Are you wondering if you’re connecting with a real person on Grindr or talking to a bot? Unfortunately, bots are no longer rare to encounter, and if you use social networks or da… Read More
When looking for love, many people from the LGBT community have flocked to online dating websites and apps in order to find their significant other. Many have found this the easiest way to meet someone without having to guess if the person they want to talk to is a part of the LGBT community or not. However, with a growing online community comes the question “are LGBTQ dating apps safe?” Or are there dangers of dating online?
Straight men catfish lesbians on dating apps, pretending to be hot girls. They do this to make the girl fall for him to where he can show the lesbian that she actually fell for a guy and hopefully change her sexuality. However, the lesbian will probably not change her sexuality because she knows she is only into girls, not guys.
Someone will message you saying sweet things to you, then tell you how much they love you and want to be with you within a matter of weeks. Once you fall for them and they establish your trust, they start asking for money for small things, and then gradually ask for money to fund expensive emergencies. They have usually stolen someone’s pictures, pretending to be someone else. They also work overseas as an excuse as to why they can’t meet you in person or FaceTime you.
The catfish on LGBT dating apps are contacting victims, telling them how much they like them and how they want to see nude images of them. Sometimes, they will even invite the victim somewhere to perform explicit acts with them. A few days after their requests, the victim gets a phone call claiming to be the authorities or parents calling to inform the victim that they slept with or sent pictures to a minor. They then demand the victim pays them a lot of money, or they will go to the cops.
You meet someone online who claims that they really like you. They offer to meet you somewhere to get to know you better and tell you how excited they are to meet you. However, when they show up, it’s with an accomplice and they look nothing like their profile picture. They demand that you give them your money, and when you don’t they beat you up and steal your wallet.
Straight people who are against the LGBT community have sometimes used dating apps as tracking locators to find out where people who are LGBT live. Once they find these certain individuals, they beat them up just for being themselves. There are even countries such as Russia, Egypt, and South Africa that have law enforcement that use dating apps to track LGBT individuals to arrest them.
Carmel Jones, a relationship coach who writes about LGBTQ+ relationships and dating on The Big Fling has this to say:
Statistically speaking, online dating is riskier in the LGBTQ community. However, awareness of the risks and safety measures are the best way to have a safe and optimistic online dating experience.
Dangers in the LGBTQ online dating space include fake or misrepresented profiles, sexual pressure, and online or in-person abuse. Here are things to watch out for a while engaging in the online LGBTQ dating community:
Websites often use fake profiles to scam their users, so make sure you are using a reputable dating website or app. This is a challenge for members of the LGBTQ community because many apps are designed for cis straight people, making less heard of apps more prevalent in the gay community.
Likewise, dangerous individuals use fake profiles to catfish and hurt innocent people on dating apps. To keep an eye out for scams and risky fake profiles, look for/do the following:
Sometimes, people are online to be bullies. If someone begins to make you feel uncomfortable online, pressure you for nude images, or begins to harass or insult you, report them immediately. Trust your gut.
Unsafe in-person dates
To avoid this, make sure to always meet the person in a public place first. Please spend a few days talking to them online also rather than rushing into anything. And always tell a friend that you are meeting someone you’ve spoken with on a dating app. Share your location with that person and check-in a couple of times.
STDs are prevalent in any community, but there’s a fair degree of sexual liberation in the LGBTQ community, specifically. However, with a carefree and spontaneous attitude comes a bit of forgoing precaution.
Always, no matter what, use protection with strangers, you engage in casual sex. You don’t know about their sexual history, and you don’t know them well enough to figure out whether they’d disclose an STI with you. Keep yourself safe!
LGBT singles are more likely to use dating apps to find their significant other since it is easier to find someone with their same sexuality online versus trying to guess in public places. Because of this, 56% of the LGBT community have dated someone they met online according to a Match survey. Also, 65% of people from the transgender community have dated someone that they met online.
Within the LGBT community, Grindr was the most popular dating app with 74% of people saying they have used it. Following Grindr, Scruff (31%), Hornet (27%), Tinder (27%), and Jack’d (24%) were also a part of the top 5 apps being used within this community. 50% of these app users have used more than one app and 86% of Scruff and Hornet users have stated that they also use Grindr.
Because so many people have dated someone they met online, it is always important to remind those of the LGBT community to use dating apps safely. There are many fake profiles on all dating apps that try to scam their victims out of their hard-earned money. 56% of people who are LGBT have stated that they have encountered profiles that were fake or misleading on dating apps.
