New Delhi: User of an online dating site, OkCupid.com, has filed a lawsuit against the site after a man he met on the site duped him of over $70,000. According to the complainant, the website is to be held responsible for failing to effectively screen members and communicate the risks associated with online matchmaking, reports Mashable.
65-year-old Michael Picciano of Queens, New York, signed up for OkCupid in December 2012 and was approached by a man named Bruce Thompson on February 11, 2013. In no time, their relationship progressed and they started communicating regularly - first on the site and later over emails and text messages. About a month later, Thompson made his first call to Picciano.
After Thompson managed to earn Picciano's trust, he asked him for money which he said were required to meet some unexpected expenses in his business. "Over a period of about two and a half weeks that began on March 29, Picciano wired a total of $70,420 to Thompson to help cover what he said were unexpected expenses associated with his new computer parts business," reports Mashable.
Picciano says he trusted Thompson because of the established reputation of the site and the way it markets itself - "the best free dating website".
Picciano sent Thompson the money despite the fact that OkCupid's safety tips page specifially mentions, "Don't ever send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer. Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash: the sender has no protections against loss."
Days after the final transaction, a friend of Picciano's found Thompson's picture and information on malescammers.com. He later contacted the police but in vain.
Picciano, says Mashable, is also bringing a lawsuit against Capital One, the bank at which he made the transactions, for not catching the frauds, and IAC, OkCupid's parent company.