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Class Action Against Alleges Large Number of Fake Profiles

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Keyboard by John Ward on Flickr

Photo by John Ward on Flickr, a popular dating website, is being sued by current and former users who allege, among other things, that the database is full of fake profiles invented to inflate user numbers — and the complaint claims that former employees of the multimillion dollar company back up the allegations.

The lawsuit (PDF) alleges that “Match’s service is little more than a scheme to induce members of the public to join (and pay for) Match’s website based on false pretenses.” Specifically the complaint claims that the company engages in the following activities:

  • Allowing profiles that are inactive (because of canceled or expired membership) to be left up and searchable even though the person in the profile cannot be contacted;
  • Making “little to no effort to vet, police, or remove” fraudulent profiles; and
  • “[I]ntentionally represent[ing] that there are significantly more active members on the website than there actually are.”

Notably, the complaint maintains that the plaintiffs’ attorneys have conducted extensive interviews with former employees who support the lawsuit’s claims regarding the high number of inactive and fraudulent accounts.

The class action against was filed in late December in the Northern District of Texas and claims breaches of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as negligent misrepresentation.

The named plaintiffs in the lawsuit are all current or past paying members of and claim to have been injured by some of the company’s practices; they ask for compensatory damages to cover subscription fees paid, injunctive relief to stop from continuing with the alleged fraudulent practices, and other remedies.

ABC affiliate 7NEWS contacted for comment, and spokeswoman Jaklin Kaden responded in a statement: “The claims have no merit and Match will defend the lawsuit vigorously.”

Not exactly a feel-good Valentine’s Day story, but hopefully you’re having a nice one anyway!

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February 14th, 2011 at 6:27 pm