Free dating sites fast became an ecosystem for programmers to let loose their bot scripts - luring the sexually curious to malware or "extra" services.
Meeting a robot is an inevitable part of online dating - or owning an email address.
: "There was a reputation a couple of years ago for fake profiles, but we don't believe in conning people to pay subscriptions.
We set up terms on the application saying, we say on every application profile, 'do you understand, no fake profiles'.
Catfishing, phishing and sexy chat-botting: the online dating world can be a confusing place.
Now Match and Tinder's parent company is gearing up to sell stocks and shares, so the spotlight is on shady practices hidden in some dating sites' code.
The UK's online dating regulatory board tests applicants and insists sites sign an agreement to offer its services safely, and ethically.
But what if the chatbot was created by the company itself?
Take Ashley Madison, which had its entire source code, internal company emails and 37 million customers' personal information dumped onto torrenting sites earlier this year.