Perfect Match

Online dating profile

Online dating profile

As a 45-year old, single gay man living in Surry Hills, I can assure you my interest in meeting and dating single women between 25 and 45 who live in the United Kingdom is virtually non-existant (unless of course they’re looking for a marriage of convenience in exchange for an EU passport!!). And yet for the last few weeks I’ve been receiving a daily email from a UK dating website informing me of the many women – over 200 at last count – who have viewed my profile and who would like to meet me.

At first I ignored the email as some kind of spam. But when they became more and more regular I finally got the shits and wrote to match.com informing them of the situation. The problem you see was that seamus_a_481 had signed up to his match.com account using MY email address. So even though he was presumably logging in and out with his own username and password, I was getting the daily email notifications.

I was also able to access his account. All I had to do was click on the links in the emails I received and there I was inside his account. If I was morally bankrupt I could have made changes to his account details. In theory, I could have also written a reply to any of the women who had written to me, though of course, I didn’t. Not exactly what you would call a secure site.

As soon as I wrote the email to match.com I got one of those automated replies which indicated my problem was going to be forwarded to a consultant for resolution. Yeah, right.

Eight days later and I was still been receiving those daily emails. Although it had been kinda interesting, I felt it was morally wrong to let it continue any longer. In particular, I was concerned for the women who were corresponding with a bloke who was either a) an idiot who didn’t know his own email address or b) an idiot who was deceiving them.

And so I wrote an email to match.com saying I was disappointed at their lack of response and was planning to go in and delete the account on their behalf. Unfortunately it wasn’t so straightforward as I also needed his password to delete the account. So I called them up and spoke to a nice man on the phone who was able to help me do that.

So in summary, a big thumbs down to the James O’Brien in the UK who was using my email account to sign up to a dating site, and a big thumbs down for match.com in the UK for having an automated reply which said they were going to respond and deal with the issue but didn’t even after eight days. It took a phone call from Australia – thank goodness for cheap international calls – to get any action. And a word of warning about the dangers of signing up to a website with someone else’s email account.

  1. That’s very annoying.

    Why would he use your email account rather than his own?

    The only thing I can think of is that someone else did it as a joke (towards the other guy) and got his email wrong.

    I just can’t see how UK James would benefit from you getting his emails. Oh…wait. Does he also get the information on the site itself? Maybe he didn’t want to get the emails because he didn’t want certain people in his home to see? But you’d think you could opt out of getting notifications.

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    1. I never thought of the joke profile… that could be a good reason.

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  2. He may be an idiot who doesn’t know his email address, or their email system may not be very complex: I often get emails for another Liam Casey whose email address is the same as mine, but with a dot between the first and last name. Some systems seem not to register this, and so it ends up in my inbox, too.

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    1. Actually I think you may have the same issue, as gmail doesn’t recognise dots, so even if someone thinks a dot makes a difference in gmail it doesn’t actually…. so I could be j.a.m.e.s.o.b.r.i.e.n etc and it’s still my address they’ve used.

      Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:

      homerjsimpson@gmail.com = hom.er.j.sim.ps.on@gmail.com
      homerjsimpson@gmail.com = HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com
      homerjsimpson@gmail.com = Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com
      All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You’ll still go to your account.

      If you get mail that seems to be intended for someone else, it’s likely that the sender entered the wrong address, just like if you’ve ever dialed a wrong phone number for someone. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.

      One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots. If you’d like to have a dot in your username, please ask your domain1 administrator to add your preferred username as a nickname.

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  3. lol great minds…a marriage of convenience to get an EU passport had entered my mind…I must admit…yep the net is so insecure, I guess also that it doesn’t help to have a fairly straightforward name…&email…

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    1. Actually, my ex has a NZ (born there), an Australian (raised here to Australian parents) and an EU passport (thanks to grandma). Sometimes I think I want to kill him. Oh yeah… and thanks mum and dad for James O’Brien… named after two grandfathers and a saint in that very good, but very predictable irish catholic naming pattern kind of way. Thank goodness, though they didn’t go with jaymz or j’aims or ja’mz as some parents might have chosen had I been born 30 years later.

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  4. A couple of years later and similar things are still happening. Because of the lack of security I’ve started going in and deleting the accounts.

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