Scam of the day – July 9, 2016 – Ashley Madison update

It was just about a year ago that the Ashley Madison dating service was hacked.    Ashley Madison, the website for people seeking to have extra-marital affairs formerly used the slogan, “Life is short, have an affair” has been busy reinventing itself and now uses the slogan “Single, attached, looking to explore or just curious” in an attempt to expand its reach.  Ashley Madison was hacked by a group calling itself Impact Team.  Impact Team released information on thirty million users of Ashley Madison including names,  addresses, sexual interests and credit card details of Ashley Madison’s members.  Class actions have been filed against Ashley Madison in both Canada and the United States on behalf of members whose information was stolen and made public.

Now the FTC is investigating Ashley Madison on various grounds apparently including charges that Ashley Madison used computer programs sometimes called fembots to impersonate female members to lure in male members.  According to an  Ashley Madison company spokesman, there are five male members for every female member of Ashley Madison.  In 2014 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled a case against JDI Dating, Ltd, a British company that operated a number of dating websites including cupidswand.com and flirtcrowd.com that similarly used phony computer generated female profiles to lure in male members.

TIPS

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this matter as millions of Ashley Madison customers suffered the consequences of having their involvement with the dating service made public is that your personal information is only as safe as the places with the worst security that have your personal information.  It also is obvious that the more places that have your personal information, the more at risk you are.  Therefore you should limit the places that have your personal information as much as possible.  In addition, you should not leave your credit card on record with a company for convenience sake even if it is a company with which you regularly do business.  Unless you agree to have your credit card information saved, companies with which you use your credit card are not allowed to store that information.