Yuliana Avalos says one of the Internet’s biggest matchmaking websites used her photos without her permission to create bogus profiles.
Although she says she never joined Match.com, Yuliana Avalos, a Florida mom and part time model, is claiming the site and its affiliates used her photos “in hundreds if not thousands of fraudulent profiles” over a period of six years and has filed a $1.5 billion class action lawsuit against the world’s biggest dating website company.
The class action suit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court, asserts that Match.com is involved in “one of the biggest conspiracies ever executed on the Internet” and lists close to 3,000 profiles it alleges were created with photos of people who never consented to be on the site.
“Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t tell me that they saw my pictures posted on Match.com or another website,” Avalos said, claiming she is just one of many whose photos were used to create bogus profiles meant to attract and keep customers. The suit says its allegations are based on hundreds of complaints filed by other alleged victims. Avalos’ own investigation includes the use of photo recognition software.
Although romance scammers, usually based in other countries, have been creating fake profiles for years in the hopes of perpetuating fraud against unsuspecting singles, the suit claims that Match refuses to police the problem, even though it could if it made an effort. Evan Spencer, the attorney representing Avalos says it’s easy to see that the IP addresses do not match the city listed in the profile, but Match looks the other way.
Spencer also asserts that in addition to third party romance scammers, Match.com has deliberately created fake member profiles because it’s good for business. The suit also says the company could easily delete bogus profiles — Avalos is pictured in more than 200 of them — by using facial recognition software, but chooses not to.
The lawsuit is charging the company with negligence and unjust enrichment and seeks $500 million in damages and $1 billion in punitive damages.
This isn’t the first time that Match.com has been sued over bogus profiles, however previous lawsuits have been dismissed because the terms of the site’s user agreement does not require it to “police” member profiles.