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The Love Calculator Scam


When I was 13, I was a notorious little kid. I always had a niche in programming all sorts of web pages and doing stupid things.

Not much has changed since then.

I was feeling a little bored one day and came up with a little scam.

You know, the year was 2003. And we were 13-year-olds. Back in those days, online love calculators were the coolest thing next to flash games. And the United States declared war on Iraq. And us kids would go around accusing each other of crushes and infatuations.

13 Year Old (2003)

Boy A talks to Girl A

Boy B: HAHA! You like her! You’re in love with her! EVERYBODY, Boy A has a girlfriend!

Boy A: But- no! As if!

Today

Boy A talks to Girl A

Boy B: Damn. She’s hot. What’s her number?

Boy A: Hehehe that was awesome.

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My friend and I had this wonderful idea of finding out everybody’s crushes. We figured that the Internet was the only place that people would tell the truth. That is the sad truth of the human race.

We decided to come up with an online Love Calculator targeted at, well, our classmates.

Love Calculators, at that time, were programmed in sophisticated Javascript that wasn’t within my abilities. A typical Love Calculator website would display two blank fields, each for a name, and clicking on ‘Calculate!’ will bring you to another page where some silly algorithm would calculate the percentage compatability of the two people.

LoveCalculator.com’s web page. A product of 1996.

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So, this was how it was going to be like.

How it works:

Whatever names that our friends key into the Love Calculator, likely to be their’s, will be submitted to us. While this may sound like an easy task today, I actually took hours to get a working form submission service up.

What page to display after people use it?

As I couldn’t program a working Love Calculator, I used a fake error page which would be displayed after the submission. I think declaring something like, “Congratulation! The names you just entered have just been submitted to me!”, would just end in myself being beaten up in school the following day.

How to distribute and inform everyone about it?

Of course, by just sending my friends a link to a page with the fake love calculator will never work. I wasn’t exactly the kind of guy in class who would really bother with Love Calculators. So, I created an email account, disguised as someone… I won’t say who. But someone who people would actually expect this Love Calculator rubbish from.

How to convince them to use it?

Not everyone will want to waste their time on a love calculator. It doesn’t work. So, I had to convince them that this particular one was worth a try. I came up with a poorly written story that a PhD guy wrote the program.

Is that enough?

No, I didn’t think so. To add on to its authencity, I decided to disguise it as a Chain Mail. Yes, that emails that people forward around so much that the subject becomes something like ‘FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: RE: THIS IS FUNNY GRANDMA!’. Surely people forwarding this love calculator around must make it quite something to try out. I simply copied the whole list of names forwarded around from another chain email.

What’s the name of the whole project?

We called it Remmacs. Backwards for ‘Scammer’.

This was the final product. The text is exactly the same as what it was back in 2003. It was embedded right into an email, and sent out to most of my classmates. If you didn’t receive it and were a classmate of mine back then, either I figured that you were too smart to scam or I didn’t care about you.

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Love Calculator

We all know that everybody’s name has a meaning. The name of a person also affects the way we think about the person.

This means that the person’s name might very well be a factor of the relationship between people, including crushes and love.

Dr. William Carter, PhD in Psychology at Columbia University, has worked out ways which the brain reacts and thinks about different names.

For an example, if you quarreled with a person called “John” before, the very next time you see someone with the name “John”, you might be hostile with the person even though he is a totally different person from the person who you quarreled with. This is because the name “John” leaves a bad impression in your mind.

A quite similar technique is used for crushes and love relationships, and is developed Dr. Carter. It has been tested before and the accuracy and success rate of his technique is about 83%.

The Love Calculator was written in JavaScript at first, but changed to Perl soon after so that all browsers are able to support it.


To find out what are the chances for you and your crushes, just fill in the names of you and your crushes below and press Calculate to get the results!

*Note: You don’t have to fill up all the textboxes for crushes but you need to at least fill up your name and one of your crushes name.

As the Love Calculator is attached and embedded in the email, you have to click “accept” or “send” in the pop-up window when processing the results.

Your Name:

Crush 1’s name:

Crush 2’s name:

Crush 3’s name:

(Press only once)

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Today, I have lost all of the results after my Yahoo! Mail account was deleted, but the whole thing worked pretty well.

About 4 people fell for it. That’s not a lot, but I uncovered many personal secrets.

Cheers!