These are the 10 most dangerous states for online dating: study

(NewsNation) — New research shows the safest (and most dangerous) states for online dating, giving some good news to those in Vermont and Maine and not-so-great news for those in Nevada and Alaska.

Dating apps like Tinder and Hinge have become the norm for meeting partners, but the risks can be much higher than a disappointing date.

A recent study conducted by the security website Privacy Journal analyzed several risk factors related to online dating, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), registered sex offenders, violent crime, romance scams, identity theft and other types of fraud.

The study used data from the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Census Bureau.

Researchers then crunched some numbers to determine the rate of each risk factor per 100,000 people and ranked each state accordingly.

The study identified the following 10 states as the safest since online daters in these places were less likely to have to worry about violence, STIs or being catfished and scammed.

  1. Vermont
  2. Maine
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Kentucky
  5. Idaho
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Hawaii
  8. North Dakota
  9. West Virginia
  10. Nebraska

Meanwhile, those in Nevada, Alaska, Georgia and Florida had the highest risks when trying to meet a partner online, per the study. Below are the other states considered most dangerous:

  1. Nevada
  2. Alaska
  3. Georgia
  4. Florida
  5. Arizona
  6. South Carolina
  7. Delaware
  8. Louisiana
  9. Texas
  10. Arkansas

In addition to fraud, with victims being plied for cash or details that would make it possible to steal their identity, dating apps have been used by predators before. There have been multiple cases of men using online dating apps to find women to sexually assault or kill.

Accused Gilgo Beach killer Rex Heuermann is alleged to have used Tinder to try to connect with women. Heuermann is awaiting trial for murder in the deaths of four women, all sex workers, whose remains were found along Gilgo Beach in New York.

Of course, dating apps can’t themselves be blamed for violence against women. Historically, infamous male killers like Ted Bundy have met women in bars or other situations, picking them up not to date but to commit violence against them.

And just like offline dating, apps offer options for success as well as risks, with 1 in 4 couples saying they have met through apps.

For those who are looking for love online, safety precautions include turning down requests for money, being wary of people who resist meeting in person in a public location, sharing information and setting up check-ins with a friend when meeting someone for the first time and not giving out private information like your address until after meeting.

Nexstar’s Ashleigh Jackson contributed to this story.

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