November 18, 2005 12:21 PM PST

Suit claims Match.com set up fake dates

Plaintiff says e-dating site sent bogus romantic e-mails, set up sham dates to keep customers. Different suit claims Yahoo posted fictitious profiles.

The story "Suit claims Match.com set up fake dates" published November 18, 2005 at 12:21 PM is no longer available on CNET News.

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umm...Why is this bad?
I wish matchmaking companies went that far to satisfy their customers. Of course it is getting to a gray area of the law, but you'd think he'd be happy he at least got a date. It's not like anyone else does from those things.
Posted by bob donut (90 comments )
Reply Link Flag
False Representation?
Both match and yahoo always have a few profiles that feature VERY HOT looking women along with attractive yet generic descriptions. And these profiles stay online and unchanged for years to lure potential paying customers. I always suspected they were fakes.

Sounds like false representation to me. But I'm a computer guy, not a lawyer.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Link Flag
who has trouble getting dates?
regarding Bob Donut's statement that " It's not like anyone else
does from those things."

If you are fugly and your profile reads like a loser, then maybe
you can't get dates. When I was single, I was able to sign up on
one of these sites and have more dates with attractive,
interesting women than I had time for. I can't imagine that it
would be worth it for match.com to have to hire women to
attract customers, the numbers don't make sense. How much
would you have to pay an attractive woman to salvage a $12 a
month subscriber?
Posted by doeksen (2 comments )
Link Flag
shallow
It's bad because because most people pay monthly to find somebody for marriage, not just a lousy date. What a shallow comment!
Posted by fw12 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Well allow me to retort...
The reason it's bad is because it is a FRAUD...Selling a service
based on the perception that you provide something you do not
or can not is called DE - ception.
I subscribed to True.com and was flooded with replies to e-
mails & "Flirt Alerts" that were to have been sent by myself to a
LOT of women that were not even close to any criteria that I
picked.
I assume that their logic is that if they make contact for you, you
would have an easier time turning down strange people. Make
sense? It doesn;t to me either. I am an individual with respect
for others. I finally gave up telling these women that there was
some sort of mistake. I eventually gave up and stopped replying
and treating them EXACTLY the way that I did not wanted to be
treated myself.
ON the sites listed in the arrticle I would attempt to contact
people and eventually would e-mail someone and jsut ask them
to reply so that I knew the service actually dealt with real people.
I cancelled every one of these online scams. Why am I paying
any fee to meet people that are not real and do not exist?
Glad to see someone is fighting back.
Posted by Bearfilm (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DUH People..Forget Match.com use MySpace
Why do people even still pay for Match.com the service? What does it offer you that MySpace.com doesnt offer you? I think Match.com is aware of this , because they kept deleting the words MY Space everytime I mentioned it in my profile.

Match.com will be free soon! Dating sites of today are a thing of the past or for idiots who want to pay for rejection. MySpace.com offers the same free rejection.... www.myspace.com go there now!
Posted by paul7986 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
R U 15?
MySpace.com is teen-oriented.
Posted by chrisx1 (201 comments )
Link Flag
Waste of time..
Most women of today aren't serious online. They just want to chat, not meet. That's why My Space is so popular. Who wants to waste time just chatting? Read this article I wrote about this matter: oasisoflove.com/2/articles.php?id=7

Hence, My Space is not a dating site at all.
Posted by fw12 (5 comments )
Link Flag
RE: Suit claims Match.com set up fake dates
Did they get any dates otherwise?
Posted by (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what's new?
Pretty much every dating site has been doing just this fraudulent tactic of tricking people into paying to reply to non-existent of fictitious profiles - thank god someone is finally suing them. I've even seen cases where photos of supermodels are shown as potential singles ...
Posted by cocobongo04 (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
nada
Various print-media dating services used to get busted for this sort of thing. I guess that the only difference is that the scammers now have web servers.
Posted by (139 comments )
Link Flag
How does work financially.
I have used match.com and yahoo personals very successfully over several years when I was single. I have never found any shills on either - though I see quite a few faces that are there for extended periods of time - like mine was. Since I dated some of those faces I know those particular ones are real not shills. I also seriously doubt that any dating company can afford to pay enough people to go out on dates with customers that only pay $50 a year for a subscription to have any impact on their subscription base. How does that work? Word of mouth works, but the ratio of people that come to a business is very low. If you have 15 million customers around the world why do you need to pay anyone to date a handful? What do you care if someone leaves your service - there are always more. Match.com is a success as a business. Just doesen't make any business sense at all.

