The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Match Group, which owns several dating services, including Tinder.
The U.S. regulator accuses the company of encouraging hundreds of thousands of users to buy paid subscriptions using fake accounts. Also, Match Group was caught making false promises, as well as intentionally complicating the procedure of disabling paid subscriptions.
The FTC's lawsuit filed in Dallas District Court states that between 2013 and 2018, at least 25 to 30 percent of accounts on Match.com were either fake or created for fraud activity. And ordinary users, for the most part, did not know about it.
The process of encouraging you to buy a subscription is as follows. Free users on Match.com receive a notification that someone is interested in communicating with them. The text of the message is not available until the paid subscription is activated. At this point, an advertisement comes from the Match.com, stimulating you to pay for a subscription.
Basically, most users often don't know that messages they get on Match.com come from fake accounts, but not from other users interested in initiating relationships. Thus, people can be pulled out into a fraudulent scheme.
In this regard, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission believes that Match Group knew about the existence of fake accounts, but instead of warning users encouraged them to subscribe, while it is not so easy to unsubscribe.
Match Group disagreed with the FTC's claims calling them "outrageous". The company noted that 96% of fakes are removed within the first day of their registration. However, the FTC's claims influenced the stock market, which led to the drop of Match Group shares by 8.5%.