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“It’s leading somebody on with no intent of following through.”That could look like a few different scenarios: it might be an ex who continues to “check in” with you, but never goes so far as to suggest meeting up.

It may be a guy that you’ve been flirting with back and forth, who will disappear for weeks, and then send an ambiguous “Hey, how’s it going? Or, it may be someone you went on a few dates with, who isn’t asking you out again, but will occasionally like one of your photos on Facebook or Instagram, or send you a message that has no significance, other than to pop back into your mind.“A lot of it is just ego,” Gandhi explained.

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“But the operator of the bot is collecting payments for generating downloads, without ever having to interact with the user themselves.”If someone’s going to fall for a fake profile, that’s about as innocuous a result as one can hope for.

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.

And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.

A recently released list, by a fraud-busting company called Scamalytics, of the top lines and photos used in profiles by online dating grifters shows that while the range of sophistication may vary, the end goal is always the same: To fleece romance-seekers out of their money.

The pick-up line "I am not interested in games or drama" cracks the top 20, which sounds legitimate enough, but so does "having past events shape your life is one thing carrying the past as a burden that sits heavily upon your shoulders is not the way i view life."There are millions of scam online dating accounts created each month, says Scamalytics co-founder Dan Winchester.

His company, which he founded in 2011, detects up to 250,000 per month, and was born out of a healthy combination of necessity and self-interest. The increase in online dating scammers, he says, has grown in step with the popularity of the sites and apps themselves.“As with all dating services, there came a point that it hit the radar of the scammers, and it suddenly became overrun.

The man could be talking to multiple women, or secretly in love with an ex, or had a hard week at work. He may, for instance, leave out letters or avoid writing out complete words — "How r u," for instance.“It’s the ultimate in lazy,” Gandhi said.

The man’s actions, he said, are more selfish than calculating — he’s not considering the consequences of his confusing actions, just as women might not consider the consequences of reaching out to catch up with an ex. “It just shows a lack of effort.”The same goes for a guy who only likes your posts on social media, or only sends the occasional “Hey.” Someone that really likes you, Gandhi said, is going to make an effort to see and spend time with you — not just text you every now and then.

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.

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