June 19, 2008

JLove — a classic example of online dishonesty

Edit:  As of July 9, the offending JLove pages seem to have been removed.

The online dating service industry has a penchant for deceptive ads, as is evidenced by the large number of scantily-clad women in the small town of Acton, MA who are alleged to desire sex with me, not a single one of whom I’ve ever seen in a checkout line at our supermarket.

But I just discovered a new twist, courtesy of a scammy dating service called JLove. While ego surfing — i.e., googling on my own name — I found a page with the URL http://jlove.com/names/m/monash/curt/ It contains text such as

I have a good idea of how many Monashes there are in the world (few), and how many Curt Monashes (VERY few, perhaps just one). And so, since I’m not a member of the JLove dating service, and I’m confident that no other Curt Monashes are members of the JLove dating service, and the same goes for most or all of the hundreds of other Monash names on http://jlove.com/names/m/monash/, and also because of the odd punctuation used in the false implication that curt monash is a member of the JLove dating service, I hereby conclude that JLove is even scummier than most online dating services. Simply put, JLove is causing false impressions to be given to people looking at search engine results pages.

Now, I don’t think I’m at a stage in my life where eager young women are googling my name and trying to figure out how to snare me. But if there were, then this might seem like an inducement to join JLove’s dishonest service.

Related links:

Comments

35 Responses to “JLove — a classic example of online dishonesty”

  1. Some basics of honest SEO everybody should follow | Text Technologies on June 19th, 2008 6:24 am

    [...] I hate dishonest SEO, the honest form serves a valuable purpose. And so I prepared a basic SEO (Search Engine [...]

  2. Andrew Rhein on July 3rd, 2008 12:25 pm

    Do you have any suggestions for having JLove remove your name? I also come up on there, and am not one of their clients – that’s not the first thing I want people to see when they google my name!

    Thanks,

    Andy

  3. Jeremy on July 3rd, 2008 6:50 pm

    The same thing has happened to me and I am furious about it. I never even heard of JLove before and yet, now they are advertising me as a member. I want my name off of the internet with respect to them. I feel that my privacy has been violated and I am very offended by this. What a scummy thing to do. How can I get my name disassociated from them and how did they even get my name in the first place?

  4. Curt Monash on July 4th, 2008 2:58 am

    Jeremy,

    1. I think JLove just picked a list of first names and a list of last names, and have generated pages for all (first_name, last_name) pairs.

    2. JLove would be violating your privacy if they said something true that they shouldn’t be revealing. Instead, JLove is flat-out lying about you. That’s even worse.

    CAM

  5. Curt Monash on July 4th, 2008 3:02 am

    Ron, Jeremy,

    You can try threatening JLove individually, but I doubt it will work. Rather, you need counter-information. I.e., there has to be a web page somewhere that gives your full name and says you are NOT a member of the JLove dating service.

    I also have a self-serving suggestion. If you popularize this page, which reports on the dishonesty of the JLove dating service, it might have two advantages:

    1. It could be a start to pressuring JLove to change its lying policies.

    2. Somebody who searches on them after seeing your alleged involvement might discover JLove is not legit.

    So while I almost never would say something like this — this time, I’m saying “Please link to this post.”

  6. Heather on July 6th, 2008 10:19 pm

    My name has also showed up on Jlove without my consent. I am not a member of any online dating service and do not want to be associated with JLove. Also, my mom (who is happily married) and my sister’s names have just appeared too. Please help us get our names off! Thank you!

  7. Curt Monash on July 7th, 2008 12:50 am

    I just wrote to pr@jlove.com. The message (which was listed as 1K in size) didn’t go through. The bounce message (emphasis mine) is below. It seems they aren’t very interested in talking with the press right now.

    Delivered-To: curtmonash@nospam.com
    Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of eglinton.jlove.com designates 209.47.178.227 as permitted sender) smtp.mail=
    Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2008 23:51:29 -0400 (EDT)
    From: MAILER-DAEMON@jlove.com (Mail Delivery System)
    Subject: Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender
    To: curtmonash@nospam.com
    This is the Postfix program at host eglinton.jlove.com.

    I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
    be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.

    For further assistance, please send mail to

    If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
    delete your own text from the attached returned message.

