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Dangerous dates: Online links lead to ambushes in Florida, Connecticut and Wisconsin

Three people looking for love online found serious trouble recently in separate Florida, Connecticut and Wisconsin incidents.

The Pew Research Center says 54 percent of online daters have felt that someone they encountered through online dating seriously misrepresented themselves in their profile, and 28 percent said they had felt uncomfortable or harrassed by somone they met through an online dating site.

Tori Walker of the Lakeland Ledger reports that a 20-year-old man was contacted through online dating site Plenty of Fish by a woman he didn't know who wanted to meet him. The meet and greet turned into a carjacking, assault and robbery, and two arrests. Meanwhile, WFLA Channel 8 reports that police in Bartow (in the same county) have seen four of these online ambushes occur recently.

In Hartford, Connecticut, an 18-year-old woman who was meeting a man she encountered through OKCupid soon found herself in the man's car with a plastic bag over her head, courtesy of a second man in the backseat, reports Lauren Victory and Angelica Spanos of Fox61 TV. She got away but not without the scare of a lifetime and minor images.

And, in Madison, Wisconsin, WISC News 3 reports that a 29-year-old man who arranged to see a woman he met online was robbed at gunpoint by two men when he arrived at the women's home.

Unfortunately, these types of frightening assaults are becoming more common. Hartford Police offered these tips for safely meeting up with people from online:

  • Get to know the person best as you can before a meet up
  • Meet in a public place with a lot of people
  • Stay in control of your environment
  • Trust your instincts

And here's a story from in New York with more safety insights. Explore more ways to play a safer dating game with the InspectaDate Safety Tips page