A Man Who Was On The Run From Police May Have Used Dating Apps To Target Other Women

Dating app safety could save your life.

Oregon criminal suspect Facebook

Online dating has swiftly taken over pop culture as the ‘one and only’ way to meet someone in today’s world. 

Ranging from college students to middle-aged single parents, a variety of dating apps have become available to target those very specific audiences. 

While dating apps grow and evolve to provide spaces for their target audience, many shady characters work to take advantage of those platforms to target their own. 


While we may have ignored them at the time, the words of our mothers are echoing louder than ever — ‘Never meet a stranger on the internet.’ 

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Benjamin Foster, a wanted Oregon man may have used dating apps to target women while running from the police. 

On January 24th, a small town Oregon 911 call brought police to a woman’s home, where they found her “bound and severely beaten.” Later, police revealed her to be a “former domestic partner.” 


“I’ve been in law enforcement for 23 years,” Lieutenant Hattersley of the Grants Pass Police Department said, “and this is one of the most heinous, terrible cases I’ve ever seen.” 

Grants Pass Police received a tip on January 26th that led the Oregon State SWAT team to 36-year-old Benjamin Obadiah Foster’s home — where he “evaded capture” from a determined police force. 

With Foster on the loose, a press conference from the Grants Pass Police on February 1st validated everyone’s fears.


On the last block of the police’s ‘door-to-door wellness checks,’ they came across a double homicide scene, which they suspected Foster to have committed. 

Days later, police were shocked by video footage that showed Foster had returned to the home — but, when they arrived, prepared for a "standoff," Foster had taken his own life. 

Although police were not able to get the answers they needed from Foster, everyone else can learn a lesson in staying wary while using dating apps. 

Foster is just one example of the many criminals who’ve been found to target, specifically women, on dating apps — while they just believed they were meeting a potential partner. 


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Many dating apps fail to provide users with criminal background check options. 

“We had to share with you…that there was the potential for Foster to continue to use dating apps to engage with someone who might be unsuspecting,” Warren Hensman, the Grants Pass Police Chief said about the use of dating apps in the investigation. 

Even though he was not yet convicted for recent crimes, background checks on the dating apps he used could’ve protected many women from Foster. 

A couple of years ago, Foster was convicted in Nevada for almost an identical charge of kidnapping and torture — something that would’ve flagged Foster on a dating app as unsafe. 


Dating apps, even in 2022, are still failing to protect users from people like Foster with features like background checks. 

Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, has been one of the only ones to implement background checks for users — however, even for the powerhouse of dating apps, they come at a cost. 

For Hinge, OkCupid, and Match.com, a few dating apps also owned by Match Group, users pay $2.50 for a one-time background check on their date. 

Practicing safety tips on dating apps could save your life. 

While many people consider a catfish to be their biggest dating app horror story, things can change in the blink of an eye

Dangerous people are everywhere — and with around 55% of people on dating apps in today’s day and age, they can be a breeding ground for vulnerable situations. 


Always trust your gut. Your instincts will hardly ever sway you into a bad situation — if you feel like something is strange or wrong with how your date is going, it’s always better to be ‘safe than sorry.’ 

Wait to share personal information with your date until you meet. When you do meet, always do it in a public space and tell a friend where you are going.

Consider FaceTiming or video chatting with your date before the meeting and never rely on them for transportation from your home to the date. 

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Even if you’re using a dating app for something more casual, be sure to use specific cautions — like TikToker @sacredsteve shares in his video about safety on gay dating apps like Grindr. 


Many dating app safety features, like photo verification, are failing to protect users. 

Tinder, a popular dating app for younger users, has implemented many safety features over the past couple of years to protect its very specific audience. 

Back in 2020, when Match Group revealed Tinder’s new safety features, everyone praised them for advocating for a safe platform to protect their users. 

However, in recent years, as many users have unfortunately found out, those features haven’t exactly done their job in protecting — for some, they’ve been a false sense of reassurance and security. 




This TikTok woman shares the faulty nature of the photo verification feature on Tinder’s dating app. While it’s meant to provide reassurance that the user is who they say they are, she ran across a profile of herself — that was verified. 

“It really sucks that people are finding workarounds to deceive. Keep yourself safe. Do your homework, and never let anyone make you feel crazy for being extra careful.” 

So, whether you’re new to dating apps or a seasoned veteran, always take extra precautions before sharing your information or meeting up with a date for the first time. Especially in today’s world, where instances of social media-rooted crime have been growing. 


Trust your instincts. You never truly know who your date is

For more resources on dating app safety, check out RAINN’s website

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer who focuses on pop culture analysis and human interest stories. Catch up with them on Instagram or TikTok.