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.
[email protected] - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a judge today sentenced Daylon Pierce to 15.75 years in prison for preying on women in an online dating scam.
The complaint also charges the defendants with violating the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) by failing to: disclose clearly the terms of the negative-option plan, obtain express informed consent before charging consumers, and provide a simple way to stop recurring charges.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated order for permanent injunction was 5-0.
The complaint and stipulated final order were filed in U. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on October 27, 2014.
The messages were almost always from fake, computer-generated profiles – “Virtual Cupids” – created by the defendants, with photos and information designed to closely mimic the profiles of real people.
A small “v” encircled by a “C” on the profile page was the only indication that the profiles were fake.