Two of the world's largest internet dating sites are being taken to court in class action lawsuits by subscribers claiming that they were mislead.
Match.com, the world's largest online dating site, has been accused in a legal action filed in Los Angeles of encouraging members to renew subscriptions by sending bogus emails pretending to be interested parties, and even employing people to go out on false dates.
Plaintiff Matthew Evans alleges that his 'match' confessed to being "date bait" working for Match.com with the aim of encouraging a testimonial, according to Reuters.
"This is a grossly fraudulent practice that Match.com is engaged in," said H. Scott Leviant, a lawyer at Los Angeles law firm Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP, which brought the suit.
Match.com members pay a monthly fee to read emails and converse with others on the website.
Spokeswoman Kristin Kelly said that Match.com "absolutely does not" employ people to go on dates with subscribers or to send members misleading emails professing romantic interest.
A suit filed by Robert Anthony, of Broward County, Florida, alleges breach of contract, fraud and unfair trade practices. He is seeking class action status so that other users can join in.
Analyst firm ComScore Networks estimated that nearly half a billion dollars was spent by US consumers on online dating sites last year, making it the most popular non-pornographic online business.
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