FLINT (WJRT) (12/30/19) -- Michigan State Police are stressing the importance of safety on online dating apps, following what happened to 25-year-old Kevin Bacon of Swartz Creek.
"The dating apps in of themselves, they're not a bad thing, they're not a bad idea, lots of people meet on them. For the most part, there's not a whole lot of issues with it," said Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper Steve Kramer.
That is, until there is an issue. Kramer says teens and young adults are especially vulnerable when it comes to online dating.
"Getting a text or getting something on your social media gives you like a short high, it gives you a dopamine release where that's an exciting thing."
But Kramer says that brief few seconds of satisfaction can take you down a dangerous path.
"You do have to be careful. You do have to protect yourself. You do have to go through the what if's in your mind, what if it isn't true. What if it is for something bad."
If you do use a dating app,Michigan State Police advise limiting personal information. That includes where you live, your address, or where you work; they say to save that information for when you meet in person.
Also, meet in public and not at a home or residence. They say to set up a place where you and the other person will be around other people and can be clearly seen. Also, tell someone where you're going and be accountable to yourself.
"You can't be too careful with these things and if you're meeting a legitimate person, they're not going to have a problem with that. They're going to want you to feel safe and secure."