Dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder is being used by miscreants to lure money from men, says Deepika Narayanan, a renowned advocate. Online dating has become increasingly popular in recent years, providing individuals with the opportunity to meet new people and potentially find romantic connections. However, as with any online activity, there are risks involved. Recently, a disturbing trend has emerged on popular dating sites like Tinder and Bumble, as well as messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram. Young girls match with unsuspecting individuals and orchestrate situations that result in exorbitant bills at selected establishments. This article sheds light on this scam and offers advice on how to stay safe while navigating the online dating world.
The modus operandi of this scam involves young girls initiating conversations with men on dating apps and suggesting meeting for a casual coffee at a public place. However, the girls hold the reins when it comes to choosing the location, ensuring it is an establishment where they have an arrangement with the staff. Once the initial meeting takes place, the unsuspecting individuals are led to a different venue, often a bar or sparsely populated coffee shop.
Once at the designated location, the girls engage the individuals in conversation while repeatedly ordering expensive items, such as alcoholic beverages and hookahs. They create an illusion of a casual and friendly meeting, all while prolonging their stay. At a carefully orchestrated moment, the girls receive a phone call from a parent, supposedly requiring their immediate attention. Understandably, the individuals, not wanting to impose, do not object and allow the girls to leave.
As the individuals request the bill, they are taken aback when the waiter presents them with an exorbitant amount, typically ten to twenty times higher than what it should be. In some instances, the bouncers are summoned to intimidate the individuals into paying the inflated bill or face threats of confiscating their belongings. Shockingly, the bill often arrives from a different establishment altogether, adding another layer of confusion and deception to the ordeal.
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Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that this scam involves a network of individuals, with the restaurant owners, staff, and possibly even local authorities playing a role. The girls are employed by the restaurant owner to entice unsuspecting individuals, and the staff members collude in overcharging them. There are suspicions that the police may be complicit, as filing complaints or seeking assistance has proven ineffective in some cases.
Many victims of this scam have faced an uphill battle in seeking justice. Attempts to block credit card transactions have been unsuccessful, while police complaints often yield no tangible results. This lack of recourse can be disheartening, especially when the scam occurs in close proximity to law enforcement establishments.
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It is essential for individuals using dating apps and other online platforms to be aware of this scam and take precautions to protect themselves. Here are some tips to consider.
While online dating can be a positive experience, it is crucial to approach it with caution. Be wary of individuals who rush into meeting at specific venues or display suspicious behavior. When meeting someone for the first time, opt for well-known public places with a good reputation. Avoid venues suggested by the other person unless you are familiar with them yourself.
Be mindful of your food and drink orders during meetings. Stay in control and avoid getting carried away, especially in unfamiliar settings. Before ordering, inquire about the prices of items and services to avoid any surprises when the bill arrives. If there are any discrepancies, address them immediately with the staff.
Here is the tweet below:
ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST:
DELHI : NEW SCAM ALERT
A woman you’d meet on dating app will suggest meeting at a very specific cafe or bar. She would get out of the meeting midway making some excuse. Bill will have to be paid only by the man now with 20 times the charge of order pic.twitter.com/lzeFyVMvp6
— Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj (@DeepikaBhardwaj) June 13, 2023
While online dating opens up exciting possibilities, it is crucial to remain vigilant and aware of potential scams. The disturbing trend of orchestrated meetings leading to exorbitant bills highlights the need for caution and proactive measures. By staying informed, exercising caution, and prioritizing personal safety, individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to such scams and enjoy a safer online dating experience.