What I have found is that there are a lot of people who are not willing to put the time and communication into online dating to make it work. Not to mention those people who just aren't good at online communications. I also find people who never learn how to get over the rejection that is inevitable in dating online or otherwise. If you get a response from one and in ten women you write you are doing good - accept that its a numbers game. If you want the right match you have to do a lot of looking and that means a lot of writing. It takes time and well... work. I have also found lots people who can't seem to make transistion from writing to talking and from talking to meeting and dating. If your writing works meet the person in a safe environment and find out if there is any reason to see them again. If not... "next"! I think its really easier just to blame all the shallow people on dating sites for your not having success rather than admitting that you aren't willing to put the time and effort in to using what is really a pretty amazing system - or that you simply admitting that you can't communicate effectively. Online dating services certainly beat the hell out of the bar scene - or any other way meeting people. While their qualification systems may require more improvement - where else in life can you get any prequalification of the people you meet?

If this case goes to court, I will be really surprised. There are all kinds of scams out there - not just online. Looking for out of court damage settlements from successful businesses certainly isn't new. No one paid me to write this either.
Posted by duggerdm (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
As I said...
The only people I know who have a problem with online dating services are those that aren't successful with them. I want hear how the guy suing explains how match.com gets a financial benefit from paying anyone to date him - or how the loss of his subscription will break them. Its all absurd.
Posted by duggerdm (103 comments )
Link Flag
I Beg To Differ
I am a very normal guy who is a 'skilled' user of match. Granted i'm a good writer and not too hard on the eyes... I have a profile that brings me 10-15 responses a day from women who do exist and do go out with me, and do not work for match.

Here's my question to you: If a membership is $65 for 6 months (that's my paid rate), that's roughly $11/month. Say the average date is 3 hours long. Even if they were paying their employees $11/hour (note: in N Out pays this) which is highly unlikely, one date would cost them half of the renewal fees... and that's not including the time it took to contact the person, write to them, call, set up the date, drive there, etc. Not to mention the unbelievable risk of lawsuit from the employee who was 'forced' to go on dates with strangers.

Hmm... YOu think they're going to this trouble for $20 worth of income (note: after subtracting the price of the one date, the money they make in 6 months from this guy's membership, roughly $20, would then be cut up into the marketing expenses, expenses of operations, salary, etc...)

Now, take it a step further... imagine only 1 in 2 guys signs back up after their 1 Magical Match Fake Date (I'm assuming these girls aren't sleeping with the men... forced prostitution for $11 an hour seems even more unlikely in this universe)... Now they're just breaking even if they convert every other guy with just one date.

This is absurd. No company would bother, especially with 15 MILLION users, and 250 employees... put on your thinking caps, people. Seriously.

D
Posted by denrex (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yes it is fraud.. this is old news
google Friend Finder Scam or Adult Friend Finder scam

This is all old news they have been doing this forever. Ask the people you talk to about details form your hometown. Weather sports etc...They will not reply..
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
...and the inevitable outcome...
I suspect the "fake date" thing will not pan out to have legs, however, the issue that will surface immediately is a privacy issue. At least thats the flag the companies will raise when they are presented with emails to subscribers and asked to prove these emails came from "real" people. The companies will scream "privacy rights".

It will be a coincidence that the probably automated emails occur near subscription end dates and such tactics. It will later surface as this drags out that people will step forward from the companies to outline the automated code, fake profile creation, and such, probably under wraps right now by binding work agreements and contracts. A subpeona will evantually reveal the pictures were provided for pay alongside agreements never to disclose what the companies were going to do with them, such as create fake automated profile emails, and that a re-imbursement out of court agreement will be struck "with no admission of guilt" after which subscribers from such and such a date to another will be provided - guess what! more subscription time!
Posted by edgar321 (3 comments )
Link Flag
I would sign up if they actually did this
It's a pretty good deal if they actually did this because for $11/month, you'd get a drinking buddy or just someone to hang out with.

This accuser is probably a big loser. Most likely fat, bald, and thugly.
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Link Flag
Are you an employee at match?
Nice speech!
What type of incentives have you received to write such a persuasive reply to this issue?
Mind you though, you caught me by pushing this too much!
So are you an employee, very committed one you are huh?

haha.....
Posted by lsong (2 comments )
Link Flag
You must be an employee
Humm, even though your arguments does seem to have some validity to them (its not unrealistic that Match could have done something like that), alas, the fact that you've gone to "great" lenghts to dispel this notion leads me to belive that you must be an employee.
Posted by Tombow (3 comments )
Link Flag
Oh please...
You sound like an arrogant phony!
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah, get a life.
How about finding a date the old fashioned way? It's been tried and true for centuries. Another scam is old school alumni sites, for which I regret giving my personal information. It is simply a click factory, where people I've never heard of, and are supposedly former classmates, try to contact me in the hopes that I'll subscribe to the premium service.
Posted by sadiesmog (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Definitely Agree!
I agree with you 100%, we need to continue to date the old fashioned way.

