FTC fines online dating service $616,000 for using “virtual cupids”

If you’ve ever wondered whether some user profiles on Internet dating sites are too good to be true that’s because they are, according to the U. Federal Trade Commission. In its first enforcement action against an online dating service, the FTC has accused U. Since , JDI Dating has operated a worldwide dating service through 18 websites, including Cupidswand. The company offered customers a free plan that allowed them to set up a profile with personal information and photos. After new users set up a free profile, they received messages that appeared to be from other members living nearby, expressing interest in the user, the FTC said in a news release. The messages, however, were usually from fake, computer-generated “virtual Cupids” created by JDI dating, with photos and information looking like they came from the profiles of real people, the FTC said. Those fake profiles contained a small graphic — a small “v” encircled by a “C” — but customers were not likely to see or to understand the icon, the FTC alleged. The company also failed to tell subscribers that their subscriptions would be renewed automatically, the FTC said.

FTC sues online dating site for faking profiles

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British playboy Billy Thomas is behind dating website JDI Dating; Form paid out £​, in settlement over ‘virtual Cupids’ last month.

By Steve Hopkins for MailOnline. A British playboy is behind a dating website that uses fake profiles to lure singletons into paying to subscribe. The year-old boasts online of living in a waterfront apartment, driving a Mercedes and of enjoying holidays in exotic locations like Mexico and Egypt. British playboy: Billy Thomas is said to be behind JDI Dating which was fined in the US for using ‘virtual cupids’ to lure singles into signing up for paid subscriptions – something the site continues to do.

The scheme works by matching users with attractive singles who live nearby and have seemingly genuine profiles that include photographs and list their interests. A short time later another woman contacted him. An attempt to respond to her also led the reporter to the subscriptions page. According to the Sunday Times, both women’s profiles were created by the dating site, something that was indicated by a small grey VC symbol in the top right corner of the profile. When the symbol is clicked the customer is directed to the sites terms and conditions, which states the site uses virtual profiles.

JDI Dating owns 18 websites and boasts having 12million global members. Mr Thomas previously worked at Intellichat which created an ‘automated sales agent’ it claimed could dissuade customers from leaving websites. Mr Thomas was then made chief executive.

Online Dating Service Agrees to Stop Deceptive Use of Fake Profiles

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Send an e-mail to tips ftcwatch. The following article first appeared on Oct. For more information on MLex, including getting access to its exclusive content, please contact sales mlex. In its first law enforcement action against an online dating site, the FTC charged JDI for allegedly creating phony user profiles of prospective dates to lure members into upgrading to a paid subscription.

Earlier this month, the agency filed a complaint against Simple Pure, a company that sells dietary supplements. The FTC alleges the company then automatically enrolled users in programs for which they were billed monthly fees. Companies that perform online background checks may be among those most affected by the ruling, said Marc Lesnick of IDATE, a group that tracks telecom, Internet and media markets.

As part of the sign-up process, users often have to submit credit card information. Restocking fees require consumers to pay a fee for returning an item.

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The Federal Trade Commission sued an online dating company on Wednesday for setting up fake profiles to trick users into paying for memberships. The company owns 18 websites, including cupidswand. The sites let users sign up for free. According to the FTC, as soon as the users set up their profiles, they would start receiving flirty messages. The messages were from fake, computer-generated profiles that were made to look real, according to the government suit.

JDI Dating created fake profiles and contacted free users in order to get them to sign up for premium accounts.

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JDI Dating site ‘using fake profiles’ to lure singletons into signing up

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Dating site fined for posting fake profiles

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FTC Sues Paid Dating Site For Luring Users With Fake Profiles

It may be difficult to know where to look for love, but at least we know where not to: a company called JDI Dating, which is being sued for its fake dating profiles. Luckily, the company has agreed to pay the fine, but not before members of dating websites such as CupidsWand. The only indication that these perhaps weren’t real people was a small icon in the top right corner that stands for “virtual cupid. All this raises the question of how reliable online dating actually is, and whether you can trust a company enough to put your love life in its hands.

According to an NPR interview with Christian Rudder , the site’s co-founder and president, the company has “experimented” with its dating algorithm by matching people who weren’t compatible and failing to match people who were.

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The Federal Trade Commission fines JDI Dating for posting fake profiles that encouraged the vulnerable to pay a subscription fee to contact beautiful women who weren’t, in fact, real. This seems to be a reality exploited by some dating sites that entice you to pay money for their services. This week, UK-based JDI Dating was fined by the Federal Trade Commission for emitting fake profiles that had one tiny catch: in order to talk to the gorgeous woman who was supposedly interested in you, you had to pay JDI Dating a little money.

It’s not clear how many people might have been duped, and therefore what amount of money each person’s disappointed feelings might have been worth. But how tempting it must have been to receive a come-on message from a comely stranger who allegedly lived nearby. JDI Dating describes itself as “one of the leading online-dating companies. Worse, the accusations were that the company automatically renewed subscriptions, sometimes without the approval of customers.

The company runs 18 sites and, as I write, its site boasts that it has 12 million members across those 18 loving properties. These include the delightful Cupidswand.

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An online dating company is being fined more than half a million dollars for allegedly tricking users into upgrading their membership with enticing messages from fake profiles. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it is also fining the company for failing to disclose its terms of service, which would automatically renew and charge customers after their initial membership expired.

The settlement forbids the company from misrepresenting facts about the service or its cancellation policy in the future. The company, which operates 18 websites, was accused of using computer generated profiles to send messages to users who had created free profiles. The FTC found that messages sent to users who created these free profiles were “almost always fake. The company boasts 12 million members on its website. While the company used a small icon to designate that the fake accounts, known as “virtual cupids,” were not real, “users were not likely to see” or understand what it meant, according to the FTC.

The fine and other orders will go into effect after they are signed by a district judge, where the complaint was brought in Illinois. View the discussion thread.

This Dating Site Is Getting Sued For Catfishing

Yes, not only can you be rejected on a dating site by a human, but by non-humans, too. Dating websites generate revenue through memberships. But in order to keep those memberships flowing, they need to provide people with potential romantic connections.

JDI Dating operates 18 dating websites, including , flirtcrowd.​com and People who created their free profiles.

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