Police Warn Residents of Dating Apps After Alleged Attacks

After two people were reportedly attacked during dating app meetups, police are warning the public to exercise caution.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Richmond, B.C. responded to two incidents involving users of the Chinese dating app Tantan this past weekend.

Tantan is an app that’s similar to Tinder, where you can swipe right or left for potential matches. If you like someone, you can chat with them, and oftentimes, individuals will arrange to meet up in person.

It’s widely available via Android and iOS.

According to the Mounties, on Saturday September 8, 2018, just after 7 a.m., a 32-year-old man from Richmond was set to meet a female user at a home in southwest Richmond.

The user was going by the name “Stephanie”.

While the victim was waiting, two suspects approached the victim and assaulted him,” reads a recent statement from Richmond RCMP.

He managed to escape.”

According to police, there was a second incident on Sunday September 9 at around 3 a.m., wherein a 23-year-old man frm Vancouver was set to meet a Tantan user named “Stephanie” at a residence in central Richmond.

When the male arrived, he was allegedly approached by three suspects, one of whom produced a knife,” reads the statement.

The suspects then abducted the victim, transported him using the victim's vehicle to a bank in the 3700 block of No. 3 Road of and forced him to withdraw funds from an ATM machine.”

Police allege the victim was robbed, and personal effects - including his clothing - were taken.

The victim was later released.

The Richmond RCMP General Investigation Section is investigating both incidents, and police are warning the public to be wary of dating apps.

"Police are warning the public to exercise caution whenever Tantan or other similar dating apps are used. Unless trust is guaranteed, it is inherently dangerous to meet strangers in non-public areas" said Corporal Dennis Hwang in the statement.

Hwang said that these two incidents in particular are concerning because of their proximity to one another.

If you have any information regarding these two cases, please contact Constable L. Reid of the Richmond RCMP General Investigation Service at 604-278-1212 or email Richmond RCMP at Richmond_Tips [at] rcmp-grc [dot] gc [dot] ca (Richmond_Tips [at] rcmp-grc [dot] gc [dot] ca.)

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