The number of dating app users falling victim to ‘sextortion’ via Tinder and Grindr has seen a seven-fold jump over the past three years according to experts, with cases involving rape, grooming and attempted murder all coming to light over the period.
Warning that even these figures may represent just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and have called on authorities to mount a public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of meeting strangers.
A Freedom of Information Request filed by the Press Association showed that reported instances of crimes where Grindr and Tinder were explicitly mentioned in the police report rose from just 55 across England and Wales in 2013 to hit 412 last year.
Tinder in particular has exploded in recent years as the dating app of choice for singletons with the company alleging that it can accurately pair up potential matches via an ‘internal rating’ generated by a secret algorithm.
Speaking to Fast company Tinder data engineer Tor Solli-Nowlan said: “People are really polarized on even just a photographic level: Some people really favour facial hair, while some do not. Same thing with tattoos, photos with pets or children, excessive outdoors shots, or photos of you with a tiger.”
The so-called desirability index ignores attractiveness and instead focuses on the composition of individual profiles to judge based on profile pictures, written bio and the number of rightward swipes they receive indicating interest.