Predators are targeting single parents looking for love online in order to get to their children, police have warned.
Officers have urged parents active on dating websites and gaming forums to keep their private information to a minimum to avoid potential paedophiles.
‘They take advantage and build the trust of single woman for the sole purpose of, in some instances, of gaining access to the children,’ Cameron Burke from Task Force Argos told 9News.
Social media experts said it is too easy for predators to track down social media profiles using just a name.
‘They go for the low hanging fruit,’ social media expert Tricia Munn said.
‘They go for the people who are giving them all the information that they need.’
Police recommend that people using the dating apps remove all personal information and photos of their children from their dating profiles.
Police also said it was safer to build trust with the person they have met online before disclosing any of those personal details.
According to figures from the Pew Research Centre, online dating has quickly become the second most favoured method for meeting a new partner.
Those using online dating sites have a plethora to choose from with almost 8,000 sites in use worldwide.
Figures also show that men make up the majority of online dating users at 65 per cent in comparisons to woman who make up 35 per cent.
Online dating has already proven fertile ground for predators with a number of cases of rape, assault and abuse from meeting people via a dating site or app.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Adam McCleery