But instead of a date, you're forced into a car at gunpoint and driven to an abandoned building.

That's what Thabsie Mabezane says happened to her in South Africa's Johannesburg.

"He opened the room, the door and said to me "sit down", demanding me and I sat down. And then just five seconds four men then just enter. I'm shocked, the one just flew right into me, strangling me. And when they were strangling me I screamed, he told me "if you scream again, I promise that we will hurt and we will kill you".

Mabezane is a transgender women and LGBT+ activist.

Cases like hers are on the rise in South Africa - prompting a debate around how to protect dating app users from kidnapping and extortion.

Police and activists say LGBT+ individuals are often targeted because of hatred and intolerance.

Mabezane was among activists attending court last month for one prominent case.

An 18-year-old was kidnapped in Johannesburg after meeting someone on Grindr, according to police.

He was later rescued, they said, and seven suspects arrested.

Virginia Magwaza, who founded Parents, Families and Friends of South African Queers, said they want to engage with Grindr around safety and improving verification processes.

"Grindr will understand that this is a matter of life and death, right, it should not be about just profit making, right."

A spokesperson for Grindr said they were "acutely aware of this deeply troubling situation" and that they would continue to explore "further solutions to this crisis with local partners".

Grindr has integrated a number of safety features including a video calling feature and South African users receive a daily safety warning.

The South African Police Service said it has noticed a trend where perpetrators use social media networks, including dating apps.

It has, a spokesperson said, arrested and taken down syndicates that were targeting the gay and lesbian community.

One local security company has called for Grindr to be banned in South Africa due to an "alarming rise" in incidents.

But some activists believe banning Grindr would only further marginalize the LGBT+ community.

Mabezane said "there's a problem with equality" if only heterosexual people can using dating apps.