Online dating deception
The Commission’s complaint charges JDI Dating and Thomas with violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting the source of the communications from fake profiles and by failing to disclose the automatic renewal terms.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.(2) What motivation do online daters have for their deception of others in the online dating environment?(3) What perceptions do online daters have about other daters' deceit towards them in the online dating environment?This qualitative study investigates the communication phenomena of deception as it occurs in the online dating environment.The research study focused on four questions: (1) About what characteristics are online daters deceptive?
Membership plans cost from to per month, with subscriptions generally ranging from one to 12 months.
“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 settlement order prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting material facts about any product or service and, from failing to disclose clearly to potential members that they will receive communications from virtual profiles who are not real people.
The order requires that, before obtaining consumers’ billing information for a product with a negative-option feature, the defendants must clearly disclose the name of the seller or provider, a product description and its cost, the length of any trial period, the fact that charges will continue unless the consumer cancels, the deadline for canceling, and the mechanism to stop recurring charges.