Police issue warning about online dating safety after man was robbed, pistol-whipped by potential date in Hamden

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Police are reminding people using date apps to do their homework before meeting up in person.

The warning came days after a man was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped after meeting up with a potential date.

Police said the attackers used the dating app to lure him to the location and steal his cellphone and some cash.

Related: 2 arrested after reportedly threatening man with gun, stealing his iPhone on UHart campus

Officers said people should do the following:

  • Meet in public spaces.
  • Use unique photos for your dating profile.
  • Avoid using a lot of personal details.
  • Using the dating app’s messaging system.
  • Setup Google Voice phone number just for dating.
  • Keep cash on hand.
  • Carry a self-defense tool.
  • Park in well-lit areas.

Hartford resident Tim Johnson said he tries to follow those suggestions when online dating.

“Actually if you’re going to meet somebody, I know this sounds weird, but check that they have a Facebook that’s matching,” he said. “Check that there is a Twitter or Instagram. A lot of people link those things to their Tinder profile.”

“Let someone know where you’re going, what time you’re going where, and what time you’re expected back,” said Lieutenant Paul Cicero. “And share your location. A lot of smartphones have a share your location feature, so share it with family and friends.”

Related: Hartford police create ‘meetup spot’ for internet purchase exchanges

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