Hairdresser shares alarming story of Tinder date tracking her down as warning to others

woman using phone
The US hairdresser was tracked down by a man she hadn't spoken to "in months", using just her profession. Photo credit: Getty.

A hairdresser in the US has shared a disturbing tale about a man who tracked her down using only the vague information on her Tinder profile, more than two months after she spoke to him. 

Tee Marie wrote in a now-viral Facebook post that she began trying her luck on dating apps a few months ago. 

In the post, she shared a screenshot of a conversation she had back in May with a man called Zach, who asked her where she worked. 

"I'm not telling you where! It always makes me nervous to do on the dating app thing cause any one of y'all could walk into my salon," she replied. "Lmao, it stresses me [the f**k] out." 

"Hey man that's fine its just that it said you lived close so I thought you might work at [local hairdresser] Cha Chas," Zach replied, to which Marie answered simply that she didn't. 

"Today, while at my job, I saw a man come in and out of the salon without calling ahead, a new rule we have in place due to COVID-19," Marie continued in her Facebook post from last week. 

"I figured it was just a random new client that didn't know better and went about my business."

But when she approached the front desk to check her books, the man approached her and asked if she was Tee. 

"'Yes, can I help you?'" Marie answered, to which the man explained he had been trying to get a hold of her "for a while". 

"I'm Zach, we met on Tinder."

Marie says she was "completely blank" and confused, as she hadn't been on dating apps in months.

Zach allegedly asked her if she needed him to remove his face mask, and added: "You said this would be your worst nightmare but I've been trying to get a hold of you so I figured I'd just try and get an hour of your time." 

"And that's when I realised who he was," Marie wrote. 

"Once I realised what was happening... I immediately started sweating and my heart was racing. My arm hair was standing up." 

Zach then asked why she never messaged back, and said he'd been trying to get a hold of her. When Marie said she'd met someone else, he reportedly accused her of lying. 

Her account of the creepy and inappropriate exchange racked up thousands of likes and shares on Facebook, and Marie updated the post revealing she had spoken to a former homicide/sex crimes detective that now works in stalking and harassment. 

The sergeant called Zach and reportedly had a "50 minute conversation" with him about "why what he did was not OK". 

"Zach explained how he found me. He used the Tinder distance locater to narrow down the salons near him," Marie added. 

"He looked at [the website of] each salon near him. Our salon website happens to have bios and pics of our stylists." 

It's a chilling reminder to many dating app users that even the smallest amount of personal information can be used for less than salubrious means. 

The post racked up over 17,000 comments, mostly of support for the woman and her choice to take it up with the police. 

"The fact that you shared this might give other women the courage to defend themselves. Your story might encourage men to behave better," wrote one person. 

"Glad you finally got some justice! I hope you do file. It will be easier for other women to file in the future!" wrote another.

"I'm so glad someone listened to you. It's scary to be a woman," wrote another. 

Kiwi online safety website Netsafe has several guidelines for staying safe online while using dating apps. 

"It's important that you never give out any personal information publicly and that you’re careful not to give out too much information too soon to someone you’ve recently met through an online dating app or website," the site explains. 

"Information that you should be careful to protect includes your full name, your place of work, your address, your phone number, whether you have children, email address, credit card details or other financial information.

"Where possible don't allow location sharing on a dating app and don't share any photos or videos that carry location information."