Have There Been any Tinder Murders?
We usually prefer to concentrate on the positive here at TechJunkie but an intriguing reader question prompted us to look to the dark side for once. The question was ‘Have there been any Tinder murders? I’m using the app and wondered how safe it is?’
This isn’t something we would usually cover but considering how many of our readers use Tinder, it seemed sensible to give it some airtime. I’ll preface this by saying that there are millions of users on Tinder and while horrific, the stories on this page count for a tiny minority of users. Don’t let it put you off using dating apps of any kind.
Murders attributed to Tinder
There have been a bunch of murders that state Tinder was used to select the victim. Mainly here in the US but also in other countries too. This piece over at Ranker lists 11 murders where Tinder played a part. This piece in the New York Times says killer and rapist Danueal Drayton used Tinder to find his victims too.
Perform even a basic internet search for ‘Tinder murders’ and you will see hundreds of results. Many of them repeats but all covering a range of crimes linked to Tinder. UK news outlet The Telegraph did a piece about Tinder and Grindr both being linked to over 500 crimes in 2016.
Crime and dating in context
As far as I know, there is no official count of the number of crimes, including murders, where Tinder was a factor. If you take that UK example, 676 crimes were reported that included Tinder or Grindr. At the time, there was an estimated 7 million Brits using dating apps. That’s a tiny percentage of crimes attributed, or at least reported, around dating apps.
While these are horrific stories and will scare some people. You should also keep them in context. Used properly, dating apps are no more dangerous than meeting someone in a bar or coffee shop.
Using dating apps safely
There is always going to be an element of risk in an app that lets you meet strangers and then hook up. There are some practical ways to protect yourself when using Tinder or other dating apps that should set your mind at ease and make the entire experience much safer than it could be.
Here are some practical Tinder survival tips:
Know who you’re talking to
Offering to meet up with someone you don’t actually know is inherently risky so do what you can to know who you’re talking to. Find out who they are, check other sources like social media, Google their name, check Facebook and find out what you can about them.
Some websites advocate performing a background check and while you can do that if you want, they won’t tell you everything. They may tell you if they are a felon or have gone by other names but not much else. Perform your own checks and only agree to meet when you’re ready.
Take a wingman
One useful tactic for meeting someone for the first time is to take a secret wingman. Your best friend shouldn’t mind doing it if your safety is at stake. Have them sit in the venue entirely separate from you and have them keep an eye on what’s going on. If they can get a surreptitious picture of your date and of you together, all the better. Just in case.
If you decide to go back to your place have a prearranged signal to alert the other person so they don’t worry.
Check in with friends
If having a secret wingman isn’t going to work, at least have a safe call before your date and after. Add a prearranged text message if you decide to make a night of it so they don’t worry and call them first thing in the morning. It isn’t as effective as the wingman but is better than nothing.
Have your phone GPS running
Make sure your phone has its GPS running at all times and use an app to share your location. It could be as simple as using Snap Maps and leaving the app open or use a dedicated location sharing app like Glympse. There are others just like it that offer the same benefits
Stay in public until you’re sure
Meet in a public place, stay where there are other people and/or cameras, get an Uber home separately and take practical precautions until you have a feeling about them. If they are genuine, they won’t mind. The more you can stay in public, the less you should worry about being a victim and the more you should be able to enjoy the date.
Enjoying the date is the whole point of Tinder and other dating apps. Take practical precautions and don’t take risks but above all, enjoy the experience!