    The Postfix program

    : cannot access mailbox /var/mail/pr for user pr. error writing
    message: File too large

    Reporting-MTA: dns; eglinton.jlove.com
    X-Postfix-Queue-ID: DF19F1CC4F
    X-Postfix-Sender: rfc822; curtmonash@nospam.com
    Arrival-Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2008 23:51:28 -0400 (EDT)

    Final-Recipient: rfc822; pr@jlove.com
    Action: failed
    Status: 5.0.0
    Diagnostic-Code: X-Postfix; cannot access mailbox /var/mail/pr for user pr.
    error writing message: File too large

    Received: from yw-out-1718.google.com (yw-out-1718.google.com [74.125.46.157])
    by eglinton.jlove.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id DF19F1CC4F
    for ; Sun, 6 Jul 2008 23:51:28 -0400 (EDT)
    Received: by yw-out-1718.google.com with SMTP id 9so967405ywk.60
    for
    ; Sun, 06 Jul 2008 21:45:31 -0700 (PDT)
    Received: by 10.150.177.20 with SMTP id z20mr7460079ybe.72.1215405930285;
    Sun, 06 Jul 2008 21:45:30 -0700 (PDT)
    Received: from FISSUREOFWOE.nospam.com ( [71.184.242.52])
    by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id 6sm4707163ywn.0.2008.07.06.21.45.28
    (version=SSLv3 cipher=RC4-MD5);
    Sun, 06 Jul 2008 21:45:29 -0700 (PDT)
    X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 7.1.0.9
    Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2008 00:45:23 -0400
    To: pr@jlove.com
    From: Curt Monash
    Subject: I’ve written about you, with grave concerns
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
    boundary=”=====================_199731375==.ALT”
    Message-ID: <48719f69.060ec00a.3c8b.ffffb66c@mx.google.com>

    Hello,

    I’ve recently raised concerns over your extremely misleading practices, as per http://www.texttechnologies.com/2008/06/19/jlove-a-classic-example-of-online-dishonesty/

    Do you have anything you’d like to say or clarify in response?

    Thanks,

    CAM

    Curt A. Monash, Ph.D.
    President, Monash Research
    curtmonash@nospam.com
    (978) 555-1212
    CurtMonash on AIM and Twitter
    Backups: curtmonash@nospam2.com, (978) 555-1213

    Main website: http://www.monash.com
    Guide to our research: http://www.monash.com/blogs.html
    Required reading if you want to pitch me: http://www.strategicmessaging.com/how-to-pitch-me/2008/05/16/
    New Network World blog: http://www.networkworld.com/community/monash

  8. Nick on July 7th, 2008 9:01 am

    Guys, don’t forget that sometimes identities are being stolen by Nigerian scammers. If you ever had a web profile (anywhere), they might’ve picked the info and used it to create profiles on such dating site. This is a common thing, which is why, I started manually approving dating profiles on my site. Don’t get me wrong, I am not always 100% right, but at least I eliminate a good 99% of them.

  9. Rich on July 7th, 2008 10:42 am

    While browsing to make sure my name wasn’t on the list, I came up with this: http://jlove.com/names/s/science/
    This painfully illustrates the point.

  10. Chris Shaw on July 7th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Ha! Check out this link on Jlove.com: http://jlove.com/names/c/ – so this is a Jewish dating site, and it doesn;t have any members named “Cohen”? Riiiiight….

  11. Curt Monash on July 7th, 2008 1:12 pm

    LOL, Rich. Somebody got really careless on that one. :)

  12. Authentication, Security, Gadgets: Cryptosmith » New frontiers in on-line defamation on July 7th, 2008 1:18 pm

    [...] read more | digg story [...]

  13. Curt Monash on July 7th, 2008 5:21 pm

    This post has been Slashdotted, so there are a couple of hundred responses over there.

    Many are useless, but a couple have specific suggestions for how to go after JLove, if anybody cares enough.

    http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=605721&cid=24085645
    http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=605721&cid=24088497

  14. Beryllium Sphere LLC on July 7th, 2008 6:10 pm

    Does your state or JLove’s state have a law like this one?

