Crimes linked to internet dating
During the same time period, police also recorded one murder case and 23 rapes in connection with internet dating services.Child prostitution accounted for some 400 cases, while 213 others violated child protection laws.Electronic advertising has gradually replaced printed ads and the Internet is now a venue where murderers who employ a similar modus operandi can meet their victims; in Schecter's Encyclopedia, the entry for "Ads" mentions Internet dating and the use of Internet ads by the so-called "Internet Cannibal" Armin Meiwes.Since 2007, several accused and convicted killers have contacted victims through advertising services such as Craigslist, a popular classified advertising website.
Lack of regulation In the first six months of this year, 793 web-related crimes were reported, compared with 888 for the whole of 2001.
Online chatrooms are also used, in some cases, to plan consensual homicides.
For example, in 1996, a Maryland woman, Sharon Lopatka, apparently agreed to be killed by torture and strangulation in a conversation with a man in an online chatroom.
Internet-enabled mobile phones were reportedly used to access the dating sites in almost all cases.
Web-based dating sites - the online equivalent of lonely hearts columns - have become increasingly popular in Japan, especially among the more than 55 million users of internet-equipped mobile phones.