Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Dating app a target for dealers selling their drugs

Drug dealers are using the dating app Tinder to sell their wares online. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Drug dealers are using the dating app Tinder to sell their wares online. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Drug dealers are using the dating app Tinder to sell their wares online.

The Herald on Sunday has seen several instances of users advertising they are looking to either sell or buy marijuana through the app, which offers a degree of privacy not given by other social media platforms.

Police do not hold statistics on the number of times Tinder had been used to sellillegal drugs, but a spokeswoman said they were concerned by anything used for illegal dealings.

Police were aware of "a number of avenues through which offenders are selling illicit drugs which include social media sites". Incidents were investigated on a case-by-case basis, she said, but would not comment further.

Netsafe boss Martin Crocker said the online safety organisation had not received any reports of drugs being sold on Tinder but the app would be an obvious choice for dealers.

"It's probably no surprise people would use person-to-person apps to try to sell illegal items because of the additional privacy the apps provide.

"In many regards people would feel, and probably are correct in feeling, that apps like Tinder are more private and anonymous than other social media services."

A Tinder spokesman said profiles promoting illegal drugs violated the app's terms of service.

"We have a system in place to remove these profiles from the app. If a user encounters a profile violating our terms, we encourage them to report it."

He said there did not appear to be any increase in this type of activity.

Last month, the Guardian reported that Tinder users were selling recreational drugs and prescription medication through the app.

Similar stories were also reported in the Sun and the Daily Mirror.

- Herald on Sunday

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