About to swipe right on a potential Tinder date? You might want to stop right there. News today reveals that more than 400 offences with a connection to users of Tinder and Grindr – including rape, child sex grooming and attempted murder – were reported to police last year.
In fact, the number of alleged crimes involving both dating apps has increased more than sevenfold in just two years. In 2013, 55 reports of crimes mentioned Grindr or Tinder in England and Wales according to figures released to the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act . By 2014, that number jumped to 204, climbing again in 2015 to 412. Of these 412 crime reports, including rape and attempted murder, 277 related to Tinder and 135 to Grindr.
Reports of violent or sexual crimes were most common, and campaigners have warned that many more could go unreported. They believe users are vulnerable to “sextortion” and urged better awareness of the dangers of meeting strangers online is needed.
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Cases so far have included offenders being jailed for trying to blackmail Grindr users, while a man was suspected of raping a woman he met through Tinder. “The rising popularity of online dating apps and websites has contributed to an increase in the number of recorded crimes,” said Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Andy Cooke. “We strongly encourage users to report offences and seek support if they become a victim of any type of crime. I would urge those who use online dating apps to be as security conscious as possible and not to share personal data with anyone until they are sure about those they are communicating with.”
For more tips on staying safe while using Tinder, check out the app’s safety page.
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