"It is very very difficult, if not impossible, to predict initial chemistry using variables assessed before two people meet each other," said study co-author Paul Eastwick, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
"The algorithms are not scientifically valid and are extremely unlikely to generate compatible matches." In other words, matchmaking sites simply can't account for how two people will get along in person — chemistry, if you will.
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"You should be sharing only information you'd be happy to share on a 35-foot billboard above your home," Williams said.
The scams are easy enough to dodge — all it takes is 15 minutes. It's how much money can we make, so how little can we put out?
But can a formula determine whether two people will have a successful long-term relationship? According to market research company IBISWorld, the online dating industry made 3 million in Canada in 2014.
Services like e Harmony and promise to find you the best potential matches based on complex and tightly guarded algorithms.
For starters, plug their emails into a search engine. " Scammers can counterfeit anything from dating site profiles to photos, email addresses, even seemingly official documents. "There's no way you can verify what's on the other end of a keyboard," Williams said.