lawsuit: is this a photo of Autumn Marzec?

A couple of days ago I blogged about the lawsuit filed against, the online dating site, alleging that the site used employees as "date bait". This story seems to have exploded onto the web with google showing 94,000 results to the search string " lawsuit".The AFP News site is one of many that outlines the case: Matthew Evans, a customer, had a few dates with Autumn Marzec (incidently, "Marzec" is the Polish for the month of March… and perhaps a surname). Evans alleges that, after a few dates, Marzec confessed to being a employee. If nothing else this is bad practice and something that smaller players in the online dating industry are known to do but not something, according to Mark Brooks at Online Personals Watch, that the top ten dating sites have been known to get involved in. [Please note: these are simply allegations and haven’t been proven in any court – may very well be innocent and there are people blogging to that affect.]

In Marzec’s defense, how many of us, were we single and working for an online dating website, would have used our employers service to get dates? I’m betting quite a few of us. But the lawsuit alleges that, rather than simply dating members in the same way as a health club instructor might date his or her trainees or a night club bouncer might take someone home at the end of the night, employees were actually SENT on dates with customers – something totally different. When I read the accounts of what had happened, I started to wonder how they did this. Did the employees simply set up an account, using their own name and details but omitting the fact that they worked for Were they given aliases or asked to create aliases? [Some news sites are even reporting that the people sent on dates were actually hired for that purpose. denies these claims.] Curiousity got the best of me and I found myself googling for "Autumn Marzec", just as many users of online dating websites would have done had they encountered her online.

AutumnmarzecIt wasn’t long, on the first page of results in fact, before I found this post on a Yahoo Group about Volleyball in Southern California. One click away from that page and you’ll find a photo to go with the profile (age: 24, occupation: dance instructor since you asked) of the user. Could one of the two women in the photo to the left be the same "dark-haired, buxom twentysomething Autumn Marzec" that went on a date with Matthew Evans? The email I found using google was sent on Mar 11, 2004 so it would seem that, if the post and photo are part of a deliberate attempt to build an online identity then this started at least that long ago. It might be that, as I suggested above, Marzec was simply a dating website employee taking advantage of the easy ability to meet men through the service and, let’s face it, if you work for a dating website you wouldn’t go pay to use a competitors service. Or Marzec may have posted this profile innocently for personal use. Of course, it could be a photo of a totally innocent Autumn Marzec, or person of another name, who has never worked for or any other online dating agency.

I have no answers to these and other questions but it does seem to me that, if Marzec is really a employee and isn’t, or wasn’t in 2004, a dance instructor, that the whole purpose of this profile has something to do with creating an online identity – perhaps just for fun and perhaps for online dating. Anyone who has ever used an online dating site knows that users can and do check each other out by googling the names, usernames, and email addresses of people they meet online. Anyone that Marzec would have met online at (or elsewhere) is likely to have found, like I did, this yahoo profile. The yahoo profile clearly doesn’t say anything about working for an online dating site…

Technorati: blogs talking about right now.

—— update 22 November 19:09 ——

All the evidence at my disposal yesterday seemed to verify that the yahoo profile I found, and the photo I posted above, were those of the same Autumn Marzec identified by Matthew Evans, the claimant in the lawsuit. To verify this I emailed the person holding the Yahoo account, who at the moment I sent the email was shown as being online. I also emailed the claimant’s legal representatives who have confirmed that:

* the woman depicted in the photo posted here on is the same woman who appeared in photos on the profile of "Autumn Marzec"

* a search of public records confirm that a woman of this name lives in West Hollywood, which is the same area given in the email I found posted to a publicly accessible Yahoo group and which is also consistent with information given to Evans by the woman who identified herself as Autumn Marzec.

I don’t think there is much hope in Marzec, or whoever posted a profile with her photo on it, responding to my request for an interview. I’d like to know more about what happened but, with a lawsuit looming, and the rights to a ‘made for television movie’ likely to be on the minds of many, it seems unlikely that she’ll respond.

—– 23 November —– have hit back by demanding that the case against them is dropped: "The woman named in the lawsuit as a employee has confirmed in a sworn statement that she has never been an employee of, nor was she ever paid to go on dates with any members or subscribers."

—– 24 November ——

Gelf Magazine has, as well as an excellent article about this story and a .pdf of the allegations against, a copy of the above mentioned sworn statement from Autumn Marzec.


