Woman uses Skout.com to lure men into robbery

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -- A woman is using a social media application to arrange meetings with men in the Greater Grand Crossing Neighborhood on the South Side, where the victims are instead beaten and robbed by a group of men.

On at least three occasions in the last two weeks, the last on Wednesday, men have been “lured to locations through the use of social media” only to be attacked, an alert from Gresham District police said.

In all three cases, “the victims made contact with a female utilizing the website Skout.com, where they would make plans to meet,” police said. “Upon arriving at the designated location, the victims discovered the female offender was not alone, but rather in the company of several other males.”

The men are then beaten and robbed.

Incident have occurred:
—at 5:30 p.m. July 30 in the 7900 block of South Calumet;
—between 4-7:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 in the 7900 block of South Prairie; and
—about 9 p.m. Aug. 12 in the 7900 block of South Prairie.

"It's so unfortunate when things like that happen, and I think more often we hear about things happening to women than men, but this just shows that we can all be at risk," said Bela Gandhi.

Gandhi is the founder of the Smart Dating Academy and a frequent FOX 32 contributor. She said most online dates are safe, if people follow some simple safety tips.

"Never go to a place, whether you're going to have coffee with someone or go on a date, never go to a place that you're not comfortable with, and that's not a public place, that's rule number one," Gandhi said.

Police are warning men who use social media to be aware that people may not be who they represent themselves to be online.

Anyone with information should call Area South Detective Division at (312)747-8273.

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