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.
Then he asked matter-of-factly if Herrick was the one who'd been communicating with him via the hookup app Grindr, and who'd minutes earlier invited him over for sex.
Herrick said that he hadn't—he hadn't even looked at the app in a week—and asked how the stranger even knew his name.
And those more extreme invitations, according to Herrick, would bring a more aggressive and, at times, even violent crowd of visitors.
Herrick's civil complaint against the company states that despite contacting Grindr more than 50 times, Grindr hasn't offered a single response beyond auto-replies saying that it's looking into the profiles he's reported.
On one day earlier this month, six men seeking sex came to the restaurant where Herrick works in just a four-minute span.
And Herrick says the person controlling the fake profiles will often tell the visitors Herrick will "say no when he means yes," or that he'd sent them away only to hide them from his jealous roommate, and that they should return."They were setting him up to be sexually assaulted," says Herrick's attorney Carrie Goldberg.
"It’s the ostrich with its head in the sand strategy," says Goldberg.
"It’s cheaper for them not to staff a department that addresses complaints and abuses of the product."One reason for Grindr's unresponsiveness, in fact, may be that it isn't actually legally liable for the ordeal Herrick has experienced, says Ashley Kissinger, a media defense attorney with Levine, Sullivan, Koch and Schulz LLP.