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But Leech wants other protections, like giving users alerts about potential risks before they ever begin chatting with strangers.

Is this scaremongering, or is online dating truly putting users in danger?

Nevertheless, while app-related assaults were still rare, they were rising fast enough for the NCA to flag the emergence of “a new type of sexual offender.” Usually a man, he’s less likely than other sexual offenders to have committed any kind of crime before, but instead exploits the “ease of access and arm-chair approach” to meeting people that dating sites enable.

Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise.

Often on multiple apps at once, users can swipe through dozens of profiles every minute and plan multiple dates, whether in hopes of a love match or a hook-up.

Decisions to meet arise from limited information: A convenient location; a sultry glance captured in pixels; a mutual interest in “banter.” In 2014, Tinder users were spending as long as 90 minutes a day on the site.

But anyone who has swiped for six months without meeting one exciting person on Tinder will tell you that it is not, in fact, a numbers game. Dating apps are ineffective by design: The app doesn’t want you to find love, because if you find love you stop using the app.

Given how many people are using Tinder, and how often, we should all have found Tinder life partners by now.The trouble is that statistics on crimes linked to online dating are sparse.In 2016, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) released findings on data from police forces around the country. Not all the forces collect data specific to dating apps.(We haven't.)All you’re doing on Tinder—all anyone is doing on Tinder—is waiting out the time until they find a real life person they actually care about dating.You can waste as much headspace as you want on the app, widen your search to 25 miles, up your age range to 72. Dating apps are ruining your life—your dating life, at least.

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