Tinder owner sued for using fake profiles in ads

(Reuters) – The owner of Tinder and OkCupid is being sued by U.S. regulator for seeking to draw in potential subscribers with emails from fake users expressing interest in pairing up.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday alleged that Match Group Inc , which owns Tinder and other dating sites, knowingly sent automated advertisements with expressions of interest from accounts which it knew were likely fake.

The emails in question, which did not include user pictures, told recipients that a particular profile had expressed interest in them and gave them a link to click to see details, leading to a subscription page.

The FTC said some users had purchased subscriptions to see the details of the users.

“We believe that Match.com conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. (https://bit.ly/2l99PjS)

Match Group and its parent company InterActiveCorp did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

In its most recent quarterly report, Match said that in August 2019 the FTC referred claims against it to the U.S. Department of Justice and that it believed they were without merit.

Shares of Match Group fell as much as 6%, while those of InterActiveCorp dropped nearly 4%.

The FTC also said consumers who considered purchasing a Match.com subscription generally were unaware that as many as 25% to 30% of Match.com members who register each day are using it to perpetrate phishing schemes and extortion scams.

The agency alleged that the company also made it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions.

Nothing new… 99% Of Women Profiles On Ashley Madison Are Fake

Oh, well I am not surprised but here we go, the well reported data breach on dating website Ashley Madison has exposed a wealth of information including a huge proportion of fake profiles.

Impact Team who were the group behind the hack, announced that it was releasing the information in part because Ashley Madison had duped consumers over the male to female account ratio on its website. At the time, the hackers claimed that 90-95% of the accounts on Ashley Madison were male with “thousands” of fake female profiles. It turns out the group were correct but underestimated the figures ever so slightly.

After careful scrutiny of the data in order to verify that 5.5 million female accounts were indeed fake, the information reveals that many accounts were created with a single localhost IP of 127.0.0.1. This was along with thousands of accounts which listed AshleyMadison.com email address as their primary contact point including organized accounts which stated 100@ashleymadison.com, 200@ashleymadison.com and so on.

Another piece of information which is certainly revealing conveys the last log in date a user has checked their inbox, this data is logged by the site even if the user only checks it once. It reveals a huge 20,269,675 men checked their messages while only 1492 woman viewed their inbox. Well, just look at those odds, even Ray Winstone cannot market this appealingly for Bet 365.

I do feel these sites offer the majority a false sense of possibility with reality far less forgiving; it conveys the level of information which can be harvested by third parties if not stored correctly. The irony to all this is that Ashley Madison offered a platform where people could cheat on their other half which is deplorable, yet far less possible than previously thought considering the number of fake profiles.

Thank you extremetech for providing us with this information

Women can use Ashley Madison for free, but even after connecting on the site, men have to pay “credits” to kick off a conversation. The website’s fake females essentially lured them into spending money to talk to no one.

Ashley Madison created a small army of bots to trick its users and inflate its numbers prior to the hack. In 2015, a Gizmodo analysis revealed that Ashley Madison created more than 70,000 female bots to send male users fake messages. The bots essentially worked as a sales team. When men signed up for new accounts, they’d be messaged by a bot posing as an interested woman. The men would then pay a small fee to reply to the bots. As Gizmodo reported, a staggering 80 percent of initial purchases were made by a male trying to communicate with a female bot.

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