The majority of women with attractive photos who are seeking hook-ups online are actually “horny men” using fake profiles, a dating website founder has warned his users.
Plenty of Fish (POF) founder Markus Frind, who has announced the company will be rooting out fake and sleazy profiles.
Mr Frind, whose dating site is one of Britain’s biggest, said many of the ‘women’ who use the hook-ups section of his site are actually men in disguise, trying to con admirers.
"Intimate Encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women,” he wrote in a message to members.
He added that of the women looking for no-strings-attached trysts on his site, "the ones with hot pictures are mostly men pretending to be women".
The site announced it is scrapping the ‘Intimate Encounters’ option because of complaints from women suffering unwanted attention, and is making a series of changes to its membership rules to try and stop harassment and to prevent fake profiles.
"When I created POF, I wanted it to be all about finding relationships with the right person,” said Mr Frind. “For the first seven years, this worked really well. I got the site to 10 million users without any employees and POF was generating a ton of relationships."
Mr Frind, who founded the website in 2003, said he wants it to focus on "meaningful relationships", the Independent reported. Plenty of Fish now has a turnover of more than $10 million, or £6.6 million, a year.
The entrepreneur has also decided to prevent users from contacting other members where the age gap is 14 years or more.
"There is no reason for a 50-year-old man to contact 18-year-old women. The majority of messages sent outside those age ranges are all about hook-ups," he wrote.
He estimated that 2 per cent of the men had "started to use POF as more of a hook-up site, mostly due to the casual nature of mobile phone use" following the increasing popularity of smartphone apps.
The site has more than 55 million members worldwide and some 24 million messages sent every day, with Mr Frind recently boasting that an estimated one million babies will have been born because of people connecting through his website.