Dallas Police say a growing number of predators who use social media and dating apps such as Tinder, Kik, PlentyOfFish, MocoSpace and MeetMe to prey on unsuspecting women, reports the Dallas Morning News.
Many people increasingly are turning to social media to find love — 1 in 3 newly married couples met online, according to a study by a University of Chicago psychologist of couples who married between 2005 and 2012 that was published in 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Criminals are exploiting that willingness to meet up, police say, often lying about their appearance and identity.
"It’s our human nature to want to trust people,” said Dallas police Lt. Israel Herrera, who oversees sexual assault investigations. “We’re starting to see a lot of these, and we didn’t see a lot before.”
Dallas police haven’t tracked exactly how many of the 782 rapes in 2015 started with an online introduction. Commanders say they want to start counting them this year. At least seven men in Dallas were arrested in recent years on these types of cases.
The department used to see just a few cases, but last year they spiked. Herrera believes it’s a trend that will only continue to grow as people live more of their lives online.