Match.com allegedly tricked hundreds of thousands of users into buying subscriptions by sending them fake love interest ads, according to a lawsuit filed by the FTC. The company gained nearly 500,000 subscriptions by alerting users of connections known to be fake. The FTC claims the dating site also lured customers with deceitful promotions, and later made it difficult for them to dispute charges and cancel subscriptions. Match.com CEO Hesam Hosseini denied the FTC’s claims in an email to executives.
The FTC also alleged that Match lured users to subscribe to Match.com by promising them a free six-month subscription if they didn’t “meet someone special,” but the company didn’t adequately disclose that users must message five Match.com subscribers a month, among other requirements.
Match said the FTC had offered in November 2018 to resolve the claims in a $60 million settlement, but the two parties didn’t reach a resolution. A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment about settlement discussions with Match.