Online dating dangers: Testing Tinder users

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Dating – or finding someone to date – is something that almost everyone does at one point in life.

However, it can be tricky.

Some questions may cross your mind, like “Where do I go to meet people?” or “What do I say?” or “Who is the right one?”

More and more people are turning to the Internet to answer those questions, but it doesn’t take long to find cautionary tales. Many of them come from teenage boys and girls who aren’t careful and end up meeting a predator over the web.

We wanted to see if adults were also putting themselves in danger. Here’s how it played out.

We gave reporter Kody Fisher a mission – to create fake profiles on the dating app Tinder using pictures of models and, to see if both women and men would do things that could potentially put them in danger.

When we first set out with this story we were skeptical – we thought adults would use common sense to avoid potentially dangerous situations, but we were quickly proven wrong.

The dating app Tinder is simple. You swipe left to say you don’t like someone and right to say you do. If it’s mutual, you match and begin to chat.

One of the goals was to see if women would give out their home address.

It didn’t take long and one woman did, with her young cousins living there.

“I was just wondering if I could ask you a couple questions?” Kody Fisher asked the woman. She declined and said “No thank you.”

She wasn’t the only one who did something risky.

We met date number two that we set up and after just three days of talking to the woman, and she agreed to meet Fisher at an apartment complex.

Meeting anywhere that’s not a public place is considered to be unsafe by law enforcement.

“Did that danger ever cross your mind?” asked Fisher.

“Yeah, I seconded guessed coming out here, but that’s why I carry a knife, so it’s fine. You can **** off. I was excited,” said the woman.

The women agreeing to meet Fisher kept getting riskier.

Date number three gave up her home address after 5 messages back and forth on the app.

“You suck. He was so cute. Why do you have to use a cute picture? ****** up,” said the woman.

“Did the dangers ever cross your mind? Did you ever think, ‘oh who I’m meeting might be a predator, might be dangerous,’ and giving them your home address,” asked Fisher.

“Yeah,” said the woman.

“Yes, but you didn’t do anything about those dangers? You didn’t try to validate who I was,” asked Fisher.

Those women aren’t the only ones who made bad decisions – men also did it.

After a few messages back and forth a man decided to pick up Fisher for a date.

We wanted to know if they understood the dangers of online dating.

For men, the danger can be from people faking who they are, so they can lure you somewhere in an attempt to rob you, but that’s not what this guy thought was the most dangerous things about online dating.

“I think the girl probably has to worry about it more than a guy would, especially like giving a house address,” said the man.

“Seeing what happened here what are some of the ways you would verify somebody a little bit better,” asked Fisher.

“Hm. Well, I mean I did touch base with her. I talked to her. I guess i could have asked her more questions about, is she real,” said the man.

Even that level of scrutiny wouldn’t stop someone from duping you into making bad online dating decisions.

Not a single person, of the five people we met up with, did their homework to see if Fisher was a real person.

By not properly looking into someone to make sure they are who they say they are you open yourself up to a whole slew of things; including rape, kidnapping, and robbery.

We’re not saying to never use online dating.

It can be a useful way to meet people.

The solutions to safe online dating may be simple, but they can save your life.

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