A Queens man skewered by Cupid’s arrow is suing online dating service OkCupid.com after a failed relationship that started on the site set him back over $70,000.
Michael Picciano says in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court that when he found a man calling himself Bruce Thompson in February 2013, he “felt safe and trusted the profile” of the man because of the dating site’s reputation.
Picciano, 65, says that after 10 days of chatting on the site, he and Thompson moved to personal emails at Thompson’s suggestion.
About a month later, Thompson made his first telephone call to Picciano and by the end of March, Thompson was asking for money for a new computer parts business.
“Believing his story because he now trusted Thompson based on their multiple daily conversations,” Picciano went to his bank — the Little Neck branch of Capital One — and made two wire transfers worth a total of $12,000 to a Charles Willard in Dallas, Texas, according to court papers.
Picciano sent a third wire transfer of $12,000 to Edmond Thebeau in Ontario, Canada and a fourth wire in mid April to MacBenson and Associates in Manchester, England.
The wire transfers added up to a whopping $70,460.
Picciano subsequently learned that all the recipients were bogus and the money instead went to Thompson’s accounts, according to his suit. However, all of the wire transfer reports issued to Picciano by Capitol One had the bank’s name and address as the recipient instead of the real recipient.
Late last April, a friend searched the internet and found Thompson’s name on a website called malescammers.com, the suit says.
Picciano says he contacted the NYPD and he gave a detective a $100,000 forged check that Thompson had sent Picciano to gain his trust.
According to court papers, a police crime lab didn’t find fingerprints on the check and learned that the software used to create the check could not be traced. Picciano says he believes Thompson is back on OkCupid, trolling for new victims and using the screen name “bigheartedbt,” according to the court papers.
Picciano is faulting the website for not giving subscribers warnings and Capital One for not getting him the proper information about where his wire transfers were really being received.
There was no immediate comment from the bank or the parent company of OkCupid, IAC.com.