"It's been a cat and mouse game for 20 years."And it's not a game he always wins.The company suffered a massive hack that exposed the profiles of an estimated 3.5 million members — which generated international headlines by revealing high-profile kink-seekers on Capitol Hill, in Hollywood and higher education.When he saw an ad for the dating site Ashley Madison, which boasted 36 million members and the tagline, "Life is short, have an affair," he decided to check it out. Everyday, he received more of these come-ons — until he finally said, "Fuck it." "I'm like, ' Hey, all these women want to talk with me,'" he recalls. As anyone who's dated online knows, this is not entirely unusual. "I just figured they're not interested anymore," Russell says."' Let me go ahead and put in my credit card information.'"Russell paid $100 for 1,000 credits, which he could spend on sending replies or virtual gifts. After a few months of rejection, he didn't bother to log back on Ashley Madison again."And our bots would kick ass."he fact that AI con artists are up to such tricks isn't surprising or new.But what's truly phenomenal is the durability of this online hustle, and the millions of saps still falling for it.A leaked file of sample dialogue includes lines such as: "Is anyone home lol, I'd enjoy an interesting cyber chat, are you up to it?
It’s the dirtiest secret of the $2 billion online dating business and it stretches far beyond Ashley Madison."The only way you can compete with fraud is you let people know it's fraud," he tells me."And it happens across the industry."Conru and AFF's CEO, Jon Buckheit, another Stanford Ph."I don't know if I can disclose this," Conru says, "but recently, I had a guy do a search to see, like, White House.gov, and we found that there are lots of .govs, and a lot of "The company incentivizes members to prove they're who they say they are by sending in copies of their drivers licenses in return for a "verified" button on their profiles (similar to the little blue checks on Twitter accounts).