Police discuss dangers of online dating - WNEM TV 5

Police discuss dangers of online dating

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Advances in technology have made it much easier to connect with the world around us, whether we're looking to buy a car or maybe find a date.

Some of those advances might also be putting you at risk, like the dating app Tinder.

"You don't know what's true and what's not true," Saginaw Township Police Department Lt. John Pelkki said,

He said apps like Tinder could be dangerous.

"When you form any type of relationship over the internet or online with people you don't know, you elevate your level of risk greatly," Pelkki said.

The app finds eligible bachelors and bachelorettes within your area. Then, if two people like each other, the Tinder match can then message one another.

Users can log on to the app and swipe right if they like a person. Trouble is, how do you know who's behind the app?

"You can't know a person's intentions over the internet or online, it's just impossible," Pelkki said.

Saginaw Valley State University student Keithan Jackson agrees.

"It could be dangerous because you don't know if that person is putting a false personality or false profile on Tinder," Jackson said.

SVSU student Zach Hannah said there are many dangerous possibilities.

"The guy or girl could get mugged, raped, shot, there's a bunch of potential dangers for going online. It's just like Craigslist," Hannah said.

That's exactly what happened in Wyoming, MI last week when a couple and their unborn child were murdered during a Craigslist transaction. 

Investigators said 18-year-old Brooke Slocum agreed to meet up and have sex with 31-year-old Brady Oestrike. 

Instead, Slocum and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Charlie Oppenneer, were found dead. 

Alleged killer Oestrike was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

It's a tragedy that all started on the internet.

Pelkki said it's just too dangerous.

"We don't recommend it at all," Pelkki said.

The Saginaw Township Police Department said internet crimes have increased, making its job much more difficult.

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