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Common Online Dating Crimes

In the past, there was a negative stigma associated with online dating. But now it is considered the norm to find romance through an app on your cell phone.

Since life can be quite demanding for professionals of any age, finding time to meet a potential romantic partner is a challenge. Dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com enables users to inspect profiles, review suitable matches, and message interested parties in order to get to know them.

However, there are still safety concerns regarding meeting a stranger online. In fact, crimes associated with dating apps have significantly increased in recent years, resulting in hundreds of crimes throughout the United States annually.

The following are the most common crimes in connection with online dating:

  • Rape and sexual assault – According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, there has been a 450 percent increase in rape related to online dating between 2010 and 2016. Offenders are less likely to have a criminal history and exploit the ease of quickly getting to know potential victims, weakening their common sense of security afforded to strangers. This level of trust could result in taking more risks and putting themselves in a vulnerable situation.
  • Child sex abuse and sexual grooming – It is easy for children to claim they’re older on the internet—and for adults to pretend to say they’re younger. Sexual grooming of teens has become quite common. When they experience puberty and problems difficult to share with friends and loved ones, someone with a good-looking profile picture begins to say sweet things to them and make them feel special. After weeks or months of developing trust, a date to meet if often planned. Then, the predator will take advantage of the victim.
  • Homicide – According to The Guardian, attempted murder is one of the three most common crimes associated with dating apps. From scorned lovers to serial killers, there are several murder cases related to online dating.
  • Robbery – Although some online daters meet in a mutual location for ensured security, sometimes they meet at each other’s homes. Yet, the latter scenario can result in a robbery. For example, a man agrees to meet a woman at her apartment, but upon arriving at the location, he is confronted by multiple men who proceed to assault and rob him.
  • Catfishing and scams – Criminals trick lonely and vulnerable individuals into a variety of scams. Catfishing occurs when a scammer adopts a fake persona—typically in the form of an attractive male or female—to lure unsuspecting victims into a fantasy relationship. Scammers may also target divorced, widowed, or disabled men or women for fraud-related crimes, asking them for money without visiting.

If you have been arrested for a criminal offense related to online dating in Milwaukee, call (414) 882-8382and schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella today.

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