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The complaint states that the ex "would manipulate the geo-physical settings" of the app—a simple enough hack using GPS-spoofing apps for Android or jailbroken i Phones—to make fake accounts appear to be located at Herrick's home or work.
The ex-boyfriend told WIRED in a phone call that he denies "any and all allegations" in the complaint, but declined to comment further due to what he described as another pending case that involves both him and Herrick.
"It’s just luck that it hasn’t happened yet."Herrick's civil complaint points to an ex-boyfriend as the source of the impersonation attacks.
(WIRED has chosen not to identify him as he's not named as a defendant in the complaint.) He allegedly began impersonating Herrick on Grindr even before their breakup earlier this year, but only started using the spoofed accounts to harass him after they separated.
And those more extreme invitations, according to Herrick, would bring a more aggressive and, at times, even violent crowd of visitors.
This is the months-long nightmare Herrick describes in a lawsuit he filed against Grindr last week in the Supreme Court of New York.
“Some men get creepy and assume if they offer a lot more, like hundreds, something will actually happen, which of course it doesn't,” she told Buzz Feed.
"It’s a living hell."Cases of Grindr catfishing and deception happen every so often on Grindr—sometimes with tragic results.
But the Grindr impersonation Herrick describes in his lawsuit was a longer-term form of abuse with equally dangerous consequences.
Soon there were eight or nine visitors a day, and then more than a dozen, all finding their way not just to Herrick's home, but also to the midtown Manhattan restaurant where he worked.
The unwanted suitors had gotten his phone number through the app as well, and bombarded him with messages, calls, and pictures of genitalia.
On one day earlier this month, six men seeking sex came to the restaurant where Herrick works in just a four-minute span.