31% of Grindr users reported that they got at least one date a month using the app. Followed by Grindr are the apps Growlr (29%), Planet Romeo (25%), Scruff, and Hornet (22%). Out of the people that were met in person,16% of users reported that none of their dates misrepresented their age, height, or weight. 62% of users said that they misrepresented this information a little bit. 19% of users said that they misrepresented this information a lot.
Also, 31% of users admitted to misrepresenting their information, while 69% of users said they did not misrepresent any information. According to a survey by GrabHim.net of 4,000 gay and bisexual men found that 3 in 10 admitted lying about their age, height, or weight on their app profiles.
Out of all people who use online dating apps, the LGBT community is most likely to experience harassment on dating apps. 35% of people from the community have reported abuse or harassment from dating apps. When dating app matches advanced to meeting in person, 21% of people claimed that they have faced sexual harassment. 17% of users have been threatened with physical harm on a dating app.
Stephen Port was a trained chef who was featured in an episode of Celebrity MasterChef and also reported to work as a rent boy. He helped celebrities make spaghetti and meatballs on MasterChef. He also claimed to be a door-to-door salesman, stocktaker, a special needs teacher, and a member of the Royal Navy. Even though Port seemed to be a successful man with his future ahead of him, he, unfortunately, had a dark side.
Port was also Grindr’s serial killer who met with his victims, overdosed them with date rape drug GHB, and continued to sexually assault them. He would meet men on there within a span of three-and-a-half years, then meet up with them at a park where he gave them drugs and assaulted them. He was into drug rape pornography, which is what pushed him into wanting to do this to other men.
When he was arrested, his parents have admitted that the claims with his job titles were false and that teachers always thought he was deaf in school since he never spoke to them. He received £136,383 in taxpayers’ legal aid to fund an attempt to prove his innocence. Instead of admitting to killing them, he’s going to say that they caused their own deaths. His family has admitted that the Grindr killer shows no remorse.
The victims that he murdered were Anthony Walgate, Jack Taylor, Daniel Whitworth, and Gabriel Kovari. After killing Walgate, he pled guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to eight months in prison. Before his sentence, he managed to kill two more people, Kovari and Whitworth. The police found a forged suicide note from Whitworth, stating that he accidentally killed Kovari with the date rape drug and took his own life because he felt bad. However, this was soon proven to be false once they figured out Port really killed him. After he was released in prison, he killed Taylor three months later.
The families of the victims have threatened to sue the police responsible for letting these deaths slide by, claiming that their homophobic tendencies kept them away from deeming this case important. They have said that if a girl were left in the same condition, they would be right on the case and find out who did it immediately. But since it was four gay guys, they assumed that they did drugs and did that to themselves rather than investigate further if someone else was behind it.
John Pape, friend of Kovari, investigated his friend’s death before the police ever got to it. He read that someone else died in an unexplained way near where Kovari had died. Kovari’s ex-boyfriend also confirmed that yet another man had died in the cemetery, totaling up to three men killed.
He heard that drug parties were happening in this cemetery and when he went to tell the police, they told him there was nothing they could do. When the police wouldn’t help him, he contacted Pink News and Galop, LGBT Support Group pages with links to the police. They contacted police saying that Pape had more information but yet still did not want to speak to him, since they thought that the deaths weren’t suspicious.
He was a key witness to their case, and so when he spoke out about what he thought, they were barely listening to him flipping through the case and said that they couldn’t find any information while dismissing him. After 4 months, they contacted him saying that another man had died and they have a suspect in custody for the deaths of the 3 other men. This is when they found Port guilty of all these deaths and proved that he had also faked the suicide note. In total, 12 men were assaulted by Port in the course of three years.
Four men from Frisco, TX, Anthony Shelton, Nigel Garrett, Chancler Encalade, and Cameron Ajiduah, pleaded guilty to hate crimes after going after men in Plano, Frisco, and Aubrey just because of their sexuality.
The suspects would make fake dating profiles on Grindr and arrange to meet their victims at their homes to hook up with them. Instead, they would go into their homes, tie them up, beat them up, and make degrading comments about their sexuality. These suspects even had guns as they robbed their homes and stole their cars.
There are many similar stories to this, where straight homophobic men have used Grindr to go to gay men’s houses and target them as they beat them up and make fun of them just for being who they are. This is why if you are using Grindr or a similar app to video chat with them first, then meet with them in public before inviting them over so you know what their intentions are.
