Dating Apps Lead to "Sextortion" and Abuse of Users, Say Police Stats

By Gary Cutlack on at

High profile dating apps are getting some of their users in trouble, say stats released by police forces, with blackmail and more violent sexual crimes possibly awaiting those who while away boring stopovers by browsing the casual classifieds.

The numbers come from a series of Freedom of Information requests filed by the Press Association with the UK's various police forces. Of those that responded with data, the figures show that 55 reported crimes in England and Wales specifically mentioned dating apps in 2013 -- a number that rocketed to 204 in 2014 and 412 by October of 2015, as the casual apps rose to prominence.

The numbers show that 277 crime reports specifically mentioned Tinder in 2015, with 135 reported incidents mentioning the, er, rival demographic dating app Grindr. 253 of the combined cases made a claim of some sort of violent crime being committed post-meet, with 152 reports of sex offences also being made.

National Police Chiefs' Council member and Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Andy Cooke said: "The rising popularity of online dating apps and websites has contributed to an increase in the number of recorded crimes. 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." [The Star]

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