  1. I went to high school with the girl in the photo. her name is in fact autumn marzec.

  2. I would bet my life that Match is guilty as sin. I’ve been on and off that site for a couple of years and it never ceases to amaze me that as soon as I cancel my membership, my mailbox is flooded with emails from good looking guys, who oddly, never respond back to me when I return their email. I’d love to get in on this suit. They are horrible and they are finally getting what they deserve.

  3. I’ve been using a new website that does a pretty good job of helping me screen out fakes and weirdos. Try
    It is a user-name based data base that not only allows you to tell your story and rate the dates you have been on, it also lets you check a potential date and find out what others thought.

  4. I too have had an issue with Someone has been posting profiles using my last name (pretending to be me)and these profiles are personal attacks on me. I am not a member of and they have done nothing to prevent this from happening to me. These profiles have impacted both my personal and professional life. Anybody have any advice?

  5. Jeez louise, I can remember back when Great Expectations was the poster child for bad service in the dating industry! As someone who has founded 2 businesses, I know how easy it would be to rip people off, LEGALLY, by starting a dating service. Unfortunately the dating service industry is kind of like the credit card industry… getting rid of the bad apples would require chucking the whole system out the window, and reinventing it to make fraud tough or impossible. But sadly, nobody is going to be willing to invest that much effort.

  6. Hmm.. I’ve been using a little while and I swear that whenever I get rid of all of my active connections (thus leaving “My Connections” empty), I inevitably get a wink or email from someone with very limited info in their profile and usually only one photo (and interestingly, they are always “above-average” looking). I start a conversation with them, a few emails go back and forth, then I eventually bring up the suit, more as a question if they’d heard of it. After that, emails from them stop altogether. Circumstantial? Maybe, but it’s happened to me three times out of seven people I’ve kept up emails with (two of which I actually dated – and I know they are not “dating for dollars”). Kinda sketchy as far as I’m concerned and it doesn’t endear me to online dating in general. Pisses me off a little actually, and I’m generally a laid-back guy.

  7. I joined AFF for one month and i joined sex search for one month. I found even before i had given my credit card details i was getting messages. Even before i had put a photo up i was getting emails. Once i signed up fully, i replied to about ten messages. From these ten, i got two replies.
    Over the month i kept getting messages from different people. ALL with something in common, the content would be very general. eg check out my profile, do u want to share a bottle of wine. I would reply and not hear anything back and when i searched to see who had been online that week it did not show these profiles up.
    I also use a dating/ friendship site the replies and messages i sent on here got me messages back. Using the same type of messages i got very little back from
    AFF and sex search.
    I personally believe they are a number of dummy proiles and dummy emails that are sent out. It is all about taking your money at the end of the day. Stay away from these sites if you want a good value service.

  8. I live in a small town in CO. I know just about everyone in town, since there are only about 15,000 people here. I used to be an member, but got really tired of the MANY fake ads. Get on AFF and do a search in zip code 81301 for women of any age. You will see about a dozen ads that all have 4 digit numbers in their user name, with totally HOT young women supposedly searching for men of ANY age and income. I can tell you FOR A FACT that none of those women live in my community. If they did live here, they would be swamped with attention from men, since there are many more men than women in my town. They would have no need to post an ad online.
    I have written AFF about this issue many times, but they refuse to respond or comment. As far as I’m concerned, they engage in fraudulent methods of recruiting members. I have had similar experiences on and, so I think there needs to be legislation introduced that covers this issue. Firms that engage in this kind of BS need to be held accountable by the law.

