A scammer who used a dating app to rob and blackmail nine online dates has been jailed for five years.

Anouar Sabbar, 28, of Cole Street, Southwark, would seek out his victims on Grindr before demanding money for acts that he later claimed were part of the escort services he had advertised. 

Then, he would threaten his victims (age 25 to 57) with violence and blackmail.

In total nine victims were fleeced out of a total of £2,360 between April 2019 and June 2021. 

Sabbar received a five-year sentence at Snaresbrook Crown court on Thursday. He had previously pleaded guilty to theft, robbery and fraud in November.

Anouar Sabbar, 28, (pictured) of Cole Street, Southwark, would seek out his victims on Grindr before before demanding money for acts that he later claimed were part of the escort services he had advertised

Anouar Sabar, 28 (pictured), was from Cole Street, Southwark. He would look for victims on Grindr, before asking money for actions that he later claimed were part the escorts he advertised.

Sabbar lied to nine victims, promising that he would match them with unsuspecting men. Then, he updated his Grindr profile and added details about escort costs a few moments prior to the scheduled encounters.

After consensual sex, Sabbar would demand money and point the victims to his updated profile which claimed a £180 hourly rate.

Sabbar told one victim that he would not pay and said, “It is beyond my control now. They will come.”

“I did not want to cause this, but I think it will be a difficult decision.

The victim became so scared that he gave his money. 

Sabbar blocked the victim’s Grindr account once he received the funds. It automatically deleted all the conversation between them online, making it more difficult to track him down. 

He also used to swap SIM cards with his mobile number and frequently changed his hairstyles so that he was not recognized. 

He coerced another victim into giving him a total of £525 after threatening to ‘out’ him by sending screenshots of their conversations to his girlfriend.

Sabbar also stole £875 in cash and a 24-carat gold bangle which he pawned off from another victim. 

The victims reached out to police three times. To encourage reporting further, a victim created a Grindr profile named’scammer.

Sabbar and his girlfriend were arrested in an apartment a few minutes from London City Airport, on the 16th of July 2021.

He pleaded guilty to five fraud counts, five blackmail and robbery charges, and one theft charge. 

Sabbar was sentenced to five years in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to robbery, theft, five counts of blackmail and five counts of fraud in November

Sabbar received a five-year sentence at Snaresbrook crown court on Thursday. He had previously pleaded guilty to five counts each of theft, robbery and fraud.

Toyin, CPS: “Anouar Sabbar used Grindr as a prey to men who he thought would be too ashamed and embarrassed to speak out against him.” He was deceitful, greedy and callous in his actions.

Sabar followed the same pattern as his victims. He lulled them into a false sense security by using consensual sex before asking for money. To commit his crime, he used threats and pressure.

“The case against Sabbar included Grindr screenshots and information about Sabbar’s bank account that he had provided to his victims. The investigation was then able to connect the two.

“We also were able to show Sabbar’s hatred towards his victims by the fact that he targeted only men who are sexually inclined.”

Arif Sharif, detective inspector said that this case’s victims were courageous enough to come forward and report the crimes Sabbar had committed against them.

Sabbar is a vicious and spineless person who used Grindr against victims to exploit their vulnerability.

“This dangerous criminal was taken from the streets by the diligent officer that conducted the investigation.

“This may not be the only victim of Sabbar’s exploits. Until now, they have been unable to speak up. Please get in touch with us – we are here to listen to you and will take what you say incredibly seriously. We will treat you with respect and confidence.

In such cases, the Met focuses on the motives and actions of the offenders, not the victim. If you have been victim of crime in the wake of a Grindr meeting, I urge you to contact Op Fardella immediately. 

“Alternatively, contact us through Galop’s third-party support group. Or reach out anonymously to Crimestoppers 100% anonymously.