There’s the saying “a sucker is born every day” and apparently online dating is a hotbed for those looking to sucker the naive out of money. Michael Picciano, 65, says in a Manhattan Supreme Court suit that he gave over $70,000 to man he met on OkCupid.com.
All I’ve ever gotten from OkCupid were mediocre drinks and even crappier pick up lines. But I digress.
Picciano in his lawsuit that he met Bruce Thompson in February 2013, he “felt safe and trusted the profile” of the man because of the dating site’s reputation. After 10 days of chatting, their communication moved to emails, then phone calls a month late. More than a month into their communication Thompson asked 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 and made two wire transfers worth a total of $12,000 to a Charles Willard in Dallas, Texas, according to court papers.
So, you’re talking to Bruce, but you’re making wire transfers to Charles? And the Darwin Award goes to….
When those funds were returned to Capital One, Thompson asked Picciano to send the money instead to the account of Dennis E. Racer in Addison, Texas, according to the 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.
Talk about blinded by love. That was some expensive catfishing. OkCupid has not commented on the lawsuit, because they’re too busy laughing about it.