The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday, but even though the New York Post, HuffPo, and others have written about, I haven’t seen mention of it locally. So let’s mention it, shall we? Yuliana Avalos is a mom and model who lives in Miami. She has never joined Match.com. Yet she says photos of her are all over the site, used in fake profiles set up by scammers. Sound like a specious claim? Well, here’s how the filing (which you can read in its entirety here) opens:
1. This action arises out of one of the biggest conspiracies ever executed on the
3. Defendants’ illegal business practices center around the knowing and intentional
unauthorized use of Plaintiffs photographs in hundreds if not thousands of fraudulent profiles
posted on several of the 25 dating sites owned and operated by the Defendants over the past six
years, and the use of thousands if not millions of photographs of class members in fraudulent
profiles on most if not all of Defendants’ sites during the same period.
4. While Defendants masquerade as the premiere dating site network in the United
States, the reality is that a high percentage of profiles posted on Defendants’ dating sites are fraudulent profiles created by criminals (aka “scammers”) in international locations for criminal purposes that use the photographs of Plaintiff and other non-members of Defendants’ sites.
5. Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspire with criminals operating from
locations including internet cafes in Nigeria, Ghana, and Russia, who manually and through the
use of software and other computer devices, submit a high percentage of profiles on Defendants’
web sites incorporating photographs of Plaintiff and members of the class.
6. Defendants are aware of this as their computer servers in New York, Texas, and
other locations in the United States, receive and approve fraudulent profiles by the thousands that
“ping” from intemational IP addresses, which are the computer equivalent of area codes.
The suit alleges, in essence, that Match.com is just a huge RICO fraud. It’s an interesting allegation, no? If you’re tempted to think it might have merit, have a look at Evan Spencer’s GeoCities-style website. Spencer is the attorney who filed the case. There he is, with a day’s growth of beard, perched above a bald eagle. Oh, and right at the top of the page, he proudly lists his email address: [email protected] Is it possible that Evan Spencer is the last esquire still using AOL?