Eight Deaths in Colombia May Be Related To Dating Apps

(NewsReady.com) – Over the last few years, dating apps have become incredibly popular. In fact, they’re now one of the most popular ways to meet a romantic partner. Unfortunately, they have downsides, and with US officials in Colombia linking them to a string of suspicious deaths, it’s clear those downsides can be serious.

On January 10, the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, warned that eight American citizens died in suspicious circumstances in the city of Medellin in the last two months of 2023. According to a statement from the embassy, the deaths were a mix of “involuntary drugging overdoses”—most  likely from spiked drinks—or suspected homicides. The embassy doesn’t believe the deaths are connected, but said the circumstances around several of them “point to possible drugging, robbery, and overdose,” and at least some of them are linked to online dating apps.

Medellin is a notoriously dangerous city at the best of times, thanks to Colombia’s powerful drug cartels, but it’s been experiencing a spike in violence. According to the embassy, there was a 200% rise in thefts from foreign nationals in the last four months of 2023 and a 29% increase in violent deaths of foreign visitors. Alarmingly, “Most of the 2023 violent death victims were U.S. citizens.”

The embassy is warning that criminals use dating apps to find victims, then arrange to meet them, meaning they know where they’ll be so they can plan an assault and robbery. It also points out that “Numerous U.S. citizens in Colombia have been drugged, robbed, and even killed by their Colombian dates.” The embassy advises US citizens meeting someone in Colombia to avoid private places, like residences or hotel rooms, and to make sure a friend or relative knows where you’ll be and who you’re meeting—including the app you met them through—as extra security precautions.

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