Montgomery County State’s attorney warns about uptick in crimes related to dating apps

A warning for people trying to date online in the DMV.

State’s attorney for Montgomery County John McCarthy said Friday that since COVID-19 restrictions have loosened, his office is beginning to notice a slight uptick in reports of safety concerns when it comes to people meeting on dating apps.

"Don’t count on the fact that you met someone online or on a Zoom, as actually having met them," said McCarthy. "We have recently made arrests in two cases in Montgomery County and we have multiple other cases that are under investigation."

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Many women who didn’t want to be on camera with FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan instead shared stories online of what they say involved incidents of them meeting people on dating apps, only to find out that the person was either married with children, tried to scam them or in one case, wouldn’t stop stalking a woman after she offered her phone number.

"The kind of situations where we had things happen that people did not plan for were in situations where they thought that just because they met them on Zoom or talked to them online they said, ‘Oh I know this guy or this woman,'" explained McCarthy.

FOX 5 recently reported on numerous stories involving some other dangers of dating apps in the DMV. Two of those cases were in Montgomery County, involving sexual assault after the women in two separate cases met with someone from a dating app.

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"Do what you need to do to make yourself safe," said McCarthy.

In one online post, some women were offering other women protection and safety by being close by, while another female is on a date, just in case they need to be ‘rescued’ because something wasn’t feeling right.  

"We do have Maryland Case Search and it’s for free for anybody to see if anyone has ever been convicted of a crime before and I think you would always want to do that," said McCarthy.

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McCarthy also highly recommends people to purchase a service for background checks in addition to checking the sex offender registry, which is free.