Class Action Says Members Baited With Thousands of Fake Profiles

Leading online dating service site has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that over half of the member dating profiles are fake and only used to entice new subscribers.

Plaintiff Matthew Ditnes filed the fake accounts class action lawsuit earlier this month in Illinois federal court. Ditnes claims that routinely solicits paid subscriptions to its service without disclosing that the subscribers will receive messages from fake profiles.

Roughly 30 million unique users, or about 10% of the U.S. population, visit dating sites every month. And many of them pay a hefty sum for that chance to meet their perfect match. With over 21 million users, is the biggest subscription-based site in the U.S. Match’s online dating service website typically features several different pay-based membership plans that range from approximately $16 to $36 per month depending on the level of service chosen.

According to the 21-page complaint, created profiles of “members” from which messages were sent to legitimate members, like Ditnes who paid for a monthly subscription in order to connect with others like them on the site. Specifically, while purports to have “millions” of active subscribers, the lawsuit contends that well over half of the profiles on its site are fake and fraudulent profiles.

In Ditnes case, he shares that he created an online profile on on December 30, 2017 and paid $59.94 for a six-month subscription, with a renewal option. Immediately after signing up, he began to receive messages from stating that numerous other users were interested in him.

Court documents describe that these messages contained many matches using the same picture for the profile, with only the name changed. The messages also purportedly contained identical profile characteristics. When Ditnes tried to view the profiles of the interested users, he discovered that most if not all of these people were not in fact members of the site, making interaction or dating impossible.

“With regard to what appear to be thousands of fake and fraudulent profiles, Match makes little to no effort to vet, police, or remove these profiles and thereby permits, condones, and acquiesces in their posting,” the complaint states.

Ditnes asserts that this is because the fake accounts generate revenue for Match by artificially increasing the number of “members” who use its service, which is a key element of its marketing campaigns. As a result, numerous consumers have been induced to upgrade to paid subscriptions, or induced to continue to pay for their existing paid memberships, so that they can read and respond to the communications they are receiving, only to find out that the communications belong to fake or fraudulent profiles.

The fake accounts class action lawsuit brings claims for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act the Illinois Dating Referral Services Act, breach of implied contract, and unjust enrichment. Ditnes is seeking to represent a proposed class of consumers “in the United States or its territories who paid for a subscription to the dating site and who received messages from persons identified as members but who were not in fact persons who are members of the site.”

Ditnes is represented by William M. Sweetnam and Natasha Singh of Sweetnam LLC.

The Fake Accounts Class Action Lawsuit is Matthew Ditnes v. Match Group LLC, Case No. 1:18-cv-03128, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

Claim Up to 44% of Tuition Le Cordon Bleu/Western Culinary Institute Portland Class Action Settlement

Who is a Class Member

Class members of the Le Cordon Bleu/Western Culinary Institute Portland Settlement include “all former students who enrolled at and attended Le Cordon Bleu Portland on or after March 5, 2006, up to and including March 1, 2010.”

If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other class action settlements you may be eligible for.

Estimated Award

  • Up to 44% Tuition Reimbursement

Class members who submit a valid and timely claim form by the deadline can receive up to 44% of the total amount paid to Le Cordon Bleu Portland, Western Culinary Institute, and Career Education Corporation. This includes the amount paid for tuition, books, and fees, less any amounts received in grants or scholarships and any amounts owed directly to the defendants.

Proof of Purchase

  • Claimants will need to provide their unique Claim ID number included in their mailed settlement notice.

Claim Form

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Le Cordon Bleu/Western Culinary Institute Portland Settlement Notes

  • Nathan Surrett v. Western Culinary Institute, Ltd.; Le Cordon Bleu North America, LLC.; and Career Education Corporation
  • Case No. 0803-03530
  • Pending in the Circuit Court for the State of Oregon, County of Multnomah

Former students of Western Culinary Institute (formerly Le Cordon Bleu) have finally reached  a settlement agreement in a decades long consumer fraud class action lawsuit. Plaintiff Nathan Surrett initiated this class action lawsuit back in 2008 on behalf of over 2,000 students at the now defunct Le Cordon Blue in Portland and its parent company Career Education Corporation.

The complaint detailed the school’s failure to provide students with adequate career training and quality materials, even thought it advertised itself as a highly selective and prestigious school. According to an article in Eater, Surrett’s lawsuit further claimed that Career Education Group “encouraged students to take out “predatory loans because it had a secret deal with Sallie Mae to overcharge students by 44 percent.”

