Police in the UK have warned singles to be careful when dating online, because criminals are using dating apps to set up targets for violent crimes.
Over the last few weeks, multiple victims have been carjacked and robbed at knifepoint when arriving at a pre-planned location to meet a date. Users of escort services and online selling platforms have also been attacked.
Many of these crimes are not being documented, because the victims are too embarrassed about the situation.
Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Boycott of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said to The Independent: “Criminals are very resourceful, and it is an opportunity if someone is meeting them in a dark or quiet place.
“My advice is to take three simple steps – know who you’re meeting as much as possible, let somebody know who and where you are meeting, and meet somewhere in daylight that is very public.”
She went on to say that all incidents should be reported to the authorities, otherwise the offender cannot be tracked down and will continue to commit similar crimes.
The UK Government has called on dating apps, specifically Tinder and Grindr, to introduce tougher age checks after it was found that over 30 child rape cases since 2015 had a connection to online dating.
Further, the Metropolitan Police released a video in October last year explaining to online dating users how to be safe and avoid romance scammers.
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