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.
However, market share was increasingly growing by several large commercial services, including Personals. Some online dating websites provide webcam chats between members.
As online dating's population becomes larger, sites with specific demographics are becoming more popular as a way to narrow the pool of potential matches.
' “I really object to someone taking advantage with people like that, using my photo." Another profile on the site, claiming to belong to a woman from Glasgow, was using an old photograph of Michelle Pfeiffer.
He said: "We'd steal someone's identity through say My Space or something, we'd take someone from a totally different country, ie. “We'd take the person's photos online and we'd start knocking out messages.
It was all fake and under the pretence that it was real." Global Personals said that since 2010 it has ensured that the site is free of pseudo accounts.
A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the internet for a greater amount of tasks and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.
At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc. By 2007, many prominent studies show that Baby Boomer interest in online dating have soared.
Other sites depend on advertising for their revenue.