A 40-year-old Dubai-based engineer, Khalid, headed to the apartment of a pretty blonde girl whom he had connected with on popular dating app, Tinder. He headed to the sixth-floor hotel apartment and knocked on the door while checking the empty hallway and his heart skipping a beat. Waiting for the door to open, he recalled how he connected with the pretty blonde just 24 hours earlier when he liked her profile on the dating app.
After a quick chat on WhatsApp, Maria sent him her location and flat number asking him to come over quickly. As the door to the hotel room opened, Khalid saw nothing. The lights were switched off and a faded red light came from the living room. He then heard a woman’s voice asking him to enter the apartment. The woman who was at the doorway claimed Maria was waiting for him inside.
Instantly, Khalid sensed something was wrong when he felt movement behind the door. He instantly ran into the corridor and down the stairs and managed to make a quick exit out of the building. Luckily for Khalid, he was able to reach his car and get home. He later realised that he got lucky because he could have been scammed and had read about gangs (mainly from African countries) who used online dating platforms after luring victims and robbing them of their money and belongings.
In a recent case however, one which was not as lucky as Khalid’s, a Spanish visitor was victim to a dating app scam. He had gone to visit a Brazilian woman after getting to know her via the dating app, Tinder. Upon arrival, he was stripped naked, threatened with a knife and robbed by a gang present at the premises. The 36-year-old Spanish visitor told a Dubai court that he spoke with whom he believed was the Brazilian woman through the Tinder app and went to meet her in an apartment. When he reached the apartment, three women and three men from Nigeria dragged him inside, physically assaulted him and held him at knifepoint. They stole his credit cards and used it for different purchases worth Dh19,552.
There have been a number of similar cases recently similar to those aforementioned. In light of these recent scams, Dubai Police through a video have warned people of the dangers of using online dating apps.