Crimes linked to dating apps such as Tinder and Grindr had an alarming increase in number as shown by the latest report in the UK.
The latest data showed that 412 crime cases were recorded in October 2015, which is significantly higher than the 204 that were reported in 2014 and the 55 that were documented in 2013.
The numbers are suspected to be even higher since some cases were believed to be left unreported.
Andy Cooke, deputy chief constable of Merseyside Police in England, said that the increase in the number of reported crimes was influenced by the increasing popularity of dating apps. He encouraged app users who became victims to report the offense and seek support.
"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," said Cooke.
Tinder and Grindr are just some of the apps that have been increasing in popularity in terms of the number of users. Other dating apps that are gaining traction among users are Bumble, Happn and HowAboutWe.
The goal of these dating apps is to help users meet a fellow app user and eventually find one's match. It's similar to meeting someone in a blind date only this time, everything is done with the help of the app.
While some users claim that they have found their perfect match through these dating apps, there are those who claim they became victims of horrific crimes instead.
Time and time again, users of dating apps had been warned about the potential dangers of meeting strangers online. Apparently, the apps provide people with criminal intentions an easier access to the user's information. Although Tinder claims that users can connect the app to their Facebook, there is no foolproof way to determine whether a user has set up a fake FB profile and then connected it to the dating app.
Cooke advised users to stop talking with anyone once they feel they are being pressured into something that they feel uncomfortable with.
The most common crimes reported were either violent or sexual in nature, with the former having 253 allegations while sex offenses reached a number of 152 reported cases. These include cases on child sex grooming, child sexual exploitation and rape.
Currently, a man is being held for trial in the UK following allegations that he drugged and murdered four men whom he met on Grindr. The incident reportedly occurred between June 2014 and September 2015.