(RepublicanPress.org) – The US State Department and Bureau of Consular Affairs created a four-tier system of travel advisories for each country ranging from “Level 1 – Exercise normal precautions” to “Level 4 – Do not travel.” The latest advisory for Colombia ranks the country at “Level 3 – Reconsider travel” due to illegal activities like kidnapping, violent crime, and terrorism. US authorities recently warned American citizens about using dating apps while traveling to the country.
On January 10, the US Embassy issued a security alert detailing the risks of using online dating apps. The notice advised that it had seen an increase in the number of reports of criminals using dating apps to lure victims, frequently foreigners, to meet and rob them using force or drug them with sedatives before taking their cash and other belongings. In some instances, the victims were “even killed by their Colombian dates.”
The State Department issued a warning to American travelers advising them not to use dating apps while traveling to Colombia after multiple "suspicious deaths" of U.S. citizens in the South American country. https://t.co/RHEqCHIpC3
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 12, 2024
The US Embassy provided a list of steps travelers to Colombia can take to decrease their odds of becoming victims of these crimes:
- Travelers should exercise caution when using dating apps in Colombia.
- If travelers decide to meet someone from a dating app, they should tell a family member or friend about their plans, including details related to the person they are meeting, where they are going, and what app they used.
- Travelers should speak to their hotel or vacation rental’s concierge or door attendant before bringing a person they just met from a dating app there.
- Visitors should “strongly consider” only meeting someone they met on a dating app in a public place instead of at an isolated location like their hotel room or residence.
- If a situation doesn’t feel right, travelers should trust their instincts and not hesitate to walk away.
- Visitors should not “physically resist” if a person they met from a dating app tries to rob them.
The security notice also advised that the Medellín Tourism Observatory recently reported that threats against foreign tourists (excluding Venezuelans) increased 200% year on year, and violent deaths rose by 29%. The OTM also noted that most of the victims of violent death in 2023 were US citizens.
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