Today in your important “love is a lie and you will be alone forever” update, Match.Com is being sued in the US over allegations that it used fake profiles to entice users.
The Federal Trade Commission is alleging that the popular dating site effectively catfished users with fake love interest ads, to get them to sign up for subscriptions.
In a press release this week, the FTC accused the site of misleading singles about messages from potential love interests, even potentially exposing them to “romance scammers”.
If a user with a free account received a message from someone else, then the site would send a notice, encouraging them to sign up for a paid account so they could read it.
The problem, according to the FTC, is that many of the profiles sending messages were likely fake in the first place. They explained:
“Match had already identified many of them as likely scammers. So if you paid Match to read that message, you might have found either a scammer or an empty inbox, instead of, possibly, “the one” Match advertised. That’s deceptive.”
Worse than that, it is alleged that the site already blocked suspicious profiles for its paid users, but did not do so for users with free accounts.
“The FTC says that practice is unfair, placing people at risk of romance scams so that Match could make more money,” they said in this week’s media release.
The dating site has responded, saying that it blocks 96% of bots and fake accounts within a day, and that the FCT’s allegations are “completely meritless” and “supported by consciously misleading figures.”
The site has said that it will “vigorously” defend itself in court.
Match.Com’s Australian counterpart is not accused of any such behaviour.Image: iStock / fizkes