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The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated order for permanent injunction was 5-0.
A small “v” encircled by a “C” on the profile page was the only indication that the profiles were fake.
In its first law enforcement action against an online dating service, the Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement that prohibits JDI Dating Ltd., an England-based company, from using fake, computer-generated profiles to trick users into upgrading to paid memberships and charging these members a recurring monthly fee without their consent.
The settlement also requires the defendants to pay 6,165 in redress.
The settlement order prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting material facts about any product or service and, from failing to disclose clearly to potential members that they will receive communications from virtual profiles who are not real people.
The order requires that, before obtaining consumers’ billing information for a product with a negative-option feature, the defendants must clearly disclose the name of the seller or provider, a product description and its cost, the length of any trial period, the fact that charges will continue unless the consumer cancels, the deadline for canceling, and the mechanism to stop recurring charges.