The Federal Trade Commission is suing Match Group for allegedly using fake love interest ads to trick consumers into paying for a subscription to dating site Match.com
The site lets people create profiles for free but you need to pay for a subscription to respond to messages. Match sent emails to non-subscribers telling them they had received a response on the site. But the FTC said Wednesday Match sent millions of emails about notices that came from accounts already flagged as likely fake. Match did prevent subscribers from getting email from suspected fake accounts, the FTC says.
Prices for subscriptions vary depending on length, from $20-plus to $30-plus a month depending on the length of time you subscribe for. There are also a variety of add-ons you can buy, too.
The FTC said hundreds of thousands of people subscribed to Match.com after receiving communications from fake profiles.
The FTC is also alleging that Match didn’t adequately disclose the requirements that consumers needed to get Match’s offer of free six-month subscription if they did not “meet someone special.” And that it didn’t provide simple enough subscription cancellation practices.
Match Group said it blocks 96% of bots and fake accounts within a day and that fraud isn’t good for business. It said in a statement that the FTC’s claims are “outrageous,” and it plans to “vigorously” defend itself in court.
The New York company owns Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid, PlentyOfFish, and other dating sites.