Nadav Nirenberg, 27, said his iPhone 4 vanished while he was out partying on New Year's Eve and he received an email the following day from dating site OKCupid revealing the phone was being used to send messages to girls, the New York Post reported Monday.
"I could log on and see everything he was sending. He was even using my photo," Nirenberg said.
Nirenberg said he created a fake profile as a 24-year-old girl and sent amorous messages to the thief in the hopes of scoring a date.
"As soon as he responded, it was pretty crazy. It was extremely surreal," Nirenberg said. "Afterwards, I was pretty giddy."
Nirenberg said he gave the man an address to visit the fictional woman that night, and he armed himself with a hammer to meet with the romantically inclined phone thief.
Nirenberg said he took his phone back and gave the thief $20 for his trouble.
"As he was walking away, I said, 'You smell great, though,'" Nirenberg said.
He said he did not want to involve the authorities in the matter, he just wanted his phone back.