Popular dating Web site sued for using fake profiles

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 4 at 11:37 PM

DALLAS — Several subscribers to Match.com filed a federal lawsuit against the Dallas-based dating Web site alleging as many as 60 percent of the profiles of prospective dates belong to inactive or fake users who cannot be contacted.

The lawsuit, which is asking for class action status, was filed Thursday in Dallas. Match.com said the claims have no merit.

Five men and women from Florida, New York, Iowa, Washington, and Tennessee are suing Match.com for breach of contract, misrepresentation, and not dealing in good faith.

The lawsuit said Match.com failed to remove inactive profiles, did not accurately disclose the number of active members, and does not police its site for fake profiles.

"Former employees revealed further that Match[.com] routinely and intentionally represents that there are significantly more active members on the website that there actually are," the lawsuit stated.

"Another former Match[.com] employee revealed ... that a huge percentage of the profiles were not real members but 'filler profiles,'" the complaint said.

Jeffrey Norton, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said neither he nor his clients would comment beyond what's in the complaint.

Match.com issued a brief statement in response to the lawsuit:

"The claims have no merit and Match will defend the lawsuit vigorously. Similar claims were dismissed by a federal judge in Dallas last fall."

On its Web site, Match.com said it helped pioneer the online dating industry after launching in 1995.

"It's free to post a profile, browse and search for matches on the site," Match.com boasts in its online media kit. "Once members become paying subscribers, they may e-mail other members on the site. Subscription rates range from $34.99 for a one month subscription, $19.99 per month for three months, or $16.99 per month for six months."

Email jwhitely@wfaa.com

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