Online dating deception
“JDI Dating used fake profiles to make people think they were hearing from real love interests and to trick them into upgrading to paid memberships,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Adding insult to injury, users were charged automatically to renew their subscriptions – often without their consent.” According to a complaint filed by the FTC, JDI Dating and William Mark Thomas operate a worldwide dating service via 18 websites, including cupidswand.com, and
The defendants offered a free plan that allowed users to set up a profile with personal information and photos.
As soon as a new user set up a free profile, he or she began to receive messages that appeared to be from other members living nearby, expressing romantic interest or a desire to meet.
In its first law enforcement action against an online dating service, the Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement that prohibits JDI Dating Ltd., an England-based company, from using fake, computer-generated profiles to trick users into upgrading to paid memberships and charging these members a recurring monthly fee without their consent.The settlement also requires the defendants to pay 6,165 in redress.