The dating scene can be rough and difficult to sift through so of course an app was created to help those in need. The most popular dating app is Tinder which allows singles find other singles nearby. They simply look at the mini profile and swipe right if they are interested and left if they aren’t. If both swipe right then they schedule a meetup and see how things go from there. For 2 women though, the simple act of swiping right would lead into mess they would have wanted to avoid at all costs.
Brandon Kiehm, who went under the Tinder name of Tristan, claimed to be a man in his mid 30’s who was a banker and worked for the financial industry Goldman Sachs when in reality Kiehm was a dog-walker. In July of 2015 he met a woman on Tinder who was interested in him and they ended up dating for a couple of months. Eventually “Tristan” started asking for money saying that his “sister was undergoing cancer treatment and his wallet had been stolen”. She ended up giving him $14,000 which he promised to repay. He gave her a check from a closed account that bounced when she tried to cash it.
Then in October of 2015 he met another woman whom he dated for a few weeks and eventually told her a similar story. This time it was his mother that was undergoing cancer treatment and he was robbed so he didn’t have money. She gave him $12,000 to help with his cause. Again, she was repaid with a bounced check. Police detectives ended up talking to Kiehm’s mother where they discovered that neither she nor her daughter have cancer.
The 35-year old also is accused of stealing a debit card in July from one of his dog-walking clients, Peter Acocella. Kiehm used this card to open an account with the digital payment processor Venmo and proceeded to steal $13,000 from Acocella’s account.
On Tuesday, February 16, 2016, Brandon Kiehm was indicted and charged with 5 felonies from the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. He was charged with third degree grand larceny, identity theft and scheme to defraud. Kiehm pleaded not guilty and quickly rushed out of the courtroom covering his face with his hat without making any further comment.
District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr. stated this his “...office is seeing an increase in the number of scammers targeting singles online”. Be careful and cautious when using these dating apps. Even though they may appear to be the man or woman of your dreams, if they start asking for large sums of money, they may very well have ulterior motives.