Dating websites fined thousands for fake profiles
The Federal Trade Commission has fined an online dating company, claiming it was deceptive in its marketing.
The FTC alleges that England-based JDI Dating tricked users into signing up for services by displaying fake, computer-generated profiles as potential dating matches. The company also “[tricked] users into upgrading to paid memberships and charging these members a recurring monthly fee without their consent.”
The official complaint and injunction orders JDI Dating to pay $616,165.JDI claims they have more than 12 million users across 18 different dating sites including cupidswand.com, flirtcrowd.com and findmelove.com.
According to the FTC, the websites would offer a free plan, but users could only reply to messages (sent by fake accounts) if they signed up for a paid subscription. Membership plans ranged in cost from $10 to $30 per month.
Users were also not forced to view the websites’ “terms and conditions” which mentioned the subscription cancellation and renewal process.