Dating sites target of ACCC crackdown

By Amy Bainbridge

The second issue is that as far as what the dating site is marketing to people about finding your perfect match, but actually how many active users are on the site as opposed to profiles that are half completed or the person hasn’t been on the dating site for the past year.

In 2012 the ACCC issued dating and romance voluntary guidelines that were developed collaboratively with an industry working group to help dating websites and their users respond to scams.

The ACCC is telling people to visit the ScamWatch website for tips on how to protect yourself or to report any suspect activity on dating sites.

“So those sorts of traditional consumer protection issues are rising also in relation to the dating and romance sites, we’re also of course seeing scams”.

Ms Rickard said many people came into contact with scammers through dating websites.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is concerned some websites do not screen their users closely enough, resulting in fake profiles that scam money from innocent people.

The consumer watchdog is today joining an international sweep of dating and romance websites in a bid to crackdown on unscrupulous practices.

“When you join a dating site you can be caught up in the moment … you skip over the terms of service, the privacy policy, the contract, and so you join the site and hand over your credit card details and then before you know it you’re in a 12-month contract that you can’t get out of,” Ms Richards said.

Jenny was scammed last year by a man called Gary who contacted her through a well-known dating website.

She now runs a business called eDateMate that helps people to write their profiles and navigate the pitfalls of online dating.

Have your say: What screening measures would you expect dating sites to use to weed out potential scammers?

“I think that any business needs to make sure its checks and balances are in place and this is no different for dating sites,” she said.

“We think there’s a real responsibility on the sites to warn people about what the tell-tale signs of scammers are and also to do the behind the scenes work to keep the scammers off the sites.

Read more here: ABC


You may also like...

No Responses

  1. Natalie says:

    To clarify in this article, Ms Natalie Richards is founder of eDateMate in Melbourne, Australia (and not Ms Rickard from the ACCC or the unfortunate lady who was scammed). Natalie was one of the ‘lucky’ ones fortunate enough to meet her partner (of four years) through online dating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>