Grindr is being used by armed gangs in London to lure unsuspecting men to meet with them before robbing them.
Its always in the back of your mind when using apps like Grindr, Scruff, Hornet etc that the person on the other end of the chat may not be who they say they are or want something other than a male to male meetup.
That is why Police are now warning users of gay meeting apps to be extra cautious about how they use the apps and take precautions before meeting anyone.
In the latest attacks, two victims were robbed at knifepoint, in separate attacks, by a group of four men after making contact through the gay dating app.
It is believed that the same group of men were involved in both of the incidents.
Senior Detective Constable Sheree Yates from Croydon Police in London told the BBC that the victims did not suffer any serious physical injuries but have been left “very shaken” by the incidents.
She added: “We are keen to identify the suspects as soon as possible and are appealing to anyone with any information to contact the police.
“I would urge everyone who uses online dating apps and sites to take steps to help them to stay safe whilst meeting strangers.”
A spokesperson for Grindr urged users of the app to treat the platform with a “measure of caution” as they would with any other social interaction.
They added: “There are many ways to verify and take steps to protect yourself, from meeting in more public spaces to getting phone numbers and speaking beforehand. We take these matters very seriously and cooperate with local law enforcement at all turns where we can.”
Croydon police have in the meantime released safety tips for those in the area using dating apps:
- Always meet in a public place with lots of people around
- Don’t share personal details until you trust the person with whom you are communicating
- If you decide to meet in person, let someone know where you are going and when you’re likely to return
- Plan your journey to and from the date in advance. If using a mini-cab, always pre-book
- Drink responsibly and never leave your drink unattended
- Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and working
- If at any time you feel uncomfortable, leave the date – you are not obliged to stay
There is no word as yet if these types of gangs are operating in other countries, but it is a timely reminder to be careful online anywhere.
Last Updated on Dec 21, 2015