Online dating robberies prompt call for extra caution

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - A recent spate of robberies have caused police to remind local singles to keep safety in mind when making plans to meet new people via dating apps and websites.

The Omaha Police Department said in the past several days, seven men met who they thought were women they had been chatting with on dating apps "Tinder" and "Plenty of Fish" only to be held up a gunpoint. 

The victims ages 22-34 told police they had set up meetings between 10:45 p.m. and 4 a.m. Sept. 19-27 in the Miller Park/Florence area, and were instead met by two or three armed men.

Courtney Quinlan with Omaha Love Matchmaking said they have a detailed screening process, but other online dating sites and apps do not.

“There’s absolutely no screening on dating apps, such as the popular ones... Tinder and Bumble," she said. "Absolutely anybody can put up any information, any stock photo they put up online, any stock photo they find online, any title, any education — anything they want."

Quinlan suggests getting to know more information about a potential match on a dating app before meeting them since their photo could come from anywhere. She suggested meeting in a public place, so you're not secluded, and advised not putting too much information about yourself on a dating app — and avoid sharing too many photos that might reveal personal information.

Anyone with information about these robberies should call the Omaha Police Department robbery unit at 402-444-4619 or to report tips anonymously call 402-444-STOP. You may be eligible for a $1,000 cash reward.

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