SWFL man gets death threats through dating site

Posted at 6:20 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 18:20:57-04

A man told the Lee County Sheriff's Office he was receiving death threats after chatting with a woman on a dating website.

An incident report said the death threats were specifically mentioning members of his family by name.

The man said he made an account on Plenty of Fish and started chatting with a woman named Maria. She asked him to make an account on another program called "What's App" so the two of them could talk more. That's when the man started getting threatening text messages from multiple numbers, saying he would be murdered if he didn't send money. He was even sent a video showing people being stabbed and decapitated while a man said "This will happen to your family if you don't take us serious."

"Anybody's going to use something dramatic to grasp the victim's attention, especially when it's monetary requests. So they're going to show you something gruesome in order to get you to comply," Sgt. Anita Iriarte with the Lee County Sheriff's Office said.

She said the sheriff's office receives their fair share of these types of incidents.

She said to avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime, be careful what you share online, and make sure to meet people for the first time in public.

If someone asks you for money through a dating site, you're urged to call law enforcement before complying.