18-year-old Ben Bamford was charged with the murder of 52-year-old Paul Jeffries. Bamford had met him a few times before this visit, and claimed that he went over to his house to try and receive help for his drug debt. When he went upstairs to the bedroom where they usually do explicit acts, he said that Jeffries would not stop when Bamford asked him to.
He then said he had to use the bathroom as an excuse to get away, where he noticed the front door was locked. He went upstairs to gather his things and stabbed Jeffries so that he would not continue to take advantage of him. However, when he went to the hospital after the fight to mend the injuries on his hand, his friend took a photo of him smirking, holding up the middle finger.
He claims that he didn’t know what he was doing at the time and didn’t plan on attacking him. He also didn’t know to call the emergency number to report self-defense. However, the jury still agreed that he was guilty of charges of murder, not self-defense. The images of Jeffries’ home showed blood in the bedroom going down the stairs and into the kitchen and lounge.
Paul’s employer has said that he was a valued colleague and friend, and will be missed throughout the company.
While Grindr is definitely one of the most popular dating apps out there, it is definitely not the safest. It has been criticized numerous times for giving away the precise location of 90% of its users, while also allowing for authorities from countries where it is illegal to be gay to track down who is a part of the LGBT community.
However, apps like Hornet and Jack’d received better customer satisfaction reviews when it comes to the safest dating apps. For example, Hornet refuses to reveal a user’s exact location even if sharing their location is still on. In order to choose the most secure dating app, make sure you choose one that doesn’t share your exact location, and that allows you to easily verify a user’s authenticity.
Hornet is the first gay dating app to verify authenticity, which is when you send in a picture to the app to prove you are authentic and they give you a badge of authenticity in return. It uses an algorithm, which is top secret so that catfish don’t trick the system, to verify if people are who they say they are. If they deem the person trustworthy enough, they get a badge of authenticity.
Its competitors don’t use this method to see who’s a catfish and who isn’t, because they don’t want to out anyone that doesn’t want to be outed. If other people verify their accounts but the people who are not out of the closet do not, then people will only want to talk to other verified accounts. This leaves people who are not out of the closet and don’t want to be verified with a lower chance of meeting anyone to mingle with. Therefore, competitors are against the verification system.
Even if competing apps don’t have the verification system on their app, there are always other ways to verify if the person you are talking to is legit or not:
Once you find the person of your dreams on an online dating app, it is important to make sure that they only have the best intentions for you. In order to do this, make sure you meet in a public place so that if anything creepy does happen, you have people around you that can help you. If they are a legit person with good intentions, then they will make the effort to get to know you in a public place without trying to get you to go somewhere private with them.
Another thing you can do when going on a first date with someone is to let your friends and family know so that they can know of your whereabouts in case something happens to you. You can also text them a code word if you start to feel uncomfortable with your date so that they can pick you up from wherever you are.
And the last thing you can do to ensure a safe date is to go on a group date with some of your friends. This will allow for your date to get to know your friends, and your friends can provide feedback on if they think your date has good intentions. Also, if anything were to happen you got your friends by your side that can help you leave that unsafe situation.
When going on a date with someone, make sure you agree to what you expect out of the date first. For example, some people just want a kiss on the first date while others may want to take it a bit farther. If you and your partner agree to how you want the date to go and how far you want to take things, then there will be less of a chance for either of you to feel uncomfortable.
Also, don’t overdo it when it comes to taking drugs or doing alcohol on your date. It’s a good idea to avoid drugs entirely on your date and to only drink one or two drinks when out with your partner, depending on your limit. Make sure you watch your bartender make your drink if your partner offers to buy you a drink and only accept it if the bartender hands it to you. Otherwise, you can risk your partner putting drugs in your drink so that they can take advantage of you.
If you and your partner perform sexual acts on one another, use protection. If they force themselves on you, then make sure to file a report if you need to.
Finally, if you ever feel uncomfortable on the date for whatever reason, trust your gut and make up an excuse as to why you need to go home. You can also make up a code word with friends or family so that when you text them that code word, they can pick you up from wherever your date is.
While LGBT dating apps can be fun, they can also be dangerous if you find yourself talking to the wrong person. This is why it is always a good idea to take precautions when finding the person that you would like to date or hook up with. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you are talking to a scammer or a catfish rather than an actual person, Social Catfish is here to help you. We can reverse search any name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image that you provide us with to see who is really talking to you.