Police in Northern Arizona warn of dating app scams

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Northern Arizona University and Flagstaff Police are warning about multiple reports of internet extortion involving dating apps.

The apps involved are well known, Tinder and Kik, and the Better Business Bureau has tips to protect yourself from dating scams.

Police say it's happened three times this past week. First, a man and woman match on Tinder, then the woman asks to continue the conversation on Kik. Later, she asks the man to take a picture of his face and genitals and send them to her. Once she has them, she demands at least $300 in iTunes gift cards or she'll expose the pictures to the public.

"Cute chick texting me wanting to get a little hot on the hotline or whatever you want to call it and so sure I'm a fun guy," said Eric Watt, who was nearly scammed.

Eric Watt says the same thing happened to him but on Facebook.

"They turn around they say I'm gonna send this to your friends and family, I'm like okay well you're just going to make them feel weird and give me a laugh but good luck in getting money from me to stop that," says Watt.

Watt called the bluff and simply blocked the profile.

The Better Business Bureau says if you're on a dating app, never send money or personal information to anyone, ask questions about their profile to see if they remember those details, and do your research to make sure their photos aren't stolen from someone else.

"I was thinking about joining one because everyone is on it now but hearing what you're saying now I'm a little hesitant about joining one for sure," said Watt.

Authorities remind you to be cautious, whether you're looking for a casual date or true love.

"I go on there sometimes but I haven't found anything bearing any fruit," said Neoh Lee.

Kik is a Canadian based company and police say it gets more complicated investigating a case involving another country.