  9. Well, very interesting input from everyone. I’ve had a number of online dating accounts, including Match, Yahoo, True and AFF, and I’ve not only suspected false accounts, I’ve actually documented them. For me personally, distance is not an issue for a relationship, so if a woman is truly great, then I will find a way to get to know her. So I’ve made it a point to search around the world on these various websites, not just locally. Once I started finding duplicate accounts in different locations, either based on the same pictures or even completely identical “personally written” paragraphs (even though the pictures were different), I knew there was some fraud going on. But after a while there were so many that I decided to keep track of them in a Microsoft Word document.
    On Yahoo alone I ended up with over 20 pages of false accounts, and I finally decided it just wasn’t worth tracking anymore because there were so many and the issue was ongoing. And because I used multiple web sites simultaneously I also discovered that there were even some false accounts that existed on both Yahoo and Match together at the same time. Which makes me think that there may be some kind of third party that’s been hired to help inject more “life” into these web sites, and maybe that third party has signed some kind of non-disclosure agreement.
    And yes, I’ve gotten messages from some of the false accounts. Then when I mention that I’ve seen their duplicate account in another city or on another web site at the same time, further communication is suddenly halted and sometimes the account is quickly closed (what a shock!).
    There are definitely patterns to the false accounts too, as if a particular person is managing a certain city or a different area of the nation. Unfortunately, in my vastly experienced opinion, I have zero doubt that there is widespread fraud going on in the online dating world, including within the large corporations.
    I would love to know how many people are currently actually available in my local city. Wouldn’t it be funny if there were only 10 women available but hundreds listed? Even funnier to consider would be if there are a thousand guys in my local area hitting on hundreds of false accounts when their are only 10 women available, and probably none of them are attractive. What’s not so funny is the idea that those thousand guys are pouring money into corporate manager’s pockets under the false disguise that they might have a chance to meet a beautiful woman.
    Buyer beware…there’s no way to know which accounts are actually real. And everytime you see someone legitimate or even a legitimate relationship start out of one of these web sites (which I have btw), you should consider these as being only annecdotal evidence of legitimacy for those web sites. Which is the conundrum, because you still might meet a great woman or man using them, but your impressions of what your options are clearly not what you are being led to believe.

  10. I have found the same thing on several of the smaller dating websites. I can’t remember which one (i think it was i had no hits till my free trial membership expired. 24 hours after this expiration i had five emails sent to me by attractive women. I decided to create another free profile under another email address and account name (but without a photo) and try the whole thing again. At the end of that trial, i waited and what do you know, three of the five original women emailed that account again. The funny thing was that the two had used the same canned emails as the first time and the third had used one of the same as the other two!
    I got pissed and emailed the three back with copies from both accounts and each others emails telling them i was going to the papers with this information and the next day my both accounts were closed. I got an email that these were closed for “breach of the terms of service”. I sent an email to the customer service department and never got a reply.
    When i used yahoo personals i found a few fake people too; one of which started spamming my email with porn ads. also seems to have a few very suspicious profiles. These profiles just appear in searches every few days and have one short paragraph about the person. They usually put in the “looking for” section “Any” for everything so they show up in everyone’s searches. Oh, the person is usually very attractive and never responds to any emails. Lastly, the profiles are usually deleted in a month and replaced with new ones.
    My honest opinion of what’s going on? On the smaller dating sites or the start up sites, they are in fact using fake profiles. I have experienced this first hand and can say with 100% certainty it does happen. I think though the larger, more established sites like match and yahoo are being plagued by ad companies and porn sites that create these fake profiles with the intention of getting your real email address so they can send you junk mail.
    Just my 2 copper.

  11. I have been on off and on for a while and just when I think I got these clowns figured out they throw in a twist. I complained to match that whenever I cancel my subscription I would inevitably get an email to entice me to reactivate my account only to find out it is from a Russian girl if from an actuall person at all. Once I turned the heat up on I started to get bombarded by emails from Russian women who of course start out by saying they are in the states. They emails are all very similar with other email addresses to contact them. Most of the profiles aren’t even active which leaves me to believe that the are being sent from inside because you have to have an active profile and pay to send emails. is a fraud based business in my opinion and the only way to break free from these ass puppets is to remove yourself completely from the site but to most people this site is an aphrodisiac and most people will hold on in hopes to find that “perfect match” which WILL NOT happen. I was addicted to the site when I was going through my divorce and knows that’s when they can get their meat hooks in you for along time! Shame on

  12. I’ve been on Match for awhile with no luck, but no problems, EXCEPT for the psycho that swore I worked for Match because I wouldn’t respond to his emails. I just had to tell him: “I don’t work for Match, I’m just physically repulsed by you.”

  13. is FAR from innocent. they routinely send out fake emails, conveniently timed with the expiration of one’s membership, from fake people who are allegedly very interested in YOU. of course, to read these emails, one has to shell out another 30 bucks to re-up the membership, all so you can find out it was bullsh*t in the first place. genius, i tell ya! gotta love those marketing savants!!

Comments are closed.