Complaints about dating websites
You find a site that offers free membership so you can browse for possible dates without paying up front. Within minutes of signing up, new members received personalized messages from what appeared to be real people. They were generated by JDI and set to send messages at specific times.
Once you’ve made a snazzy profile, you start getting responses, like this: But when you try to reply to these messages, you get this popup: If you’re really curious, you have to shell out for a one month membership. Even worse, according to the FTC complaint, disappointed members were often unknowingly charged again to keep their subscription current.
The ACCC has also received reports of some online dating services signing people up to long-term fixed contracts with onerous or restrictive cancellation clauses.Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.Online dating services allow users to become "members" by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance.The ACCC will also be sweeping these sites to look at what measures they have in place to protect consumers against scammers, as part of its Scams Disruption Project.“Unfortunately the ACCC continues to hear the devastating impact of dating and romance scams, with over million reported in financial losses and nearly 1700 complaints already this year,” Ms Rickard said.