Man Sues Dating Site After Getting Scammed Out of $70K
In February 2013, 65-year-old Michael Picciano of Queens, N.Y., met a man on OKCupid who went by the username “genuineguy62,” according to a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court.
Picciano and “genuineguy62,” who claimed his real name was “Bruce Thompson,” spent about a month talking on OKCupid and then began having phone conversations, the lawsuit says.”
Several days later, Thompson asked Picciano to wire him money. Thompson said he needed it for “unexpected fees” he incurred while setting up a computer parts business, the documents state. Picciano says he made four wire transfers in steadily increasing amounts to addresses in Texas, Ontario and England. The payments, which Picciano made from a local Capital One bank in Queens, totaled $70,460.
About four weeks after making the first payment, Picciano called police. A friend of his had found Thompson’s photo and information on a site called malescammers.com, the complaint states. Picciano gave authorities a forged check Thompson had sent him. Police, however, were unable to find fingerprints.
Picciano’s lawsuit alleges OKCupid “failed to exercise reasonable care” in communicating “the dangers associated with online matchmaking.” OKCupid “provided not even minimal screening of its subscribers,” the complaint says.”
However, an OKCupid page called “Safety Tips” explicitly warns people against wiring money to OKCupid users — or anyone they meet online — because the sender “has no protections against loss.”
Picciano is also suing Capital One for “failure to comply with proper procedures for the transmission of wire funds transfers.” The lawsuit says that none of the wire transfers contained the address of the recipient “as required by law.”