It is the best way, most of the time you already know the person and his or her background, so you would know if that is the sought of person that deserves your time.

Why will a person spend all their time on a pc speaking to someone they do not know, have never met and surely dont know what type of character they have?

Let me remind you guys, it is easy to pretend behind a computer, very hard to when you are face to face with a person.

But what about when you meet the person and they already filled your mind with crap? ( in the case you went the modern way of dating)

Am I right?
Posted by lsong (2 comments )
Link Flag
The difference between Match.com and Myspace
match.com audience: 26+
myspace.com audience: 15-24

If you're 26+, it's a tad tough to date those youngins.

I rest my case...
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Maybe this is a feature?
Kinda like a softcore escort service for losers who can't get a date in real life.
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You have mail... Now pay us $30 to read it.
That's the basic trick right there. You get an email but can't see it, or if you can you can't reply to them with more than a virtual hug/wink until you pay some cash into it.

It's quite easy to create a few phony profiles in areas that have a lot of non-paying members then send out messages.

Anyone else notice how both cases were brought by men? Any site that reports having more than a 50% female registered base is telling a bold faced lie. Yes, there are women out there who use the services, and no they do not out number the men on those sites.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sue them???...Sure..Why not?
Well, maybe all that is nice and cool and all. BUT... I've been a member of one dating site for a couple of years. Long story why I registered there.I got what I wanted in a week after I registered. I needed some info on how americans treat russian women and their presence on the dating sites, etc. So I found it out and wrote an article for the newspaper I work for.

It was probably my mistake to stay registered at the site, but I got stuck in there. I found loads of female and male friends from all over the world via that site and have become a regular visitor of their chat. And I tell you what, I am probably the only russian on that site they treat friendly. I'm not looking for a boyfriend or husband cause I have one. And all of them know it. Nevertheless, I keep on getting nasty mails from those who even doesn't know me and think I'm like one of those who caused the described above lawsuit.

Me and my BF get in their chat from time to time to keep in touch with our friends. I mean the real ones, who support us when we have hard times and whom we gladly will help right away shoould they get in trouble.

So, a few days ago I found out I couldn't get in the site. I mean it was just blank when I tried to get in the homepage. I asked my buddies in the messenger if they had the same problem. It occured they didn't have any problems like that. ONLY cause they are in the USA.

So next thing I did, I made a research and found out why people from any country but the US, Canada, China and some European ones can't get into that "international dating site" . They started banning IP addresses of all the countries but listed above.

This is what the staff posted in the boards of the site:

"Nov 18 @ 2:54PM Matchdoctor

Posts: We wanted to address this issue since it has been popping up here on the boards. We started to block a lot of high fraud/scam countries (???!! - auth.) from accessing our website (Easern Europe, Philippines, African Countries, etc.). We would like to sincerely apologize to everyone that was communicating with anyone that is no longer able to access the site. The reason for doing this was to reduce the amount of fraudulent charges which has increased greatly in the last few months and also scamming on the website. It was getting out of hand and had to be reduced before it cost us too much in charge back fees and member complaints of the increasing spam/scams mails. We hope our users will be understanding in this matter and again apologize to anyone who is unable to communicate with users from countries that were banned".

So, they apologized to the US members??? How about those who they banned??? How 'bout violations of my rights? And this country dares to claim it's a country of freedom? Gimme a break. Let's start with the mere sticking to the human rights...then we'll talk about freedom.

Not long ago they posted the article on one of the news web sites about Matchdoctor having been re-launched. "Founded by Jason Tarlowe and Luke Kalish of Online Singles, LLC in 2000, Florida-based Matchdoctor.com began with just a few hundred members, but has grown exponentially since then, recently surpassing the one million member mark." Sure. I wonder if they know who gained that million. It's not a big secret (though honestly, I don't appreciate it much) that the US men aren't much against of dating a russian. Or a lady from Phillipines. Well, that's their choice and I can't blame them for that. It's a personal matter. I also agree that many of those so-called russian brides are not against of taking advantage of it either. But is it very wise of them to ban the whole country like Russian Federation (hope you understand, it's natural I speak for my country mostly) where only 1% (ONE PERCENT!) of the population uses internet at home? And consider the whole country to be a total scam? That's just way too funny. So, they gained that million and now they face the complaints of the users.

