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After Lincoln woman's disappearance, concerns over online dating safety

Posted at 5:13 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 18:45:57-05

The sudden disappearance of a Lincoln woman is raising concerns about anyone who uses a website or app for dating.

Last week, 24-year-old Sydney Loofe posted a photo on Snapchat, saying "ready for my date." Family says she was meeting someone she met online.

Lincoln police say Loofe's disappearance is "concerning." 

Elizabeth Yunker says she and her friends have become more cautious since the story broke.

"A lot of people do turn to tinder and bumble for either companionship or hookups," Yunker said. 

According to some recent statistics, more than a quarter of young adults today use online dating. Yunker says she is opening more up to scary and possibly dangerous situations.

"One of my friends went on a date with a guy last week and he actually had recently gotten out of jail and would not reveal why he had been in jail," Yunker said. "And just had some very unsafe hobbies that really concerned my friend. So i'm glad she got out of that situation."

Omaha matchmarker Courtney Quinlan, of Omaha Love, says the holidays are the time when more people are looking for love.

For those who don't use a professional matchmaking service to vet strangers, she has a word of caution.

"With Christmas and New Years, it's kind of a mystical time of year and romance is in the air and no one wants to spend this time alone," Quinlan said. "I would never meet someone in a private place or somebody's house for the first time."

Online dating site eHarmony gives these safety tips:

  • Meet in a public place
  • Tell others where you're going
  • Drive yourself
  • Stay sober