Police urge caution on phone dating apps
Following the assault and robbery of a Surry Hills man in his own home this week by a person he had earlier met on a phone dating app, NSW Police have called for the public to use caution when on the internet or using online phone apps.
Police are on the search for two alleged attackers after the victim had invited one of the men to his home at about 9pm on Tuesday night after communicating with him over the Skout dating app. The victim was assaulted and as he tried to flee was met by a second man at his front door.
The victim was then forced to his bed and pinned down before being gagged. The second man then stole several items, including computers, mobile phones and jewellery. Before the men fled, the second man pulled out a firearm and threatened the victim, police said.
Surry Hills Police continue to investigate the incident and are renewing their appeal to members of the community who may have information about the incident to come forward.
Surry Hills Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Craig Middleton, said people need to be aware that what they are looking at or who they are speaking to on the internet may not always be what it seems.
“One of the most important things to remember is that how a person portrays themselves on the internet can be very different from their real life persona,” Detective Inspector Middleton said.
“There are many things that all internet users can do to protect themselves from becoming the victim of crime.”
Safety tips to protect yourself online include:
Do not send a picture of yourself to someone you don't know and never place a full profile and picture anywhere on the internet
Never give out personal information including your name, home address, phone number, private email address, details of where you work or recreational activities
Do not activate your webcam to anyone you don’t know personally
Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you have only chatted with on the internet. If you do decide to meet a person, always take a friend and ensure the meeting is in a public place
Consider disabling the GPS function on application settings as this lets people know where you are located
Never give out your passwords or financial details.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Surry Hills Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.