    Thanks, friends.
    xoRobyn

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  5. That's so funny!! I wonder if maybe he hasn't checked his email yet?

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  6. Sounds weird to me. I imagine it is a scam. I've often wondered about all those dating sites although I do know people who have become happily married through dating agencies.

    I did bring my chocolate by the way, some Caramel Lindor today.

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  7. haha he my just be the strong silent type who likes little black dresses.

    But really though it is a scam. These people from africa get on there and make profile, copying and pasting info from other ads, stealing photos, etc. Then they talk to you, say all the right things, then all of a sudden whoops, they are away from home working, they will see you when they get back. They string you along for a while, then they hit you, I ran out of money for my ticket home. Boom! there is the scam. They make $2000-2500 a pop off of people doing it.

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  8. Robyn!!!
    I feel like such a jerk. I was thinking yesterday it was probably time to remove the ad for your poetry book from my blog as it had probably gotten as much exposure as possible. With my last post tonight I took down the ad. It just feels like awful timing.

    Well I can always put it back! What say we give it a bit of time as hopefully new readers will come along and I'll put the ad back up. I don't want you to ever run out of chocolate or pine away over a new little black dress in some shop window.

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  9. How about sending him an email saying you've just won a lottery and need some advice on how to invest 100,000 buck? If that doesn't get a response, nothing will!

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  10. Hopefully this mystery can be solved someday. Sounds like it could make a hilarious movie :)

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  11. There certainly are scammers on those sites from different areas of the world just waiting to pounce on naïve victims whose bank accounts they can empty! Since you're aware, these profiles are simply entertaining!

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  12. John Smith isn't responding to you because he's too busy talking to me. I got to him first. You can't have him. You wanna cat fight over it? Bring it on. We are going to have SO many kids in black dresses.

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  13. Now hold on a second there! I so AM real!
    As far as you know.

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  14. Just think, if you do eventually meet John Smith and you guys totally hit it off, fall in love and get married it will be just like that movie "You've Got Mail"*.


    * I've never seen this movie.

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  15. Have you tried e-Harmony? That's how my wife and I met. No joke, they're the real deal. Sure, I had to slog through some strange dates, but when I met Karin we both clicked perfectly.

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  16. Jo, I hear so many of those stories all the time. Years of on-line dating, and I have only weird, neutral, or bad stories to share.

    Pat, yeah. I just don't understand how they do that thru a site in which you have to pay for a 6-month membership for dating purposes. It's not like I'd give a guy my credit card # if he suggests meeting for coffee.

    JoJo, it says he hasn't checked his mail in over three weeks. I think it's a fake account, though.

    David, you couldn't be a jerk if you tried. No worries. It's your blog. I'd love my birdie out all over the place, for exposure (I don't mean anything sexual by that), but it's no biggie.

    Beer guys, yeah. Al Penwasser is worth fighting for. See his comments. He's fessing up. I imagine he's sexy in a little black dress. I'm rolling up my sleaves and preparing to take you down. On second thought, lets flip a coin. I call tails.

    Christian, *me neither.

    Herman, I'm glad it worked for you. I'm too liberal for eharmony. It's pretty conservative, from what I hear.

    Thank you, all, for the fun comments. If I ever hear from this guy, I'll update you.

    xoRobyn

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  17. Maybe you are going about it all wrong. Don't ask for a written response. Just ask him to send pics wearing his little black dress. He could just be more of a visual communicator ;)

    Then we could really get a good giggle over that blog post!

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  18. Scammers are super annoying. They can really effect how you use something.

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  19. You cannot give up on the man with the little black dress, especially when there's a chance you wear the same shoe size!

    Julie

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  20. I think it is pretty funny that you called Match.com. I guess their theory is who cares if it's legit or not if they have someone's membership fee in their bank account. Still...the ad is laughable.

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  21. I bust out laughing at "I like to shake up my wardrobe," it was all over after that line.

    So sad that Match is just like, yeah well, they pay for the account so what can you do? Um, I don't know, cancel it??!!

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  22. Ahahaha! He sounds like a real prize. :-)

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  23. I can't believe you smiled at him and favorited him and he still didn't respond. I would think he'd send a message so that you could exchange fashion tips, if nothing else.

    Thanks for the giggles.

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  24. This is hilarious. Perhaps - you should have offered him a piece of chocolate along with the swap of a black dress. Oh yeah, and what Terry said from "Journey" why would a man 56 years of age want kids at that age? I mean, there have been men older than 56 who have had children. But, why? Cheers!!

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  25. omg - ahaha - yeah i think these dating sites are full of BS. Scammers are everywhere, and maybe they dont want to pull their profiles down as maybe there wouldn't be too many genuine ppl left!

    I get email spam all the time, and similarly had some fun with a 'orphan' from Africa, who quickly stepped up to 'prospective wife' once I began baiting - I kept them dangling for about two months.. lol - In the end, I had to say, 'you guys are full of shit', which they were of course. But still, some dicks actually beleive their shit and send them money! Wtf?

    Anyway, I had a good laugh, as usual...

    ps i would love to see a book version of this series complete with dodgy ass profile pics.. and profile images (even if you had to fabricate yourself) - that would be fantastic... some one will do it soon - its just gotta be you!

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  26. Haha, I'm pretty sure you have all given me even more laughs than Johnsmith has.

    Yes, as several of you brought up, it's a bit troubling that match.com has still done nothing!

    Anthony, I've got plans down those lines - not sure in what form. We'll 'chat.'

    Thank you, my sillies.
    xoRobyn

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  27. The little black dress is okay, but I can't get a decent pair of pumps to match.

    BTW, got my goodies yesterday! Thank you, thank you! I hope I gave you a proper shout out (or as proper as I can get) over at my place.

    And Ken's full of crap.
    I did go Norway though.

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  28. Maybe John Smith is just jealous because he found out you look better in a little black dress than he does.

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  29. When little black dresses come in a size 20, they stop being little.

    You are too funny, Robyn. ;)

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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  30. Promise me that if you ever do get a response from this guy you'll share it with us.

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  31. Wow. Just wow. These men never cease to amaze me. Too bad he never replied. That could have been fun!!

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