We’ve all seen, or at least heard about Tinder Swindler. We’ve all gasped and felt scandalised at his actions and thanked our lucky stars we haven’t had such a bad experience.
Since it’s the day after Valentine’s Day, and most of you must be feeling post-Valentine’s blues, Brunch spoke to a few unfortunates who were unlucky enough to have experienced a few bad dates – to put it mildly. We hope this makes you feel better about your dates – or even a lack thereof.
Here’s a list of weirdos, creeps, and scammers to avoid on dating apps:
The fake profiles
A university student we spoke to told us she matched with two guys on Tinder, both of whom texted her first, with one saying “hey there” and the other saying “heya”. Right after that, she told us she replied back with a simple “hi”. At the same time, she got a message from both the guys saying “what’s happening?”. Now this is where it gets weird. “I felt that the message was a bit weird, so I too sent them both the same message in response. After a few replies back and forth, I realised they were both saying the exact same thing,” she shared, adding that it was starting to get creepy. She decided to confront the two, to which she was told: “Oh, my friend is right next to me coincidentally.” Of course, after that she unmatched the two and left it be, but to this day she is unsure whether it really was two friends in the same room or if it was one man with two fake accounts – the accountability on Tinder seems to be unreliable and not having a way to verify a person’s legitimacy is quite frankly disturbing and gives leeway for scams and other problems to occur.
Daniel Fernando, the self proclaimed “risk-taker” of his friend group, was 19 when his friend dared him via text to swipe right on the first person he matches with. “It was a girl (or so I thought) and ‘she’ was said to be 18 years old,” he shared, adding that when looking back on it, he should have reverse-Google searched for the image, but unfortunately one can’t rewrite history. Right here is a fundamental problem with dating apps – one shouldn’t have to go as far as to reverse search images but alas, such is the world we live in.
He then started a chat with “her” and exchanged numbers, and he told us he was starting to really like “her” so they arranged to meet up at “her” house. “When I got there – oh boy, it was not a girl. It was actually a man who looked to be in his 40s to 50s wearing shorts and a worn-out t-shirt,” he described. This is where it gets ugly. “He immediately grabbed me then everything went black; I woke up to loud banging on his front door and it was the Police. A 43-year-old woman, a neighbour of his who lived next door, heard a commotion and reported it to the Police,” he said. Fortunately for him, the man got arrested and to this day, he is still thankful to that woman who saved his life.
Uwin Lugoda met a girl on Tinder once. “She was very keen on meeting up, so we did at a café near my workplace,” he said. They got along well, and eventually, she suggested that he come over to her house later during the day. It just so happened that her house was located all the way in Bolgoda, but Uwin, not wanting to waste what may be a fun night and potential relationship, decided to go. Only once he got there did it get weird. “Turns out, she has a husband who happened to be related to a very powerful political figure,” Uwin stated. It was all downhill from there – she didn’t let him leave and it came to the point where he had to sneak out and get into a tuk-tuk right when he spotted the husband’s vehicle pull in. He promptly called a friend to inform him that if he was found dead, the girl and her husband are the reason why. A dramatic response? Maybe. But it’s not just women who are allowed to feel unsafe; the situation was clearly tense and if he hadn’t got out of there in time, there was a chance that he may have sustained some injuries at the very least. Weirdly enough, despite all that, the woman still kept messaging him.
In conversation with Malsha Perera, she told us she once went on a date with a 23-year-old man from Tinder for dinner and told us that it was all going pretty well in the beginning. “We started casually talking about what we were looking for and I was straightforward with the fact that I don’t do casual hookups,” she told us. When she asked what he was looking for, he said: “I feel like I need to be honest with you and tell you that I’m married, so I’m not looking for a relationship.” After this shocking statement, she tried to pull more details out of him to understand why he was on Tinder if he was married. She revealed that it turned out to be that he and his wife were on a break and may be getting a divorce. Upon hearing that, she felt so grossed out that she left immediately. It’s common to find people who aren’t looking for anything meaningful or long term and are just casually on dating apps with the sole aim of simply wasting time or grabbing a free meal.
To all dating app creators out there: Everyone seems to be in agreement that it is high time you up your security and verification processes so people don’t have to go through these awful and downright creepy dates. To the general public that’s simply looking for love: There is now a Cyber Crimes Division that you can go to if something serious ever occurs.