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Scammer with keen fashion sense targets scammer (not pictured) rocks little black dress
Photo by Arun Nevader

I've spent years perusing dating ads for pure entertainment. During that time, I've placed my own personal ads sporadically, in attempts to meet a decent fellow. Last month, I ended a nice reprieve from internet dating and re-registered with That's where I encountered a man who likes to let his hair down and wriggle into his favorite little black dress.

Here's his profile, minus a photo of an older man with short gray hair, the ocean in the background:

johnsmith 56 year old man | Chico, CA, USA | Seeking women 47-56 within 50 miles / 5'5" / Languages: Norwegian, English / Never married, no kids, definitely wants kids.

In his own words I am an honest heart that's looking for a stable relationship…I am not interested in games or drama. I enjoy..good food and fine wine. I amjust as comfortable with my hair up in old jeans as with my hair down wearing my favorite little black dress. I love to dance: All styles, disco, house, or swing…I love spontaneity and being a bit impulsive. I am continually attempting to function from the inside out and to go with my intuitive impulses, because sometimes the spontaneous actions are the most fun, not expected and purely delightful. I generally try to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle...eating healthy, (trust me, I love sweets and pastries, but try not to over do it). I would also like to find a like-minded male.

I assumed Little Black Dress Man was simply too lazy to write his own ad. But a friend told me he was almost positive he'd seen the exact same profile, one supposedly written by a woman in Alabama. Aha! I had to get to the bottom of this.

First, I played a bit with Little Black Dress Man. I "winked" at him and marked him as my "favorite" (silly ways to flirt with people you're too shy to write to).

No response. So I sent him this message:

Hi Johnsmith,

I hope you don't mind a few questions. I'm very curious about you.
Do you really speak Norwegian and have blonde hair? It looks gray to me and your name - John Smith - doesn't sound at all foreign. (Thank goodness for hair dye and creative pseudo names, right?)
Are you really only 5'5"? I like short men, but you look taller than that. Just wondering. And where is that photo taken? There's no ocean anywhere around here. Must have been a stuffy vacation, having to wear that suit and tie on some tropical isle.
What I'd really like to know is: What size do you wear? It'd be great to exchange little black dresses. Please respond. I'd like to shake up my wardrobe.

No response again.
Next, I reported a concern that his ad is possibly fraudulent.
Match didn't respond or remove his ad.
So I called them.

My phonecall with

Me: Hi, I'm user #blahblah, and I'm concerned about a particular profile.
Match Rep, very matter-of-factly, looks up my information. What is your concern?
Me: I got a profile of a man who wears a little black dress and a friend of mine says he saw the same profile for a woman in Alabama. I don't have issues with men wearing dresses, but there are other suspicious things, like he claims to have blonde hair and speak Norwegian and be only 5'5" and he's by the ocean. We don't have any ocean in Chico.
Match Rep.: You say you have some concerns about a profile for a man because of some suspicious things like wearing a black dress?
Me: Yes.
Match Rep: Well, you can block the profile. All you do is...
Me, interrupting: No, I don't want to block the profile. It's entertaining. In fact, I favorited and winked at him. I'd actually like to swap dresses with him, if he's a real person. I'm just concerned that it's a fake ad. Does match use fake profiles?
Match Rep politely informs me that there are scammers out there who, for unknown reasons, place fake profiles.(But you have to pay for a 6-month membership to place an ad. They must be paying off of someone else's credit card.)
Me: Okay, thank you, because yeah, it just didn't seem right to see a man who likes to wear a little black dress (I couldn't help but giggle. I held it together pretty well until now) and advertises this in his personal ad.
Match Rep, giggling (alas! I got a giggle out of her!), Thank you for calling. We appreciate the information and will look into it further.

Follow up to follow up: John Smith is still on, still likes to let his hair down and wear his favorite little black dress. Work it, John!

PS This just proves that scammers, while lacking scruples and brains, possess keen fashion sense.

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