Dating site to meet policemen
Like couples all around the region, Loren West and Dustin Smith followed the tragic story of David Messerschmitt. The intellectual-property lawyer was found stabbed to death inside a room at a boutique hotel in downtown Washington. “I feel so bad for his wife,” Smith said.d they are gay men, who met online, and are now married.
Then more became clear: The February evening he went missing, Messerschmitt had texted his wife saying he’d be home soon; hotel surveillance video showed a mysterious figure climbing a staircase toward his room; court records revealed Messerschmitt, 30, had posted on Craigslist seeking sex with men; police thought he was targeted in a robbery that went bad. “In this day and age, you never really know who you’re meeting,” Smith said.
For predators, the calculation is simple: If someone doesn’t want to show an identity online, he will be less likely to report an assault or robbery.
“All criminals have a niche, and online predators in this field prey on vulnerabilities — be that closeted men, married men or others seeking sex this way,” said Sgt.
Police say that suspects are creating fake profiles on common online dating sites.
They use other people's photos and use locations to appear close to their target — when they are actually from outside of Canada. When a victim initiates contact or is contacted by the suspects, they engage in what police describe as "age- and social- appropriate social/flirtatious chats." The chats then become sexual, and t During the video chats, the victim is encouraged to undress or engage in sexual behaviours, police said.
Once the victim engages in compromising behaviour in front of the camera, the video chat will stop.
They may also present fake photos or videos claiming to be the person in the profile, police said. The suspects research the victim using social media sites.
This type of online extortion has been reported with increasing frequency, police added.