Dating apps being used by kidnappers to lure victims

  • This week, SAPS confirmed that it was able to rescue a kidnapped Wits University student.
  • The kidnappers reportedly used dating apps in order to lure the victim.
  • It looks to be part of a larger tactic by kidnappers in order to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

Each week we hear or read new reports of kidnappings and human trafficking in South Africa. Thankfully this latest report did not end in tragedy, but the incident does point to the use of dating apps as a tactic employed by would-be kidnappers.

Per SA News, the South African Police Service (SAPS) successfully rescued a Wits University student who went missing on 19th September.

“The student was reported missing the same day by his roommate. It is reported that he was lured to the suspects through a dating site called Grindr. The suspects demanded R30 000 from his family for his safe return,” SAPS explained in a statement.

The police went on to state that in a collaborative effort with Gauteng Crime Intelligence, Organised Crime Investigations, Hillbrow Detectives, Johannesburg Trio Detectives, Johannesburg Metro Police K9, and several security companies, information obtained led to the arrest of one of the suspects at an ATM on the M2 where the ransom withdrawal was scheduled to occur.

The team found the victim (aged 18) at Denver Men’s Hostel, bound and unconscious.

“Six more suspects were arrested and the victim was rushed to hospital for medical attention. The team is currently investigating the possibility of linking these suspects to cases in Gauteng with the same modus operandi. All seven will be charged with kidnapping and extortion and they will be appearing before court soon,” the SAPS statement concluded.

With kidnapping cases rising to more than 11 000 in Gauteng in 2021, it is clear that kidnappers are suing more nefarious and sophisticated methods to lure their victims, with dating apps proving an effective tactic.

Given this latest news, those making use of dating apps like Grindr and Tinder should always proceed with caution when it comes to meeting up with new contacts.

[Image – Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash]


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