Model's $1.5 Billion Suit Against Match.com Claims Fake Profiles
(NEW YORK) -- The lawyer for a Florida model suing Match.com as part of a $1.5 billion class action lawsuit said Saturday the company could easily weed out fake profiles if they used photo recognition software and checked IP addresses. Evan Spencer, lawyer for Yuliana Avalos, said Match.com could utilize software that would help pinpoint most fake profiles.
Avalos, a mother and part-time model, claims that her pictures have been used in hundreds of fake profiles on Match.com without her consent.
"Not a day goes by when someone doesn't tell me that they saw my pictures posted on Match.com or another web site," said Avalos.
The class action lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday alleges that the company has broken copyright laws and committed common law fraud by allowing fake profiles with photos of unconsenting people to be approved.
Spencer said multiple times people have contacted Avalos after finding a fake profile for her on a dating site and thinking that she had been in contact with them.
The lawsuit calls the fake profiles on the popular dating site "one of the biggest conspiracies ever executed on the internet."
Representing those whose image has been used without their consent in profiles, the unspecified number of plaintiffs are asking for compensatory damages in the amount of $500 million and $1 billion for punitive damages.
Officials at Match.com did not immediately respond to emails and calls for comment on Saturday.
The lawsuit also alleges that Match.com and its parent company IAC are partially to blame for the online scams, since they approve the different profiles and rarely flag a problematic profile such as ones that feature the same photo even though they are allegedly different users in different locations.
"When I saw how this free software worked, it can scan billions of images simultaneously," said Spencer. "They can screen and make sure that photo never appears again."
Spencer also said the company could flag problematic profiles, such as those that are supposed located in the U.S. but have IP addresses, the online address that identifies where a user is located, linked to Russia or Africa.
The lawsuit lists about 3,000 allegedly fake profiles that they say use photos of people who have not consented to their use on the website, including photos of famous actors, military personnel and Facebook users.
The lawsuit alleges that dating sites such as Match.com claim they have millions of members and "20,000 new members every day" but that a large number of the profiles are fakes.
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