Under the terms of the Le Cordon Bleu/Western Culinary Institute class action settlement, Class members will be refunded up to 44 percent of the amounts they paid for tuition, books, and other school-related fees. For instance, if you paid $40,000 towards your degree and you do not own any money back to the school, you can expect to receive a $17,600 payout.

Additionally, approximately $1 million in debts owed by former students will be wiped cleaned and those with student loans in collections can now exercise their rights to dispute their loans using proof of fraud. These actions will need to be undertaken individually by each former student and filing a claim form does not pertain to this aspect of the settlement.

The FAQs section on the settlement website further summarizes the terms of the settlement and how Class Members can file a claim. Complete details are provided in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement and other related documents are available on the Le Cordon Bleu Settlement website.

Class members who wish to exclude themselves or object to the terms of the Le Cordon Bleu Settlement must do so by May May 8, 2018. Class members who wish to submit a claim for up to 44% of tuition must do so by June 7, 2018.

Important Dates

  • 6/7/18: Claim Form Deadline
  • 5/8/18: Objection or Exclusion Deadline
  • 6/8/18: Final Hearing at 3:00 pm PT* (class members do not need to attend this hearing in order to receive a slice of the settlement pie).

*Settlement Class Members who wish to speak at the hearing should check to confirm that the date or time of the Hearing has not been changed.

Contact Information

  • Mail: Surrett v. Western Culinary Institute Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 5270, Portland, OR 97208-5270
  • Phone: 1-844-551-1720
  • Email:

Class Counsel

Settlement Website

$4.5M Palmco Power Class Action Settlement (New Jersey Only)

Who is a Class Member

There are two Classes included in the Palmco Power Restitution Fund B Settlement.

Non-Polar Vortex Customers: Persons who were Palmco customers at any time up to and including the Settlement Effective Date, other than during January, February and/or March 2014.

Polar Vortex Customers: Persons who were customers of Palmco during January, February and/or March 2014 and who experienced alleged overcharges by Palmco on their gas and/or electric bills.

If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other class action settlements you may be eligible for.

Settlement Amount

  • $1,000,000.00 (Restitution Fund B)

Estimated Award

  • TBD

“Restitution Fund A was $3,502,791.66. After the distribution of Restitution Fund A, Palmco will make available to the State of New Jersey a separate Restitution Fund B, in an amount of up to $1,000,000.00, which will be distributed to all Palmco customers, including Polar Vortex Customers, who submit valid claim forms and supporting documentation.”

Proof of Purchase

  • You will need your unique Claimant Code (printed on the postcard notice you received). Also, claimants will need to submit supporting documentation in order to obtain restitution from Restitution Fund B. Examples of supporting documentation include:
    • Advertising and Marketing materials (e.g. Palmco Website, Palmco Brochure, Palmco Marketing Brochure, Palmco Retention Brochure, Palmco Welcome Letter);
    • Palmco Contract
    • Correspondence with Palmco; and/or
    • Bills

Claim Form

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New Jersey Palmco Power Settlement Notes

  • Robert Lougy v. Palmco Power NJ LLC
  • Case No. MER-C-33-14
  • Pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey Chancery Division, Mercer County

In May 2014, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, along with the New Jersey Board of Public Utlities, and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs filed this class action lawsuit against Palmco Power NJ, alleging the energy supplier violated several consumer protection laws.

Specifically, the complaint claims that Palmco engaged in deceptive marketing practices which included leading consumers to believe they were affiliated with an local distribution company (LDC) and charged exorbitant rates for gas supply and electric generation services. Additionally, the class action lawsuit alleges that Palmco switched consumers’ energy suppliers without their authorization.

Palmco denies these allegations but agreed to settle the case for $4.5 million in two stages: Restitution Fund A ($3.5 million) and Restitution Fund B ($1 million). Additionally, under the terms of the settlement, Palmco has agreed to refrain from any unfair or deceptive advertising and sales relating to natural gas and/or electricity supply services in New Jersey.

Complete details about the case and settlement are provided on the New Jersey Palmco Power Settlement website.

In August 2017, Palmco sent payouts to Class members in Restitution Fund A. Class members who wish submit a claim form to receive part of the $1 million Restitution Fund B, must do so on or before May 15, 2018.

Important Dates

  • 5/18/18: Claim Form Deadline (Restitution Fund B)

Contact Information

  • Settlement Administrator: Rust Consulting
  • For additional information on the New Jersey Palmco Power Settlement, you can go to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website at or call 973-504-6200.

Class Counsel

  • Robert Lougy, Acting Attorney General of New Jersey

Settlement Website