A self-proclaimed online dating rube from Queens slapped OkCupid with a lawsuit after a man he met on the singles site swindled him out of over $70,000.
Hopeless romantic Michael Z. Picciano blames OkCupid and its parent company, IAC, for failing to conduct “even minimal screening of its subscribers and therefore deceptively creating the impression that their dating service was safe … when in fact … [it] was a trap for the unwary,” he says in his Manhattan civil suit.
Picciano, 65, first received a message from “genuineguy62″ on Feb. 11, 2013.
The Little Neck man says he “felt safe” and “trusted” his online match, purportedly a man named Bruce [ why not “Bruce Lance”? – ed] Thompson, simply because he had a profile on OkCupid, which bills itself as “the best free dating site.”
By March the two had spoken on the phone, over Skype and through their personal email accounts.
He even agreed to Thompon’s suggestion to delete their online accounts since “they had found each other,” according to court papers.
Picciano says he “felt comfortable” with his new beau and readily agreed to wire Thompson $24,000 “for unexpected fees he incurred in his dealings setting up a new computer parts business” — even though the instructions required him to send the money to a “Dennis E. Racer” in Addison, Texas, and an “Edmond Thebeau” in Canada.
Then in April, Picciano, perhaps blinded by his newfound love, sent yet another payment of $46,420 at Thompson’s request to “MacBenson and Associates” in the UK through his Capital One bank account, the suit says.