The effect of suspicious profiles on people recommenders


Authors: Luiz Pizzato, Joshua Akehurst, Cameron Silvestrini, Irena Koprinska, Kalina Yacef, Judy Kay

Conference: The 20th International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2012)

Date: 16/7/2012 - 20/7/2012







As the world moves towards the social web, criminals also adapt their activities to these environments. Online dating websites, and more generally people recommenders, are a particular target for romance scams. Criminals create fake proles to attract users who believe they are entering a relationship. Scammers can cause extreme harm to people and to the reputation of the website. This makes it important to ensure that recommender strategies do not favour fraudulent profiles over those of legitimate users. There is therefore a clear need to gain understanding of the sensitivity of recommender algorithms to scammers. We investigate this by (1) establishing a corpus of suspicious profiles and (2) assessing the effect of these profiles on the major classes of reciprocal recommender approaches: collaborative and content-based. Our findings indicate that collaborative strategies are strongly influenced by the suspicious profiles, while a pure content-based technique is not influenced by these users.