ODESSA, TX (Big 2/ Fox 24) – Nowadays dating apps have been the key to find your other half, however, many would need to keep in mind that sex offenders can also have access to those apps.
So how safe can you be when talking to someone through those dating sites.
Sgt. Gary Duesler of ECSO says many won’t think about who’s actually behind their profile picture on those dating apps.
“There’s really no way of knowing absolutely 100 perfect sure who you’re talking too,” he says.” And what you’re getting into on a dating site.”
These dating apps have been the bread and butter to meet and build a relationship with someone.
So how would you know if you’re speaking to a predator or not?
Hannah Horwick, a communication coordinator of Odessa Crisis Center, says one may never know.
“There isn’t really any single indicators on what to look at for,” she says. “But there are a couple of things people could definitely look out for if they’re trying to stay safe in an online relationship or somebody that they met in person and the biggest thing is trusting your gut and looking for things that somebody is doing that might make you feel unsafe.”
There are over 1500 dating apps, and there are countless sex offenders in the nation.
So how can you be so sure you don’t cross paths with one?
“If they’re a sex offender, of course, they have to be registered, and they can not have any social media if they are on parole or probation. They can’t have any social media period,” says Sgt. Duesler.
Officials say sex offenders who aren’t on parole or probation can be on certain social media, but they have to give their passwords to law enforcement.
“Dating apps are a great way to get to know people to start lines of communication,” Horwick says. “If you don’t necessarily meet the person you wanting to go out with but to make sure you don’t reveal too much information upfront making sure that you’re protecting your home address.”