Weeding out the wedded

Weeding out the wedded
This photo illustration shows the homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong. The founder of a dating service promoting adultery is setting his sights on China's cheating hearts after a controversial launch in Hong Kong.

Married people do sneak into online dating agencies and sites under the radar, said founder of AshleyMadison.com Noel Biderman.

"Many people on traditional dating sites are actually married and pretending to be single to get what they want," he said.

Several dating agencies here told The New Paper that the screening of fresh applicants is stringent - checks against the Registry of Marriages are done to confirm that they are not married.

Dating Moments said between 2 and 3 per cent of their enquires came from married persons and were rejected immediately, while Who Works Around You, an online dating site, has 2 to 3 per cent of people who claimed to be divorced but do not have divorce papers.

Director of The Dating Loft Jamie Lee said: "Of course, it is not fool-proof. But as our membership fees range from $1,000, our clients are generally serious-minded singles looking for a serious long-term relationship. For married people who are looking to cheat on their spouses, there are easier and less costly ways for them to do so."

Similarly, It's Just Lunch charges a premium "to show that we are sincere and serious in matching like-minded singles for a lasting relationship", its managing director Anisa Hassan said.

"Such charges also help deter married people looking for a one-night stand from joining us."


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