A case in point in Gainesville, Florida, where our affiliate station WJXT Jacksonville reports that 27-year-old Gerard Roberts was charged with raping a young woman on a blind date after police had already received stalking complaints about him from women on the mega-popular dating app Tinder.
Millions of single people are looking for a relationship using dating sites and apps.Way too trusting for their own safety, according to online dating crime statistics that show Internet predators are committing more than 16,000 abductions, 100 murders and thousands of rapes each year across America.And here's one more disturbing statistic: a staggering 10 percent of all known sex offenders use online dating services as their private hunting ground.We set up hidden cameras with microphones stretching from the hotel lobby to the elevator, the hallway leading to the suite, and inside the suite itself.And Powers has been hard at work looking for dates on Tinder. Matt Doran: "Some of these women have actually already handed you out their physical address." Chris Powers: "Yeah. She said she didn't want to drive -- I said 'I'll pick you up,' and I asked where she lived and she just flat out gave me the address." Now Powers has found the first young woman who is willing to come right to his door.I just walked right into the elevator, walked right up." Powers could be an ax murder or serial rapist for all Vera knows.And she has no idea what could await her behind the door.But that is precisely the process these predators are relying on. "You've heard of horror stories of course." "Oh yeah," said Vera. "I told him I was nervous." But not nervous enough.In many ways I am torn because I recognize it would be really confronting to walk into a room full of cameras, but I also feel passionate about demonstrating their decisions could be deadly." As Powers and Vera come through the door, she is obviously surprised to see our cameras, but soon understands our intentions are well-meaning and seems OK about talking to us. You've known Chris for only a few hours and you're prepared to come up to a room with what could have been anyone in this room, right? Powers has a second Tinder date lined up now with "Hazel" [not her real name], who is even more reckless than Vera. "I was who I said I was, that it's going to be a safe situation." So Hazel comes right to the room. " "Probably not, if this was the outcome," said Hazel. If not, don't" "Is there something Chris said to you to convince you to come along? Just didn't seem like he meant a lot of harm," said Hazel."I pretty much just said 'Why don't we go out to eat or something, come over to my hotel, we'll have a couple of drinks in my room and then we'll go out from there,'" said Powers. " "I didn't really reveal anything about myself," said Powers.Of the hundred young women Powers has just met on Tinder, several have given him their addresses and invited him to come over and take them out on a date, and two have actually agreed to come right to his hotel. "And if they do question it for a second, it takes very little to get them to change their mind, and think, 'Oh, I was so silly to think anything bad could happen.'" Powers has gone down to the lobby to meet the first girl of the evening, who's come here to meet him.