Authorities have expressed concern that child sex predators are using dating app Tinder to groom teenagers.
This comes after it’s been revealed that children as young as 13, are now using the popular dating app, which has a reputation as a casual sex site among older users.
Police say their main fear is that naïve teens don’t understand the potential cyber-danger they are in.
According to a recent survey revealed Tinder is being used more by schoolkids than by Australians over the age of 35.
The app also has a teen section for those aged between 13 and 17 as well as one for over 18s.
There is currently concern that those using Tinder don’t know the real age of the person they are speaking with because users enter their age voluntarily.
Alarmingly, many young girls are less careful when it comes to screening would be suitors, as they use the app to boast about how many people want to “hook up with them”, according to cyber-safety expert Susan McLean.
“Adults have been murdered after a meeting on Tinder — there is no safe way to be on Tinder. This is a geolocation app so you are giving away your precise location,” she said.
“Tinder is full of dodgy people and giving away your location is highly problematic.”
NSW Police is urging teenagers and parents to be aware of potential dangers.
Detective Inspector Michael Haddow said it’s not just teens who need to be wary about the people they engage with online and urged education is key.
“Our advice to parents is talk to your kids so you know what they are doing and point out that not everyone is honest on these sites,” he said.
Children’s eSafety Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon also likened the use of Tinder by teens as similar to sneaking into a nightclub underage