WASHINGTON – The company that owns popular online dating sites such as Match.com, Tinder and OKCupid has been sued by the U.S. Government for tricking consumers by using fake love interest ads.
Match Group, Inc. was sued by the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday with claims the company engaged in deceptive practices to get people to purchase paid subscriptions on Match.com.
According to the complaint, Match.com offered false promises of guarantees to find love or romance, as well as making it difficult to cancel subscriptions.
The company would send emails to those with free accounts claiming someone had expressed interest with them.
The FTC says the "You caught his eye" notices were from accounts that were previously flagged as likely be fake. When people received these notices, they purchased subscriptions believing there was real interest from someone else.
More often than not, the consumer who bought a subscription off the notice learned they were being scammed by a fake person.
"We believe that Match.com conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers," said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Online dating services obviously shouldn't be using romance scammers as a way to fatten their bottom line."
The FTC complaint went on to say that "consumers who considered purchasing a Match.com subscription generally were unaware that as many as 25 to 30 percent of Match.com members who register each day are using Match.com to attempt to perpetrate scams."