MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police officers are trying to identify a predator who is attacking women in Memphis.
Officers received several reports that all appear to be related.
They involve a man attacking African-American women between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. He meets the women through social media, sets up a time to meet them in person, and then robs and assaults them.
The attacker is believed to be around 20-years-old, driving a silver or gray four-door car.
"That's a real dangerous game they play when they meet somebody on Facebook because you don't know if the information they have is real or not," Yolanda Mallard, Memphian, said.
Anyone who might be able to identify the attacker should contact Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.
Memphis Police Department released the following tips for anyone who is meeting someone for the first time that they know through social media:
- When you are contacted by a person that you do not know, proceed with caution! Remember that the person on the other end of the computer may not be who they are portraying themselves to be. Social media is a great tool when used in the correct manner; however, it can be manipulated. If you are contacted by an individual, take time to do your own investigating. Verify their information against other social media sites. Do a web search to see if there are other records of the person online, and if possible use a Google image search to check the profile photos. If you are operating via Facebook, check and see if the person contacting you has mutual friends. If so, contact those friends and inquire.
- If you choose to communicate with an unknown person via social media, take your time and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably is not. Keep personal information to a minimum until you are absolutely sure that the person you are communicating with is who they say they are. Never give your personal address or place of employment to an unknown individual, you never know what their intent may be. If you choose to physically meet with someone you have befriended through social media, make sure you select a public location. Again, NEVER have a stranger come to your residence. Choose a location that is highly populated and try to meet, especially for the first few times, during daytime hours.
- Always make sure someone (friend or family member) knows your plans. Never meet with a stranger without telling someone exactly where you are going.
- Have a means of communication at all times, but keep your personal items (cell phone, iPad, etc.) concealed away from the person you are meeting. Do not tempt them with your expensive items.
- Drive yourself to your meeting location and never get into a car with an unknown person. It is better to have your own means of transportation in case things don’t turn out the way you are expecting.
- If you are asked to bring money, electronics, cell phones, etc. to your meeting place, BEWARE. Some individuals are using these social media site to setup individuals for a robbery. Don’t be a victim!
- Never stay in a situation if you feel that things are not going as planned. If your instincts are telling you that something isn’t right, get out!