Cupid makes changes despite being cleared over fake profiles

The website is to overhaul its practices and policies. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The website is to overhaul its practices and policies. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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ONLINE dating group Cupid said yesterday an independent review had cleared it of creating fake profiles to entice customers to take out subscriptions.

But the review, which was carried out by the Edinburgh firm’s financial auditor KPMG following media allegations, made a number of recommendations for improvements that are now being implemented.

It said Cupid staff operating on dating sites “were not clearly identified as such”, which could potentially lead to confusion for customers or subscribers.

The review also said that scammers, who target victims through setting up fake profiles, were an area of concern – although it noted that this was an industry-wide issue, particularly in the casual dating market.

Cupid said it was implementing a number of changes following the review. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, it said: “Although the board is pleased with the conclusions of the independent review, KPMG did identify a number of practices and policies of the company in certain areas such as marketing, governance, technical controls and risk management which could be improved.”

Changes being introduced following the review include the formation of a team of “dating advisers” to replace the company’s motivation team and who will provide live help to users.

Aim-quoted Cupid, which is headed by serial technology entrepreneur Bill Dobbie and behind brands including UniformDating.com, Flirt.com, BeNaughty.com and Indian Dating.com, said a code of conduct for the advisers will be strictly monitored.

The company said it had recently launched a “safe mode” for its sites, which allows users to choose who they communicate with.

In March, shares in Cupid fell sharply following allegations in a newspaper in Ukraine, where many of the firm’s staff are based, after a female reporter went undercover to secure a job interview with the company’s motivation team.

Shares in Cupid rose yesterday by 6p, or 8.3 per cent, to close at 78p.

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