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November 12, 2009

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Online matchmaking scams abound

ONLINE matchmaking services are more frequently fraudulent than genuine, and legislation is needed to regulate the industry, the city's matchmaking association said yesterday.

The Shanghai Matchmaking Organization Administrative Association said the lack of regulation for matchmaking Websites is the industry's biggest problem.

Some women have complained that the boyfriends they got to know online were actually swindlers.

Li Ling, 40, was among the cheated women.

The divorced woman published her personal information on a Website. Many men tried to contact her, and she picked a man from among them. "He was very tender to me," she said.

But Li never met the man face to face. When they started to talk about marriage, Li's nightmare began.

The man said his new company was about to open, and according to his hometown's customs, his fiancee was to give a present of four to six baskets of flowers. He asked Li to remit money in an account to buy the baskets. To her shock, the baskets were to cost at least 5,000 yuan (US$732).

"And after I remitted all the money, he wouldn't answer my calls anymore," she said.

No government department is responsible at present for online matchmaking service management, an association official said.


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