LONELY individuals seeking love online are being exploited by people who pretend to have funny little ways about them, it has emerged.
Experts at the Institute for Studies warn that many dating website profile holders who claim to be subtly unique from the rest are in fact quite the opposite.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: “We tasked our researchers to engage in correspondence with individuals who claimed to have something a tiny bit magical about them, be it an obsession with films about talking spaniels, a lopsided smile or a cat that looks like a watermelon.
“One person, let’s call her ‘Amelie’, described herself in her profile as having a love of crazy knitwear, clattery insects and impromptu tea parties in the most unlikely locations.
“She made a direct claim to being a ‘creative type’.
“During our email exchange, this person repeatedly referred to said traits, and although her prose style was a little more conventional than such unusual tendencies might suggest, she made repeated references to rummaging for weird things in funny old junk shops and 80s crisp flavours.
“However during the sting we set up in an organic coffee house, our ‘Amelie’ was revealed to work in a normal job, have no outward neuroses endearing or otherwise, and thought Gerard Butler was attractive. She talked mostly about how hard it is to buy a flat, and a recent holiday in Spain.
“The whole thing was a cynical, kooky honey trap, a cruel web of thinly contrived endearing tics devised to draw the guileless into an uninspiring situation that could lead to a conventional relationship of the type not featured in tasteful graphic novels.”
Professor Brubaker added: “The men were just as bad.
“‘Bruno73’ states in his profile that ‘There is something to be learned from a rainstorm’, a direct quote from the cult Jim Jarmusch film Ghost Dog that proved to be nothing more than a coldly calculated piece of intellectual bait.
“When we met him he was an outwardly conventional sales manager who really liked his car and had no notable samurai characteristics.”