Oh, internet. You weird, magnificent bringer-of-incredible-stories. In today’s episode of “Situations That Should Never Have Gotten This Far,” a New York man is suing that gloriously ridiculous hub of skin chasers known as OKCupid after being swindled out of over $70,000 (repeat: seventy thousand dollars) by a man he met through the service. Before we go any further, we need to clarify that no part of this story involves dead Kenyan princes, Brazillian lottery transfer fees, or miraculously unheard of inheritances. So for those of you who came here expecting incredible tales from the spam folder, you’re shit out of luck.
This New York Post article tells the lonesome tale of poor, sweet, innocent Queens man Michael Picciano, who was taken for the considerable sum of money by a man he met through OKCupid who posted under the name ‘genuineguy62’. You can’t make this stuff up.
During their correspondence through not only OKC, but via phone and email as well, Picciano and genuineguy62 expressed that online puppy love with one another that far too many of us have experienced at one point or another. The relationship reached a point where they decided to take the next big step in their relationship and delete their online dating profiles. Romance!
But here’s where things started to take a dark turn. When genuineguy62 asked Picciano to wire him $24,000 for “or unexpected fees he incurred in his dealings setting up a new computer-parts business” – a real thing that actually happens to people – no alarm bells rang. Nor did they ring when genuineguy62 requested the money be sent to both ‘Dennis E. Racer’ in Texas, and ‘Edmond Thebeau’ in Canada. Again, a perfectly regular thing that happens all the time to people without consequence.
It wasn’t until after an additional request for money – this time $46,420 sent to an organisation going by the name of MacBenson and Associates in the UK – that Mr. Picciano started realising that genuineguy62 might be a little bit suss. And after his suspicions were confirmed, Mr. Picciano made the same decision that any sane, rational person would make when faced with this kind of situation: he sued OKCupid for not protecting him from being fleeced.
The lawsuit remains pending, and shall surely be a legal slugfest for the ages. So take not, genuineguy62’s of the world! If you plan on conning someone through an online dating service, that someone might just turn around and sue the dating service and not you.
For what it’s worth, Mr. Picciano’s lawsuit claims that the original genuineguy62 is up to his old tricks again on OKC, this time under the new and slightly more conspicuous username ‘bigheartedbt’.