    “Any person whose name, portrait, or picture is used without having first obtained the written consent of such person… for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade, such persons may maintain a suit in equity against the person, firm or corporation so using such person’s name, portrait, or picture to prevent and restrain the use thereof; and may also sue and recover damage for any injuries sustained by reason of such use. And if the defendant shall have knowingly used such person’s name, portrait or picture in such manner as is forbidden or declared to be unlawful by this chapter, the jury, in its discretion, may award exemplary damages.” Code of Virginia, Section 8.01-40″

  15. Curt Monash on July 7th, 2008 7:02 pm

    We’re making progress, guys. Google on JLove or, better yet, JLove dating service. :)

    However, much of that “link juice” will wear off over time, as posts pointing here fall off of the front pages of Slashdot, other blogs, etc. So there’s a ways to go yet …

    CAM

  16. Maurice on July 7th, 2008 7:32 pm

    Hi,

    I found this message board while trying to get my name off that stupid jLove site. I am the only person in America with my name and I don’t like that it comes up on the site. I did a little bit of research and found that jLove founder Yoav Cohen used to work for jDate. He left and founded jLove and apparently poached a whole bunch of names from jDate. (I was a jDate member once.)
    There is no way in hell I would ever join jLove because of this sleazy marketing trick they try and pull. Curt, please enlist me in any effort to get my name off the site.

  17. Maurice on July 7th, 2008 7:59 pm

    just found a number for Jlove PR Manager

    Contacts: JLove, LLC Kyle Gordon (416) 425-2224 x117

  18. hornlo on July 8th, 2008 1:46 am

    @Curt Monash: “there has to be a web page somewhere that gives your full name and says you are NOT a member of the JLove dating service”

    There is, in a sense: http://claimid.com/ It lets you link to URLs and state that it is (or is NOT) about or by you. If you have control over a site, you can also embed a marker that claimId will use to “verify” the site as yours (or at least under your control).

  19. Name Scrapers | Isotropic on July 8th, 2008 5:15 am

    [...] to Fight Name Scraping Scammers?” caught my eye, and I had to follow it up. Curt Monash discovered his name on a dating site, but he’d never registered there. It appears that the site paired up first [...]

  20. MariukasM.LT » Kaip apsaugoti savo tapatybę internete on July 8th, 2008 8:41 am

    [...] Kažkokia kompanija sugalvojo sukurti internete pažinčių tarnybą. Kad ta tarnyba taptų patrauklesnė būsimiems klientams, reikia juos privilioti jau “esamų” klientų “didele” duomenų baze. Tam reikalui vyrukai iš atsitiktinių vardų ir pavardžių sugeneravo vartotojų anketas, ko pasekoje nemažai niekuo dėtų žmonių sužinojo esą šito portalo registruotais nariais. [...]

  21. Curt Monash on July 8th, 2008 9:16 pm

    Hornio,

    Why would ClaimID be more useful than just setting up a Facebook page? Facebook does outpull JLove in the search engine rankings.

  22. Zara on July 8th, 2008 11:40 pm

    hi there are a number of ‘dating’ websites going around the Internet at the moment- looking at the small print I noticed – it is a ‘private label’ website meaning they jlove are just an agent for a larger company/ or a franchise – Thomas Technologies International is the software they have customized to make them look jlove ‘look’ like a Jewish website – it’s my guess than they have a larger central database with many profiles in – they have just adapted this software to their own ends.

    A similar cloned website tricked me into handing over my facebook password then they spammed everyone on my account.

    I startd a facebook group about my spammers, made me feel better anyway!

  23. Curt Monash on July 9th, 2008 12:30 am

    Zara,

    I’m not aware of any proof of JLove having any profiles — real or imagined — in their database at all.

    They may, but what this is about is the false claim of having members that they don’t. Nobody has ever told me whether there’s any kind of alleged profile for “curt monash” (except to the extent the lying page I already linked implies that there is one). I’m guessing there is not.

    The scam you’re talking about is worse. And by the way, there’s a related scam of setting up any kind of site, requiring a password, and hoping that somebody reused a password they use elsewhere.

    CAM

  24. Carolyn on July 9th, 2008 3:06 am

    Hi Curt,
    My name appears as well. I was outraged, so I mailed them directly (via support) saying how upset I was, and got a reply today. I shall see what happens.

    “Hi There,

    Thank you for bringing our attention to your complaint.

    We pride ourselves on our deep and unrelenting commitment to our Community, and we are constantly striving to deliver an improved user experience to each of our members.

