This comes after police successfully “smashed” the 21 companies the chatbots called home. Police said they’ve arrested more than 600 suspects on suspicion of mobile app network fraud, froze a total of 100 billion yuan (USD $154m; £113m), and seized more than 400 servers, computers, mobile phones, books and more.
Authorities have been working on the massive fraud network since August 2017. They were tipped off after coming across a mobile app that was charging visitors to view porn videos that didn’t actually exist.
The crackdown, dubbed “Security Network No. 20”, was simultaneously carried out in 11 cities, including Zhuhai, Shantou and Dongguan in Beijing, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Fujian and Guangdong Guangxi and another 13 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
A task force found dating-app fembots “making friends,” or what we also call dangling porn as bait for men, getting them to register for apps, dropping flirty phrases such as (what Google translates as) “a city courtship,” “party dating,” and “a city secret tease.”
Once the dating apps lured men into download and installation, surprise! The apps would continuously upgrade their membership level.
Police said that the companies behind the apps found there was a lack of sufficient human females available to respond to users in a timely manner. So the criminal gangs got their techies to write the robot programs, which posed as female users and responded to app users automatically.
The apps would send predesigned greetings to newly registered users. The fembots would also ask for gifts to tease yet more money out of unsuspecting men. Police said that after about 60 seconds of a porn video having played, the apps would tell the users that they needed to reload, as a member, to keep watching. After recharging/reloading, the apps would open up to the member level content area and update the video playback, but the interface would still continue to trick users into recharging.
Do these devilishly developed divas sound familiar? They should: notorious cheaters’ site and devastatingly hacked dating-app Ashley Madison was probed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about its own battalion of fembots.
Then too, there was that army of 86,262 sex-starved bots that flooded Twitter, looking to be #fondled, for somebody to take their #virgin, and asking a young man if he wants a vulgar.
Not interested in having your money #fondled out of your wallet? Not in the market for some vulgar? Then guard against dating app scams with our top tips on how to avoid forking over money to internet cutie pies.