NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Looking for love is not easy, especially when the conversation starts online across your keyboard.
“I’m literally just separated from my wife now I have no other option except for social media online,” said Jeremy Consiglio of East Haven. “It’s hard.”
“I think it’s convenient to a certain point but you don’t really know who you are going to talk with on the other end,” said Satchel Zabala of New Haven. “You can get catfished. You can just get in so much drama in situations because you don’t know who you are dealing with on the other side.”
New Haven police say that’s what happened to a Waterbury man when he headed to the 300 block of Winthrop in the Elm City. Police say, he had made plans to meet a woman he connected with on social media in an alley by an apartment building early Saturday morning. According to police, security cameras show that so-called date turned out to be a man with a gun.
“He didn’t meet the woman of his dreams,” said Officer David Hartman, the Media Liaison at the New Haven Police Department. “He instead met the carjacker of his nightmares. There was a fight. The person ended up taking his car, as he tried to get back to it and left him stranded.”
Don’t let it happen to you. Hartman recommends these tips.
- Get a person’s name and number. Call to make sure they’ve given you the correct information.
- Meet in a public place
- Tell a family or friend where you are going
- Don’t get into a car with a stranger
- Beware if you’re asked for money
“One of the things that should raise the hairs on your neck, any discussion of money,” said Officer Hartman. “That shouldn’t come up on line.”
Jeremy Consiglio, an East Haven man finds himself back in the dating world, agrees.
“If they’re asking for money, because I already had it happen in the three months, if they’re asking for money, asking you to sign up to any third party site or things like that immediately stop messaging that person,” said Consiglio.
In general, as you tap your way to a potential first date, be cautious.
“It’s hard to find relationships now-a-days,” said Zabala when she heard of the Waterbury man’s plight. “So for me, I feel bad for him but for next time, now he knows, you shouldn’t trust social media to date anyone.”
And this advice comes from Officer Hartman, “Do your homework before you go out on your road to matrimony.”