Fraud? What is a fraud? Is having thousands of foreign profiles in the site but actually NOT letting most of those users in cause of the ban a fraud? If they banned all those countries, they need to remove every single profile from those countries or it could be considered fraud? Using profiles of people that can't get in as a bait, isn't it a fraud? "The way people meet each other and date will change over time," said Jason Tarlowe, CEO of Online Singles, LLC. "The enhanced flexibility and convenience of the new Matchdoctor.com site puts us in the position to change right along with them." ..... Good Luck with that.

So, court? Why the hell not?
Posted by helenRU (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Love Online Is A Many Splendid Fraudulant Thing
GDay

I would like to also add to the comments above. I find it totally amazing that the management of that site are ready to ban a whole nation(s) due to scamming and the need to 'protect' American citizens to this rather unusual and odd form of fraud, when it has come to my attention that one chatter in that site an American was able to con several ppl into believing she was not who she states she was in her own profile. Playing a game with their affections by posting fake pictures of herself on not one but two - and maybe more profiles. This is just one example of it occuring within the boundaries of the chatroom's main server's primary country, America. The person has been allowed back into chat on her own profile she claims contains the correct information and statistics pertaining to her - but how are we as mere chatters able to ascertain this is correct. I have nothing against the person specifically but the duplicity of the site management itself, in allowing a known fraudulent chatter back in to the site.

The example I give here is not just a one of ... it has happened numerous times with different ppl doing it and also from within the country, USA. It is however the first exampleo f how the site is willing to allow this person access - and i do believe they were forgiving of her due to her nationality.

I also was a member of the same site as the writer who wrote the article above and she is a dear friend, as to is her bf. I find it totally rediculous that due to her nationality she was blocked from access and labelled a spammer. Shes is far from being a spammer.

Personally I have my own issues that have been pu ton me by this site as well. I was banned and have had my IP blocked by MD due to the fact I upset the moderator of this room by my Australian larrikinism n cheekiness - very much attributed to the typical Australian persona most overseas ppl will encounter on meeting Australians. Funny to think I was banned for being myself - n not for being something I wasn't. The site management were not forgiving of me due to the fact I am Australian and they believe - as my sources from ppl who are in touch with MD administration - Australians also dont belong on a US dating site more particularly in their chat room area, though we are tolerated as long as we don't act as ourselves.

Regardless, my point here is that they are so willing to forgive the indescrestions of fraud by one of their own countries citizens than the joking attitude of someone whom is off shore.

Also adding to this unique favouritism another case exists of a known fellon, a US citizen, being also allowed to access the same site allowing ppl who are not aware of this situation (a term referred to as a newbie) to interact and develop a relationship with this person - a person who has been taken to court, and found guilty of, sentenced and served time for being ..an abuser to women.

How many other ppl in their own country who chat on that site have MD been aware of that are also in this same situation, abusers, child molesters, murderers, grand larsenist or even actually in prison at the time on a major sentence - who have set up fake profiles to hide this fact from other ppl in order to protect their true identities from the rest of the chatters? How many relationships has MD knowingly allowed with these known fellons and not protected the ppl who were unaware? MD choose not to disclaim the activities of the chatters in their chat site - regardless of whatever preamble they may post in the terms and conditions every member needs to read prior to accessing their server and chatrooms - due to the fact they utilise a moderator whose responsibilities it is too moderate chat and ensure chatters are not harmed by abusive or fraudulent ppl - yet at the same tim ethey allow these known cases to come into chat and cohabitate the same area as ppl unaware to this.

MD you need to look in your backyard b4 u quickly go and point accusatory fingers at other countries on a general scope - u need to be specific - and u need to be proactive to your members by protecting them from known cases of fraud with in your own country. Y0ou have a right an a responsibility to them. The chatters and other non chatters who utilise your site pay for a service - if free chatter and users subsequently benefit from this it is ust too bad - perhaps to turn a profit your entire site and many other dating sites should be completely accessed only by paid members, but in doing so for the moeny requested by these companies there needs to be responsibility shown by the management itself.

