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Some of the contact details were genuine, including the email addresses of academics, a House of Lords life peer and BBC employees, all of whom said they had never used a dating website.

Whistle-blower Ryan Pitcher has also confirmed he ran a team creating “pseudo” profiles for Global Personals, the third largest dating company in Britain, responsible for more than 10,000 dating sites, until 2010.

Almost offhand, he added, “Found you as he sent me a photo of yourself that you put on ‘Four tech terms to forget in ‘14’ that you wrote for 1/5/2014.” Slightly unsettled and thousands of miles away, I mentally filed this under “handled.” But it wasn’t, really.

Any more so than trying to steer around a floating piece of ice ended the bother for the captain of the Titanic.

In a To validate my hypothesis, I connected with a senior consulting programmer who assisted in creating the "compatibility algorithms" at a number of online dating sites.

According to my source, it costs the average dating site approximately 0 to generate a new customer.

Pictures, names, email addresses, dates of birth and detail of the sexual orientation of unsuspecting members of the public are being purchased by dating websites to create false profiles of attractive people, it has been claimed.

I was first alerted to my non-uniqueness by an odd tweet I received on summer vacation overseas: “Would seem like someone is scamming using your photo? Except the name on the profile was “Philip Graham.” From a city I’ve never even visited in Michigan.

Hinge found that showing your smile in photos makes them 23 percent more likely to be liked, so stop hiding your pearly whites (especially if your parents shelled out tons of cash for orthodontia).

Even though Hinge found that only three percent of users' photos were black and white, those that were 106 times more likely to receive a like than photos in color.

On a false test profile set up by the documentary makers for “James”, 46, from Glasgow, received nearly 500 messages in two months.

One perfect match was “Kazb”, who was using a photograph of Karen Bartke, an actress appearing in several prime-time dramas, including Monarch of the Glen.