Parents warned to watch out for Tinder use among children - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Tinder causing concern among parents

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

"Tinder is how people meet. It's like real life but better."

That's the message plastered across the site's home page. The problem? The people apparently flocking to Tinder are young teens.

"Are my children on Tinder? They are not. Why do they need a dating website? Don't they just meet at school," asked Laura Engel.

New York Magazine says more than 7 percent of Tinder's users are 13 to 17 years old and outnumber Tinder's 35-44 year old users.

Tinder only allows access through a Facebook account and urges users to make sure their GPS on their device is enabled.

"Now that's what's really scary is the instant tracking and that's with the photos and everything that people are posting. Yeah, that, not cool," said Engel.

Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports, on a scale between 1 and 10, Naperville police rate the problem of dating sites being used by underage students in school an eight.

In Naperville, police say they heard about Tinder during their investigation into Carlos Lopez, who was arrested and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and solicitation of a minor.

"People who are familiar with the application know that it's primary purpose is to connect individuals for the purpose of hooking up. Now if you're 14, hooking up may mean something different that if you're 24," said Attorney Daliah Saper, Principal at Saper Law Offices.

Saper explained the dangers and legal consequences when teens hook up with their peers using adult dating sites.

"The danger of course is that a 24 year old can easily interact with a 14 year old and absence some self-regulation and external laws, the site itself cannot easily prevent a 14 year old from communicating with a 24 year old," said Saper in an interview with Fox 32's Tisha Lewis.

Police warn Tinder, Waplog and KIK are all danger zones for children - yet some of the sites are attracting more young people than their intended audience.

If a child has been approached online by someone asking for revealing pictures or if someone is making unwanted advances, please report it. There is a hotline, www.cybertipline.com, where it can be reported and the appropriate law enforcement agency will receive the tip.

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