Enough of my early morning ramblings.
Cheers

ESD
Posted by ESDad (2 comments )
Link Flag
Let's see, 15 million members divided by 250 employees
Now let's see:

15million members divided by 250 employees=60,000 dates per employee. Perhaps this is a perk of the job?

I'd suggest the guy with the lawsuit fight to get a job at Match.com. He can get income and a relationship all at the same time.

I'd suggest the defendent look in the mirror, and try to figure out why someone would give him such a lame excuse for breaking a date.

By the way, can Match.com employees join the site on thier own?
Posted by NACB (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
paying only
"15million members divided by 250 employees=60,000 dates per employee."

Match doesn't have 15 million paying members.
Posted by fw12 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Publicity Stunt
This is a stunt. I haven't heard about Match.com in a long time.
I bet their membership numbers are spiking around now.
Posted by chrisx1 (201 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Interesting
I've also heard a lot of people who refused to sign up with Match over this. Publicity stunt?
Posted by fw12 (5 comments )
Link Flag
online dating expose
As a long time user of many of the online sites I will tell everyone there are good ones and bad ones. Buyer beware as always. I have used Match.com and Yahoo Personals for many years and met many very nice women and dated some also. Still presently a member of both. I have also subscribed to other sites from time to time such as American Singles or Date.com or True.com etc and I will say I have received "fake emails" from all of them trying to entice me to join. C'mon what beautiful 27 year old woman is really interested in a 48 year old guy who is not rich. If anyone is gullible enough to fall for these then they deserve to lose their $30. I will no longer join any services that I find sends fake emails. These sites also offer you "free trials" and then automatically bill you if you don't cancel before the end of the trial period. Trying to figure out how to cancel is the problem. True.com got me for 1 month but they won't get me again.

Most of these new sites let women join for free because the men always outnumber the women so men end up footing the bill as usual. But generally after a month or so you will find that even the women stop going there because there are few fresh faces.

Match and Yahoo have never as far as I know sent me "fake" emails. I have received scam mails from China or Russia but that is a no brainer.

I would like to point out a deceptive practice that Match employs which many people are unaware of. I complained and got stuck in their email system. If you are a paying member and you write to someone who is a member but not a "paying" member, they can read your email. Sounds reasonable. But if they are not a "paying" member and you include your email address in the email message, Match removes it and substitutes @talkmatch.com. This is not explained in their policies and realistically means they are reading and censoring my private emails. I am sure a computer program does this but it is still deceptive.

Yahoo Personals does not employ this practice.

Somehow I think this lawsuit is a joke and probably should be directed to some of the newer sites who are trying to enter the market with deceptive practices. I tend to agree with the other response here that Match and Yahoo with millions of legit subscribers need to pay employees to go on "fake" dates.

Bottom line is if you decide to use any of the sites learn the ropes, buyer beware and if it looks to good to be true...

Good luck to all.
Posted by pparker_1213 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
avidavit signed
Now Match is saying that they've gotten the employee to sign an avidavit that she was never and employee. Yeah right.

Isn't that too easy. If anybody brings up an allegation against a giant like Match that seriously damages its reputation, do you really believe that all Match would do would be to get the person to sign an avidavit? No way, it'd be more like suing the pants off that woman.

The case of her signing an avidavit just means she's been bribed with a few millions to keep here quiet. Scams will never end. Support the free sites: oasisoflove.com and put a stop to the greed.
Posted by fw12 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MATCH. COM FRAUDS
I have had two supposed portraits contact me and we would chat on yahoo.com. Eventually, both requested money for their 5 year old daughter's for appendectomies. Both ended up in Nigeria, which I have discovered is a haven for scam artists. Luckily, I was smart enough not to send money even though their pleads were very sympathetic. I was not aware until this happened to me how prevalent it is on this website. Don't send money to anyone. And don't believe theh pictures - some of them are out of magazines or pictures they have received from people they have contacted.
Posted by lynne3387 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
match.com married man
Even after verifying that a "perfect" match was indeed single - it turned out he was married. We met for lunch (he drove 3 hours) and the next week his WIFE called and verbally assaulted me on the phone at work. Match.com will not respond to numerous emails regarding this issue.
Posted by KellyJoe77 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
How bout this for another disgusting angle. I am sent a "daily 5" wherein one of the guys looks really awesome. Read his bio and though it looked a little generic and he looked too good to be true, I pursued his "wink". It took me a New York minute to figure out that it's one of those Nigerian scams and that I am to be their next dinner. I wrote to Match.com and let them know that they have many fakes in their midsts preying on innocent women. Isn't dating life hard enough?
Posted by designer6905 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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