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An online dating service
has agreed to stop luring the lovelorn with bogus profiles of prospective dates. JDI Dating Ltd. made the settlement, announced today, with the Federal Trad... Commission. The FTC said FDI was computer-generating alluring, yet fake folks who would get people to upgrade to paid memberships.
online dating service JDI is based in England and has 18 websites. They've got names like cupidswand.com, flirtcrowd.com and findmelove.com. JDI's website says the company has 12 million customers over all the sites, with 20 new sign-ups every minute.
The FTC says this is its first action against an online dating service. It detailed the scam:
detailed the scam "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. However, users were unable to respond to these messages without upgrading to a paid membership. Membership plans cost from $10 to $30 per month, with subscriptions generally ranging from one to 12 months.
"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."
One of those fake profiles is shown in the picture above. Her name is HeidiHi, and she enjoys spending time with family, going to bars and pubs, and dancing. Someone named Roxanne says HeidiHi has the "best sickest sense of humour ever and is all round great fun." Oh, and don't worry folks, when it comes to smoking, she's "trying to quit."
The FTC is making JDI pay site users $616,165 in redress. And the settlement prohibits LTI from misrepresenting "material facts" and its policies on refunds and cancellations.
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