Online dating services are booming businesses, and the boomers who are joining them are doing so in big numbers.
However, complaints filed against OKCupid, Match.com, and e Harmony with the Federal Trade Commission should make the search for that one true, er, dating website a little easier.Muck Rock’s request to the FTC yielded 2056 complaints about Match since 2005, 301 complaints about e Harmony since 2007, and seven complaints about OKCupid since 2008. About half of all claims involve allegations of what the FTC calls “romance scams,” in which online con artists swindled hundreds or thousands of dollars from naive lonelyhearts.Some sites even promise “scientific formulas” to create perfect matches, making it sound as if the odds of finding true love are all but guaranteed.Unfortunately, though, just like that certain someone who fails to call for a follow-up date, there are indications these sites don’t come through on their promises.Based on the numbers alone, the advantages of online dating services seem obvious.
The sites grant access to larger pools of potential dates than you could ever find on your own, and the more people you connect with, the greater the chance is that one of those people could be your soul mate.
Is it a case of looking for love in all of the wrong places, or just a few bad apples in an otherwise happy bushel?
Truth is, many boomers often reach their 50s and older and find themselves uncoupled, either through death or divorce; they don't know where to turn.
One customer wrote, “I contacted e Harmony to let them know [of a scammer], received an answer requesting information and when I answered with all the details, they [g]ave an automated response that they are not taking any more inquiries.
All of the websites also received complaints about users’ photos being employed in unwanted ways, either by the company or by other users.
Dating sites don’t use controlled studies, for example, which would be nearly impossible.