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In November, the Boston Police Department warned daters to be wary of people they met online after robbers targeted victims who thought they were meeting a romantic interest at a specific address. "Members of the public are urged to take precautions when using social media or dating websites because it's possible you could come across a 'Catfisher.'" Criminals searching for real-world victims online haven't just focused on dating sites."When the person arrives outside that location, they are approached by a male suspect armed with a handgun and robbed of their property," Boston police said. Robberies and other violent Craigslist-related crimes across the United States - including multiple slayings - have sparked wariness among some Internet bargain hunters, too, giving police department parking lots a second life as a place to buy stuff from strangers."When it came to sports, he was always the number one pick," Jackson said. We don't put our kids in them." Nobody was more important to Hilarie than his daughter, Lajaya, he said. "That was his world." Jackson said he didn't know how long his brother and Bustos had been talking on Plenty Of Fish."He did a little amateur boxing, but he was one of the biggest Florida State fans. He estimated Hilarie had been on the site less than two months, because that's when Hilarie broke up with his last girlfriend.Experts say people are getting better at spotting many of the Internet's longtime scams: They're suspicious of unsolicited emails from the Nigerian royal family, and they ignore the romantic entreaties of beautiful lovestruck women who sound vaguely like badly programmed algorithms. And on dating sites, would-be scammers have a trump card: People are irrational when they're looking for love."Romance is by definition quite irrational," Jack Levin, co-director of Northeastern University's Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict, told The Post.
Bustos, 18, brought three men with her to Hilarie's place, including two career criminals on probation for violent felonies. When Hilarie, 27, responded to the knock on the door, the men overpowered him and dashed inside, police said. "Hilarie was begging for his life, he was not putting up any kind of fight, and was telling them that he had a 5-year-old daughter," according to arrest reports obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.Johnny Jackson told The Post that Hilarie, his brother, took Bustos to the same bowling alley the siblings used to go to as kids.Jackson remembered his brother cracking jokes while wearing Florida State University colors, the school whose teams they cheered."As of now, investigators believe there have been 6 such incidents in the past 5 weeks. "To avoid becoming a victim of these crimes, we urge members of the public to arrange meetings with online vendors in public places, such as local police departments," John Horn, the assistant U. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said following the sentencing hearing of a Craigslist robber.On the website's personal safety page, Craigslist emphasizes that a tiny fraction of transactions conducted through the site end in crime.