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When Using Dating Apps Leads to a Criminal Charge

When Using Dating Apps Leads to a Criminal Charge

Dating apps offer a convenient platform for meeting people, but pose serious dangers for meeting sexual predators and people with a history of violent behaviors.

Are Dating Apps Safe?

Dating apps are causing a rise in sexual assaults across the country. According to law enforcement officials, sexual predators are using popular dating apps to target potential victims through online dating sites such as Bumble, Grindr, Hinge, and Tinder. Reports of rapes and sexual assaults on women of all ages who use these sites are increasing in numbers every year.

Although online dating sites are now used by millions of people looking for relationships or fun-filled nights, dating apps pose safety risks for users. Most dating apps require users to reveal a lot of private information such as their name, address, occupation, place of employment, yearly income, activities, places they like to hang out, and traits they’re looking for in a partner. Some online dating profiles even allow nude or sexually provocative photos. This private information gives sexual predators an easy way to set up an online profile that lures a victim into a dangerous situation.

Investigations of online dating apps show that some allow sexual predators to figure out a user’s real identity behind their screen name based on data provided by the user. Bumble, Happn, and Tinder allow anyone to see a user’s specified place of employment or study. Armed with this information, it is possible to find a user’s real name and social media accounts. Some dating apps indicate the actual distance between people communicating. Predators often use this information to locate and stalk a potential victim.

When online dating habits were first studied by the Pew Research Center in 2005, most Americans did not approve. A 2020 Pew research study shows that 3 in 10 adults in the U.S. say they have used online dating sites and dating apps. Today’s research shows that 40 percent of Americans use online dating as a way to meet new people, and 27 percent use online dating sites and mobile dating apps on a daily basis. In the last few years, criminal defense attorneys Minneapolis have seen a steady rise in college campus rapes and sexual assaults in Minnesota and throughout the country. Young adults and college students make up a large percentage of dating app users, because they provide a quick, easy way to meet up with someone without a prior plan.

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