Dating mobile apps in China were closed after a police investigation revealed that these were found to be committing fraud, with robots programmed to act as women. BBC, citing the Modern Express newspaper, reports that over 600 suspects were arrested and apps associated with 21 companies were shut down after finding that fake accounts were created to stand in as sexy girls. The scam covered 13 provinces in China.

According to police, chatting with a woman had a 200-yuan ($30.93) fee. But users were interacting with accounts programmed to send messages that included greetings, compliments and even solicitation of gifts. A police report states that tens of thousands fell victim to fraud equivalent to one billion yuan (US$153.5 million), earning the companies profit illegally.

The investigation began in August 2017 when police in Guangdong identified an app that was charging users to view porn that didn’t exist. When a user failed to view the “porn” and complained to customer service, staff were instructed to give excuses such as a malfunctioning mobile version or browser and poor Internet speed. Users would then be charged again for each time they tried to view the content.

A Sina Weibo user commented on the case of fraud: “It looks like AI has finally overtaken human intelligence.”

Article By Nina. V. Guno