NewsCovering Colorado


CSPD offers safety tips following dangerous dating app scam

Posted at 6:56 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 21:50:22-05

COLORADO SPRINGS – Colorado Springs resident Karl Chavez just learned this week about a dangerous scam being run at his apartment–by two people who don’t even live there.

“Who does that–comes in there and robs people?!,” he told News5, outside the Michigan Villa Apartments.

“It’s a big concern. We have kids here and it’s not good for people who own the place. It brings the neighborhood down,” he added.

The Colorado Springs Police Department says 24-year-old Robert Curtis Jones Jr. and 19-year-old Melchezedek Gordon set up fake accounts through the “MeetMe” and Tinder dating apps, to bait victims into meeting a woman at various locations.

Once the victims would show up, Jones and Gorden would rob them–at last one of them was held at gunpoint.

They’re now facing 14 felony charges, including Attempted Murder.

Five of the incidents happened at Michigan Villa Apartments, in Colorado Springs.

“You’re better off going to a lounge or something, or maybe the library. Church is a good place,” said Chavez, standing outside the building.

Lieutenant Howard Black says that’s only part of keeping yourself safe on a first date, telling News5 you can never be too careful when it comes to meeting a stranger.

“Make sure that someone knows where you’re going and what time. Wouldn’t it be great if you have someone going with you for that first time? Get creative in keeping yourself safe.”

Black says to be aware of your surroundings, even when parking at a public place or restaurant.

“You have two or three that are in that parking lot–you pull up and you could be in their van or car and be gone in 30 seconds. You need to know who you’re talking to,” he added.

Even with Jones and Melchezedek now behind bars, but it doesn’t give Chavez much peace of mind.

“Somebody will take their place, just give it a minute,” he said, recalling other unwanted visitors coming into the building.

“They’ll walk through the whole building and turn your knob, seeing if there’s an apartment open. Home invasion–that’s a real big concern of mine.”

News5 reached out to the property management company that owns Michigan Villa Apartments, but they could not be immediately reached for comment.

CSPD encourages tenants to report any kind of suspicious activity.