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Dating app dangers

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 08:37:37-05

HOBART, Wis.- For Peter Klitzka of Hobart, companionship was all he wanted.  After his wife died two years ago to cancer and spending several years honoring her memory as a widower, Klitzka decided to try dating again.

"Then it's like well you know it's kind of lonely and stuff," said Klitzka.

He tried the latest trend in dating, a free dating app called Plenty of Fish.
 
"I went on it and I didn't feel it hurt anything to meet people," said Klitzka.
 
Low and behold he did meet a woman, but after dating a while it didn't work out and that's when Klitzka got more than he bargained for.
 
"I considered having a restraining order yeah because some of the things I mean I didn't know this person for very long," said Klitzka.
 
Constant text messages, harassing phone calls and occasional threats are just some of the things Klitzka is dealing with.
 
"It's a sick world I'll be honest and say that right now," said Jedd Bradley with the De Pere Police Department.
 
Bradley says their department deals with dating gone bad situations often.
 
"Sometimes people don't understand the word no," said Bradley.
 
He says harassment calls are common, but there are more dangers, like people who use dating apps to prey on others.
 
"Meet in a public place and let somebody know where you're going and who you're meeting with," said Bradley.
 
That's advice Holly Tweedale of De Pere says she takes to heart while using Tinder to find love.
 
"There's a lot of people out there on that one that's a hook up site and that's all they're looking for," said Tweedale.
 
Therefore she has a few rules she sticks with to stay safe.
 
"I never put like my phone number out there," said Tweedale.
 
She also always meets in a public place and let's someone know where she'll be and when she'll be home, as well as doing some online research.
 
"I check out there Facebook profile and I make sure their Facebook profile matches their Tinder profile," said Tweedale.
 
Police also recommend using CCAP before meeting with someone.
 
"The Wisconsin Circuit Court Access does show you some things on there that opens their life a little bit," said Bradley.
 
Those are all tips Klitzka wishes he would have thought of sooner.
 
"I'm not going on another site, I think that should happen naturally," said Klitzka.
 
It's important to note their also have been plenty of success stories with people using these free dating apps. Also on the websites of Tinder and Plenty of Fish they do tell people to meet publicly and use caution.