5 Common Crimes of Online Dating

Digital technology, especially in the form of cell phones, has drastically changed the way we live our lives, including how we meet new people and establish romantic relationships. What once had a negative stigma, dating apps has become more and more popular in recent years.

Due to the constant demands of modern life and the many options available to find love, dating can be an arduous task. However, apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr gives users an opportunity to screen profiles, assess matches, and communicate with potential suitors.

Unfortunately, dating apps have become a way for many people to take advantage of others.

Here are the most common types of crime associated with online dating apps:

  • Rape and sexual assault – Over the past five years, sex crimes connected to dating sites and apps have dramatically increased over the past five years. The U.K.’s National Crime Agency states that sexual assault cases related to online dating have increased by over 450 percent from 2009 to 2015. According to a study in Hong Kong, those who used a dating app were twice as likely to be victims of sex crimes compared to non-users. Since online relationships generally progress more quickly than online relationships, becoming emotionally intimate and gaining trust can only consist of a few back-and-forth messages and texts, which can put individuals in a vulnerable situation.
  • Child sex abuse – Since there is a lack of background checking when it comes to signing up for online dating, children or teenagers can pretend to be older than they appear. Unfortunately, sexual predators often disguise themselves to appear younger. A report from Phactual says one out of ten online dating users is sex offenders. Sexual grooming occurs when predators befriend kids who are experiencing puberty or difficulties sharing their personal lives with loved ones. When trust between a predator and a child develops within weeks or months, a meeting often takes place, giving the predator an opportunity to sexually assault or abuse the victim.
  • Murder – Attempted murder is one of the three most common crimes in connection with online dating, according to The Guardian. Several studies claim more than a hundred homicides by online predators happen each year.
  • Robbery – While many online daters typically meet in a mutual location on the first date, some of them provide the addresses to their actual home. Unfortunately, this can leave people vulnerable to robbery. Rather than one person showing up at your door, perhaps there are several who force their way into your home and proceed to assault you and steal your belongings.
  • Scams – Scams through online dating sites are relatively common. There are many stories where someone expresses extreme interests in getting to know another person, and after weeks or months of showing their love and support, they ask for financial help due to an emergency and promise to pay the other individual back. Only they never pay them back.

If you have been arrested for an Internet-related crime in Minneapolis, schedule a free consultation with Brockton D. Hunter P.A. today.