Warning: Graphic Language and Violence

If you think it’s only ladies who are targeted by creeps online, you won’t believe what you’re about to read. This guy’s big date took a turn for the worst when his date revealed why she was REALLY there…

It was 10:14 pm on a summer night in Farmington, New Mexico, when police responded to a gruesome scene of an armed robbery. They found a man in his own home bleeding from the face, wearing clothes that had been torn ragged.
That’s how his date ended.

The victim messaged Amanda Barela earlier in the day on the website Plenty of Fish. They made plans to hang out at his place that evening. Excited to meet this hot new girl, he picked her up and they went back to his house around 9:45.
He eluded to having a “gut feeling” about Barela after she insisted he leave the gate to his place unlocked, began acting strange once inside, and only drinking the beer she brought with her – but he never expected anything this terrifying.

WATCH: How would a SafetyPIN help?

Within the first 30 minutes of “hanging out,” Barela let two men into the house, and they immediately struck the victim in the head with a shotgun. One of the men held him down as he bled from the face. The victim struggled, ripping his clothing, and was able to free himself. But that’s when things got even worse…

The second man pulled out the shotgun and pointed it at the victim’s head. He held it there, threatening to shoot while Barela stole his wallet and keys, then ran for the car. The two men followed, jumped inside the car with Barela, and peeled out of the driveway.

So this poor guy is expected to “hang out” with a cute woman he met online. Instead, two men beat him and hold him at gunpoint within 30 minutes of a first date starting.

Online dating can be a great way to meet someone – or THE one – but it can also be a playground for scammers and criminals.
But there’s an easy way to protect yourself.

So whether you’re thinking of plunging into online dating or been doing it for a while, be sure to take these simple precautions:

· Make sure they are who they say they are. 22% of online daters enlist their friends to help create up their profile. You’ll want to make sure they haven’t falsely represented themselves. It’s one thing if she’s 10 pounds heavier but if she’s a total scam, it can be dangerous.

· Make sure their background is clean before you meet in real life. (After all, it’s not like criminals use their mug shots on profiles.)

· Meet in a public place. Don’t plan to spend the evening alone on the first date. And just because you organized the details doesn’t mean you’re in control when you’re dealing with a criminal. You may be playing along with her plan.

This is such an important part of why we created SafetyPIN. It’s a quick and easy way know that you can trust the person you’re talking to and that there isn’t anything suspicious in their background – or their personality. Plus, right now it’s only $1 to apply, and most applications are processed within 24 hours.

First dates can be awkward, and that’s okay. But it’s not okay to run the risk of a dangerous first date. Protect yourself by asking for a SafetyPIN from everyone you meet on the Internet. And the best way to make it less uncomfortable is to share your SafetyPIN first.

Related: 4 Easy Tips For Safe Online Dating

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer: