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Stay safe while finding love online

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jan 17, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — We've seen the dark side online dating right here in Las Vegas. You may remember the local couple that kidnapped and robbed a man after meeting him through a dating app.

Michaelyn Herring and Joseph Oliveira were involved in a catfish scheme, luring their victims online. That couple will be in court today to learn their fate.

Police say the couple set up at least 5 victims, 2 of those we know are men. We spoke with one of the victims last year. He said after matching with a woman on a dating app he agreed to meet up with her in a secluded area.

RELATED: Las Vegas couple indicted for allegedly catfishing two men, stealing their vehicles

He was sitting on the drivers seat when a man opened the door to his car and the nightmare unfolded.

"He grabbed me from behind and pulled out a gun," says Reed Chicas.

Police say the couple drove all over the valley with Chicas in the backseat. After robbing him and taking his car, they eventually let him go.

The thing is, when it comes to finding love, some of us tend to let our guard down. Reed says he sure did that at the time.

It's not surprising. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of Americans think online dating is a good way to meet people and more men are on online dating sites and apps than women.

Retired Las Vegas police Lt. Randy Sutton says anyone can be a victim!

"Men are very vulnerable, men are looking for love just like women are."

Some safety reminders:

  • Tell somebody close to you where you're going.
  • Always meet up in a public place.
  • Take the time for a pre-screen. offer to have a Facetime or phone call date prior to the date