UCF students warned about 'hook up' site

Web site connects students anonymously

Published On: Feb 11 2013 10:40:26 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 12 2013 06:52:11 AM EST
hook-up-ucf
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Victim services counselors at the University of Central Florida are warning students about a web site that's aimed at helping them find anonymous "hook up" partners.

UCF cautions someone may use the Tumblr web site "UCFHookup" to take advantage of young women.

At first glance, women at UCF say they are disgusted by the web site that offers seemingly uncensored and unmonitored anonymous meetings.

By design, it's a self-described site for sex, cuddle buddies, or just friends. The web site creator does not appear to censor anything. Visitors are allowed to write posts, which the person behind the site publishes online anonymously.

"That's dangerous in itself because people can lie to you more so than when they're face to face," said Hannah Kline. "It's easier to lie online than it is in person."

That's exactly what UCF counselors are worried about. Victim Services' Sarak Laake said predators have been known to use hookup sites and apps to identify potential victims for sexual assault, human trafficking, robbery, and other crimes.

"It kind of scares me in a way because, what if someone tries to meet up with me?" said non-user Shelby Birch. "I could get raped. I could get stolen."

The site has been up for about a year and has been used by both men and women. While sites similar to UCFHookup are nothing new, some wonder why it's geared specifically to UCF students when some posts are from men in their 30s.

One man asked for anonymous sexual encounters and to pay a girl's bills. Other people listed their phone numbers and where they live, for anyone to see.

"If you're putting yourself out there, you should know that people will come up that aren't telling the truth, that are lying, that are creepy. You just have to be aware," said Marilyn Solorzano.

Victim Services advises the following for anyone seeking love online: