Craigslist personal ads mostly fake?

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imageSpend a little time cruising online for a hookup and you quickly learn that everything is not as it seems.

Now, a new 12-week study of more than 6,500 Craigslist personal ads proves the point. It found that 84 percent were fakes.

I feel that the real tragedy of all this though is that hopeless romantics (such as myself) can not take advantage of such an awesome resource tool; the internet. It is mind boggling to imagine how many people are writing heartfelt responses to these scammers. Just taking a guess I would think it would have to be in the ten’s of thousands, if not more. When you think about how many people out there are looking for love, affection, someone with similar interests, it becomes easy to understand why “dating” is a multi-billion dollar industry. And yes, I know there are a couple of good sites out there and personally know of several people that have met their significant other online. However, how many people have become bitter and frustrated (such as myself) because they had to wade through countless profiles and write countless emails only to get blown off (by fakes) and scammed out of our hard earned money? Why does it have to be this difficult?

The study concluded ads were fake if a photo appeared in multiple ads, the text was an exact or near-exact match in multiple ads, they advertised other dating sites or the headline didn’t match the content. It doesn’t take a researcher to figure out there’s fraud online, but it’s nice to see those suspicions quantified in the study by the Consenting Adults Network.

A few notes of caution: The study examined only women seeking men ads in U.S. cities and the group that did the research, the Consenting Adults Network, is itself a heterosexual personals site. We found out about the research from Manhunt Daily, the blog from the popular gay cruise site.

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