    We apologize if the mention of your name on our site brought you any discomfort. We feel that the confusion most likely arose as a result of our site indicating a possible relationship with someone who either shares your name or a name very close to yours.

    That said, we do not wish to make you uncomfortable in any way, and so we have deleted the pages we could find that mentioned your name, and we removed your name from any offending text.

    Please note that Google and the other search engines can often keep a cached copy of a site’s page for a while, though the pages should leave the engines shortly.

    Please accept our sincere apologies for causing you to become upset with our site.

    Best,
    The JLove Customer Support Team

    To respond to this email message
    Please goto our contact form
    http://jlove.com/comments.aspx

    Carolyn

  25. Curt Monash on July 9th, 2008 3:33 am

    Carolyn,

    Well THAT’S progress!

    They ignored a similar note I sent a few days ago, around the time I made this blog post.

  26. Tim on July 9th, 2008 4:23 pm

    Same problem here…would it be an idea to also contact Google and request that JLove loses all of its ‘ranking power’, or whatever it is called? At least then it would not come up as the first site when our names are googled.

  27. hornlo on July 9th, 2008 5:24 pm

    “Why would ClaimID be more useful than just setting up a Facebook page?”

    Oh, I must have mis-interpreted the original quote — thinking you meant there should be something like a known service for it, not just simply putting one up at random somewhere yourself. Sorry.

  28. Curt Monash on July 9th, 2008 10:29 pm

    Tim,

    Yes and no. Google isn’t going to penalize a site if it uses “white hat” search engine optimization techniques to promote falsehoods. However, there’s a great chance that an outfit this aggressive has done some things Google would disapprove of. Calling those to Google’s attention might be harmful to JLove’s rankings.

    That said, the problem isn’t really how high JLove ranks, within reason. It’s that they put a false claim somewhere in the search engine results.

    CAM

  29. Has JLove taken the dishonest pages down? | Text Technologies on July 9th, 2008 10:57 pm

    [...] June 19, I wrote of a very dishonest gambit by a dating service called JLove. Specifically, JLove generated pages for many (First_Name, Last_Name) combos, falsely claiming that [...]

  30. Curt Monash on July 11th, 2008 7:15 am

    I’m looking through Google’s cache, and I think I got one thing wrong. That is, I now think JLove DID harvest real names directly. I previously thought that JLove had a list of first names and a list of last names and just matched them up, so that each last name had the same list of alleged-member first names. But poking through Google’s cache, I now think my previous impression in that regard was wrong.

    CAM

  31. Karyn M on July 11th, 2008 10:02 am

    I, too, have been a victim of this outrageous scam, and I have called this Yoav Cohen directly and left a message stating that I wanted any link between their site and my name taken down TODAY. This is completely unacceptable.

    I wonder if this will work, though.

  32. Curt Monash on July 11th, 2008 10:18 am

    Cohen telephoned me yesterday, saying that he hadn’t been involved in JLove for quite a while, but suggesting that he’d influenced the new management to take down the offending web pages even so.

    I suggested he leave a comment here or send me an email that I could post for him. He said he’d do the latter, but it was the sort of conversation in which he wouldn’t really be a promise-breaker if he decided not to follow up on that.

    CAM

  33. Colin on July 11th, 2008 4:35 pm

    Like Nick [July 7th, 2008 9:01 am] I also manually approve members to my website, which does ensure that most members are who they say they are. Getting 100% of members “real” is nigh on impossible as the scammers are always looking for new ways to deceive.

    As a tip, if any one who is member of a dating site does comes into contact with a scammer they should report them to the website they belong to asap.

  34. Julia on July 13th, 2008 12:59 pm

    Th names are off. I talked to Yoav early this week and told him this was illegal. I mentioned that not only was my name on it , but the names of all the members in my family and extended family. Like Curt, as far as I know, I am the only one person who has my name.

    When I talked to him on the phone, he told me to send him a letter that he could send to the people “responsible”. I also received the above form letter you received word for word.

    I did send a letter, saying if my name was not removed legal action would be taken.

    Yoav emailed me to tell me all names have been removed. He apologized and seemed genuine. I suspect the people responsible were the ones we got that automated letter from.

    My name is my own again. You too have your names back.

  35. New frontiers in on-line defamation | carlos-m.net on July 13th, 2008 11:19 pm

    [...] read more | digg story [...]

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