Online dating meet-ups commonly turn nasty - private investigator Cheney McGlynn

A Kiwi private investigator is warning that online dating applications are commonly used to lure people into dangerous situations.

On Monday night in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga, a 31-year-old man was meeting with a woman he met via a dating app when he was attacked by two men. 

Police say the pair ambushed him while he was sitting in his car with the woman - who he had seen one time beforehand. They then assaulted him and stole his vehicle. The woman he was meeting left with the offenders.

Private investigator Cheney McGlynn - who is also the managing director of Date Check which provides background checks on people's potential partners - said these sort of incidents aren't unusual. 

"I would have assumed it was a hook-up... He obviously didn't deserve what he got, it is a terrible thing to have happened. But it's not uncommon. Especially using a lady as a honeytrap," she told The AM Show.

"It is common and a lot of it doesn't get reported because people are embarrassed."

McGlynn says people should only use "reputable" dating websites and that applications like Tinder are primarily for hookups. 

"It kinda makes you wonder what dating app he was on and what was he actually looking for," she said.

Police wouldn't tell Newshub what application the pair met via.

McGlynn has several tips for people looking to meet others online. 

"Have a legit profile, have a legit photo... ask them for more photos if they have only got one or two. Ask them for their social media profile because that will essentially give you credibility as to who they are. Also, ask them to Facetime you so that you know they are actually a real person," she said. 

"If they are not wanting to do those sorts of things, there are the warning bells for you."

She said if someone decides to meet up with someone they met online, it is a good idea to tell loved ones their name and phone number and look out for any distinguishing features.

That way if things do turn sour, people will be able to provide identifying features to police.