Service of a Cheating Heart: Match in Dutch with the FTC

September 30th, 2019

Categories: Cheating, E-Commerce, Love, Online Dating, Scams


I had a crush on a boy in 11th grade. One of the girls I thought was a friend told me he’d asked about me when it turned out she’d made it up. I never trusted her after that [and clearly I never forgot]. The takeaway: Don’t fool around in matters of the heart if you want to keep a friend. executives, adults I assume, never learned that lesson if the Federal Trade Commission [FTC] is on to something.


Dave Sebastian wrote “FTC Sues Match for Allegedly Tricking Users With Fake Ads– Online-dating platform allegedly offered certain guarantees but failed to provide promised services” in The Wall Street Journal.

The most damming allegation in the article was far worse than scamming people to join up and not giving them an easy way out. dangled hope to the lovelorn when there was none. “Until May 2018, Match sent emails to nonsubscribers that said someone had expressed interest in them, according to the FTC. But consumers, many of whom ended up purchasing the subscriptions, were unaware that the emails received could be from scammers, the FTC said in its complaint.”


And then Sebastian added: “The FTC said Match found that nearly 500,000 subscriptions were purchased within 24 hours of receiving an advertisement touting fraudulent communication between June 2016 and May 2018.”

Sebastian quoted the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith who told him: “We believe that conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers. Online dating services obviously shouldn’t be using romance scammers as a way to fatten their bottom line.’ ”

Match owns Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and other dating sites. I know people who have made magnificent matches via online dating services and am heartbroken to read that the mother company felt it had to cheat. If I’ve been to two weddings of couples who met this way and know several others with longtime relationships, didn’t a successful pioneer in this business have enough case histories to promote its services legitimately?

Have you tried an online dating service? Did it work out for you? If you never have, does knowing this make you be less likely to give it a try? Does it bother you that one of the top services cheated to get customers or is it par for the course for all businesses these days and worthy of no more than a big shrug?


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10 Responses to “Service of a Cheating Heart: Match in Dutch with the FTC”

  1. Annette Kahn Said:

    A cousin used several online dating services and every year for at least three, maybe four, she appeared with a new man (all military!) at the family gathering on Christmas Eve. Before these men, there was a multi-year relationship that was also begun online, but ended in a somewhat bitter break-up. I met my late husband and current boyfriend through work many years ago; is that possible today, given all the strictures against dating in the workplace? Also, campus dating seems to exist no longer…from what I have seen it’s mostly hook-ups and hanging out. So where does that leave the young (or old) and the single? Bars or computer match services…or perhaps playing bridge, which is how an alumna of my alma mater ensnared 2 of her 3 husbands. One really has to be creative today!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You are right about how hard it is to meet people today. The bar scene doesn’t seem to work I’ve been told.

    A man in his late 20s [happily married, two beautiful kids], just told me how everything is mixed up. If he holds the door for some women they explode and snap, “Don’t you think I can do that myself?” and yet he hears it big time from others if you don’t. [I’ve made a habit of holding doors for men and women for as long as I can remember, old and young, though am irritated when some entitled mostly young women sashay past without a grunt of thanks.]

    I met my first husband at the college library and my second one at a friend’s party in Albany. If the online dating services aren’t on the up and up, where does a single in search of a partner go?

    I wonder if the advice I have shared with countless others over many years is still true: If you aren’t looking for a special someone that’s when you may find him/her.

  3. Dawn DeLuca Said:

    Dawn wrote on Facebook: Kevin & I met via a dating site… Will be our 3rd anniversary, as a couple, in November. Both of us had dated previously through various websites. Like anything in life it is a hit or Miss

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    It appears to be a great way to meet people especially these days where so many lives are conducted at warp speed so more traditional ways are out of the question. There’s no control over a person posting an old photo or exaggerating about accomplishments or stretching the truth about their interests but it shouldn’t be the vehicle that fibs which seems to be the case here.

  5. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie wrote on Facebook: My cousin’s daughter met her husband (4 years ago) on OK Cupid. They got married last November and their son is expected in Feb. 2020. It happens (more now than ever), but they are the “minority” of success stories.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think anyone who risks meeting a stranger this way is brave only because there are so many scammers, weirdos and cheaters out there and a person exposes themselves to even more online than they would in a hookup at a bar, coffee shop or in a line at the grocery store. It’s thrilling when a match is made as with your cousin and Dawn and the people I know. As first meetings no doubt happen in a public place–coffee shop, deli or bar–it must be good for business where the meetings take place.

  7. Dawn DeLuca Said:

    Dawn wrote on Facebook: exactly! Believe me not only first dates but the first several dates were in public places… Someone always knew where I was… Always had someone call to check in on me… TY Stephanie Barcak & others … Even if I met someone in a “traditional way” same rules applied… You don’t know a person any better because you said hello face to face or on a electronic device… These days one must be very cautious (men or women)… I watch too much ID TV!… But to put your trust in a company…especially one who touts to be “the best” …. And find out they have been lying… No go… We are at a point in this life where you have to second guess everything… Sad… Safe dating folks!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Sage advice. A friend told me the first time she visited a person she’d met online’s country home after a few dates in NYC she brought $600 in cash in case she had to make a getaway! All was well and the relationship was a keeper, but you never know!

    We’ve always had to be street smart–that’s nothing new. It’s the human condition. I watch too many episodes of Blue Bloods and Law & Order SVU.

  9. Lucrezia Said:

    Let’s be logical: Dating outfits can’t guarantee the perfect match, any more than gambling sites can promise your making hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s their job to make an envisioned outcomes look rosy, and it’s naïve to swallow the bait while neglecting to look for red flags.

    That said, I’m all for joining as long as one realizes the risks involved. I’ve known (and yelled at) a couple of married men who signed up. Of course they didn’t listen. One of the more prominent dating services made headlines regarding chicanery of this nature. Another made scarier news with a murder.

    It boils down to life being no fun without taking risks, while realizing good outcomes aren’t a given.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    All true, but you don’t expect the dating service to be the cheat.

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