A Melbourne scam artist who used a dating app to blackmail another man and extort cash has faced court.
Timothy Ruge threatened to “out” an engaged man as gay unless he received hundreds of dollars.
The pair had struck up a conversation when the victim sent a message saying “hi” and a photo of himself.
They chatted for a while until Ruge replied using the victim’s name, even though they had not exchanged personal details.
“[Name], how are u naughty little boy? (sic),” Ruge said.
It was then that the other man panicked and replied, “Who is this?”
Ruge then sent a photo of the man’s fiancé and a text saying: “She’s pretty, you cheating b*****d.
“I’ll keep ya secret ya dirty cheating immoral little b**** (sic).”
He then demanded $500 but the man only had $200.
After further demands, the pair met at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne’s CBD and the victim handed over the money.
He watched as Ruge deleted their messages, but six minutes after they parted ways the man received another text demanding $1000.
When Ruge came back a second time asking for more money, the victim went straight to police.
Ruge has pleaded guilty in court.