New Haven police are warning the public that there is a dramatic rise in online dating and internet purchase related crimes.

During the past month, New Haven police said there have been several crimes related to online dating and internet purchases reported each week.

“Our fear – that there are many more occurring but the victims may be embarrassed and are therefore not reporting the crimes,” New Haven police said in a press release.

Police said that while traditional forms of dating are being replaced by cell phone apps and websites, people aren’t heeding the advice to take precautions when meeting someone they don’t know.

For example, police said a recent victim was told to park on a street and walk up a dark driveway to a darkened home in the middle of the night, and wait for further instructions. Those instructions ended up being “give me your money, car keys, and phone.”

New Haven police said it has long offered its headquarters as an internet exchange location, adding that daytime exchanges are better than nighttime ones.

Additionally, police issued these reminders: Save the online information Save related photos Tell a friend where you’re going and remain in touch until you’re certain you’re safe Don’t carry large amounts of cash and leave valuables at home Specific to dating Be responsible for your own rides. Never get into a stranger’s car Stay sober Download an app such as RAVE Guardian or another emergency notification service If you feel uncomfortable – leave immediatelyNew Haven Police Officer David Hartman also wrote the following poem to go along with this warning.

All over the world, people look to find love

In coffee shops, bars and such places thereof

The new trend, however – no more than a click

On a cellphone or device with a memory stick

The love you may seek just might come with a price

From a criminal element well-seasoned in vice

Should you trust a match-maker from the “the cloud” up above

Or rely on tradition to truly find love?

Your excitement at romance will be quickly undone

When Brenda is really a dude with a gun

Be cautious, warn cops, when looking for fun

So the criminals, you won’t have to try to outrun

The rendezvous spot should be chosen with care

In New Haven – perhaps it’s a well-lit town square

Just no darkened driveways – chose someplace elsewhere,

Like a place you’d be proud to spark-up your affair

How embarrassed you’ll be when your wallet gets robbed

By Brenda – who’s really a delinquent named Bob

The match you are seeking should be carefully picked

Just be certain to avoid being conned, robbed or tricked.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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