Valentine’s Day Special: Odd Trends in Digital Romance by Havas Worldwide

heartHavas Worldwide’s annual “Love & Lust” survey, conducted among 2,000 adults in the US and UK, revealed that for 32% of users, what happens online is real; and more than two-thirds of those surveyed (US 70%, UK 67%) say the Internet has made it easier for people to cheat on their partners.

If this was any other day of the year, a startup like Qoqoriqo wouldn’t even be mentioned at Everything PR. But because it is Valentine’s Day, and the word of the day is romance, Qoqoriqo found its way into our mailboxes with the Arctic Startup feed, and got our undivided attention for a couple of minutes. Why? Because this startup claims to be helping people “easily and simply find out if their life partner is cheating on them.”

The question that follows is, naturally, why is this a worrying trend? Because helping people find out whether someone is cheating or not involves some deep digging into someone’s private correspondence or phone records. But this is not what Qoqoriqo relies on to “reveal” data. Qoqoriqo’s landing page features a search bar, where you have to enter the email address or phone number of the person you want to check on. And here, things get complicated.

If there are any matches in the system – aka, if anyone else entered the same data – Qoqoriqo claims to put you in contact with other people who might be dating the same person like you without knowing. You can even use Qoqoriqo to get in contact with any of ex-girlfriends, boyfriends, etc. to ask questions about this person. And if you find yourself in their records, for a mere $99 you can “whitelist” yourself. The claims are a bit bizarre: although there is a login button, there are no “register” forms. Plus, the system is designed to be completely anonymous – so how can you be sure that the people you are talking to are who they claim to be?

If you think that Qoqoriqo is odd, wait till you see what’s next. NamoroFake.com.br is another site that puzzles through its borderline ridiculous claims. It is aimed at single men, and it will generate a fake Facebook girlfriend profile, all complete with pictures and updates. Of course, the “effort” is monetized. There are several “plans” available, with the cheapest at $10 (profile valid for only 3 days), and the premium at $99 (valid for 30 days).

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