Cold-hearted robbers are targeting people looking for love through dating apps and websites in Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is warning would be lovers they need to have their wits about them or they could lose more than their heart.
Police say they are aware of a number of robberies lately that are linked to online dating and are urging people to be careful when arranging to meet strangers.
It is estimated that around one third of adults in the UK have used apps and sites such as Tinder, Match.com, Plenty of Fish and Grindr.
But online dating can create risks and Gloucestershire has previously seen a rise in the number of sexual assaults taking place when people meet for the first time.
Now the Force say the blind date format has also led to a spate of robberies recently. Officers specifically point out the gay dating app Grindr.
Gloucestershire Police tweeted: ” Do you use dating or hookup apps?
” We’re aware of a number of robberies that have taken place recently after people have met on apps such as Grindr.”
They have pointed the public towards advice to help avoid becoming a victim of date crime.
That includes the #AskforAngela scheme which means bars and clubs have signed up to discreetly usher away and order a taxi for anyone who asks “is Angela in?”.
People are also warned that talking online can make them trust strangers more easily so they must find out as much as possible before they meet.
In 2016 it was reported that the number of alleged crimes potentially involving people’s use of dating apps Tinder and Grindr increased more than sevenfold in two years – including reports of rape, grooming and attempted murder.