Today the FTC announced that JDI Dating and William Mark Thomas who operates 18 dating service websites worldwide is now banned from using fake profiles to lure customers into paid memberships. Dating sites operated by these individuals include: Justhookup.com, Findmelove.com and many others. If you signed up to pay for online dating because you received a message from an attractive user, it may be a trick to get you to pay and submit your personal information. When it comes to identity theft you need to be wary of who you provide your information to even if they appear to be from a large company.
The decision to ban and fine JDI Dating and William Mark Thomas is because the FTC works to protect consumers online. In this case, the FTC not only found deceptive practices used by these dating websites to obtain personal information, but also received numerous complaints that people were never notified that their memberships would be automatically renewed. Users of these dating sites were also never notified that they had to cancel their membership 48 hours before it ends; otherwise they would continue to be charged month after month.
In this case, consumers who did try to cancel their payments had a hard time cancelling because it was too hard to do so. According to the FTC, these companies violated the Restore Online Shopper’s Confidence Act (ROSCA) by not disclosing the terms clearly and obtaining expressed consent before charging consumers for ongoing memberships, as well as not making the cancellation process easier.
Now whenever a person is charged for an online dating service prescription they must receive full disclosure that the charges will not stop unless the consumer cancels by a certain time. The consumer must also be provided with an easy way to cancel their membership. Ultimately when it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft, you need to be careful who you provide your information to.
If you are a Santa Ana resident or elsewhere and you have been the victim of identity theft or fraud, contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). You can also file an online complaint by visiting, https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1
The only way to fight identity theft is to report everything you feel is suspicious. To do otherwise could put millions at risk. Thank you for your visit today, it is appreciated. Don’t forget to subscribe if you live in Santa Ana or elsewhere.
FTC (2014). Online dating service agrees to stop deceptive use of fake profiles Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved from http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/10/online-dating-service-agrees-stop-deceptive-use-fake-profiles