US Embassy Bogota issues warning to stay off dating apps when traveling to Colombia after eight Americans found dead

Authorities say that the suspects are using dating apps to lure their victims to places such as bars, hotels, and restaurants.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
US authorities are urging Americans to refrain from using dating apps while traveling to Colombia after eight Americans have been found dead over the past two months.

Authorities say that the suspects are using dating apps to lure their victims to places such as bars, hotels, and restaurants. The victims are then drugged, robbed, and assaulted.

The US embassy in Bogota issued a press release on the matter and said: "Numerous US citizens in Colombia have been drugged, robbed, and even killed by their Colombian dates."

"Over the last year, the Embassy has seen an increase in reports of incidents involving the use of online dating applications to lure victims, typically foreigners, for robbery by force or using sedatives to drug and rob individuals."

The embassy said they are aware of at least eight "suspicious deaths" of Americans that have occurred between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 in Medellin.

"The Embassy regularly receives reports of these types of incidents occurring in major cities, including, but not limited to, Medellin, Cartagena, and Bogota," the embassy ascertained. "US citizens should be vigilant, maintain heightened situational awareness, and incorporate strong personal security practices into their activities."

The Tourism Observatory of the District Personnel of Medellin reports that during the third trimester of 2023, there was a substantial surge of 200 percent in robberies targeted at foreign visitors (excluding Venezuelans) when compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Additionally, there was a 29 percent increase in violent fatalities among foreign visitors. United States citizens comprised the majority of the violent fatality victims in 2023.

The US Department of State currently has the South American country listed under a "Level 3" travel advisory, urging American tourists to "reconsider travel due to crime and terrorism" in addition to exercising "increased caution due to civil unrest and kidnapping" because certain areas "have increased risk."

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