Police have pounced on another suspect involved in the latest online dating syndicate for allegedly hijacking his internet friend after their first date.
On Friday night, the victim apparently invited his internet friend, who was accompanied by another friend, to his home in Queenswood, Pretoria. Following a night of drinking, the victim offered to take them home in the early hours of Saturday morning, police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said.
“Reports suggest that about halfway into the trip, the suspect and his accomplice attacked the victim with a sharp object before driving away with his Hyundai i20.”
But the 34-year-old scammer was caught at a hospital in Mamelodi, while receiving medical attention after he and his accomplice crashed the hijacked vehicle in the area. The crashed vehicle was also recovered by police.
“The victim was also treated and released from a local hospital for injuries he had suffered during the alleged hijacking.”
But the victim was yet another man to fall for the online syndicate, which seduces those looking for love on social media to rob them.
Over the Easter weekend, a Johannesburg man was stripped naked after he met with his new online friend at Tamboti flat in Sunnyside.
Upon arriving at the flat, the 28-year-old man was allegedly met by his new friend and three accomplices, who stripped him naked, while using his two cellphones to take pictures.
“The suspects allegedly threatened to publish them via his social media account should he not cooperate, and left with his bank card and pin code,” Mavimbela said.
Two cellphones, worth R10 000 each, cash and his bank card were forcefully taken, he said.
“Sunnyside police are warning the public to act with absolute caution before meeting or even entertaining strangers who befriend them via the internet.
“As police, we cannot tell people not to go on online dating sites, but we ask them to be aware and vigilant. Be 100% certain who that person is and inform someone when you meet with that person.”