A $1.5 billion class-action lawsuit filed by a Florida model against dating website Match.com accuses the Internet giant of creating fake profiles to lure single individuals into purchasing a membership.
Match.com, which claims to be the first dating website and “pioneer of the online dating industry,” was sued Friday in Manhattan Federal Court by Yuliana Avalos, a model who says her photos have been used “in hundreds if not thousands of fraudulent profiles” on the website.
“Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t tell me that they saw my pictures posted on Match.com or another web site,” Avalos said, according to the New York Daily News.
The allegations are reportedly based on hundreds of similar complaints filed by others as well as the use of photo recognition software used by Avalos’ lawyer and accuse of the dating service of “one of the biggest conspiracies ever executed on the Internet.”
“The tragedy of this case is two-fold as the American victims of internet fraud on defendants’ sites, (estimated to be at least thousands), mostly widows, widowers, and divorcees age 50 and over, have been defrauded out of as much as hundreds of millions of dollars over the past six-plus years through fraudulent dating profiles on the defendants’ sites, and those of its competitors,” the suit says, according to the New York Post.
A monthly membership on the site, which bills itself as one of the largest dating services in the world, costs $35.99.
According to the lawsuit, the fake profiles are created both by Match.com and scammers, the New York Daily News reported.
In the past, similar lawsuits were dismissed because the website’s user agreement does not mandate Match.com “police” profiles for authenticity, according to the New York Daily News.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter