MOBILE, ALA. (WALA)- The days of finding a date aren't like they used to be. It's more about this finding your forever or maybe just for the night love on a dating app.
Some statistics say around 50 million Americans have or currently use websites or dating apps to find romance.
With no initial face to face interaction, it's important to make sure who you're talking to, has good intentions.
Awkward moments, being stood up, even, love at first sight, all could be expected on a first date. What's not expected, this:
"Someone was robbed and shot, there's been incidents where someone was sexually assaulted, there's been incidents where the person got away and nothing happened," Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said.
Battiste said all of those crimes occurred in the past three months in the Port City, and they all started on dating apps.
The criminals not singling out a particular group either. Most recently, Chief Battiste said a man was hoping to pick up a woman he met on the dating app "Tagged". Instead, he was met with bullets.
Police said he was carjacked by two men and then shot while walking down Cottage Hill Road.
Police don't know who attacked this victim, but they said they do know who was behind two other similar crimes.
Twenty-one year old Javonta Kelly is accused of using the dating app "Plenty of Fish" to lure in victims to rob and shoot them. Police said he did it in April and May of 2019.
Battiste said, "We're not going to tolerate it in our community."
So authorities have some tips to protect yourself.
"Don't allow yourself in a first encounter with someone to take place in a dark alley, or in a motel room that you know nothing about the neighborhood that you're going into," said Battiste.
Also, police said letting someone know where you're going and who you're going to be with is a good idea.
Some singles I spoke to, said it definitely makes them skeptical about using a dating app.
Mary Jo Broussard said, "I think that's terrible to take advantage of people that are just looking for happiness and love."
"They probably should meet someone at a very busy area..like a mall or something and they should never go to their house, ever, because that's like a recipe for disaster," said Nikema Riley.
If you are a victim of a crime after using a dating app, make sure you call police. Most dating apps also have an option where you can report a user.
We reached out to Tagged and Plenty of Fish for comment.
So far, Tagged hasn't responded, but a representative for Plenty of Fish said in part:
"Plenty of Fish takes the safety, security and well-being of our users very seriously. We have a number of systems and preventative processes in place that help protect our community, and encourage all of our members to refer to our safety tips when meeting a stranger in person."