Aaron, 18, from Liverpool says he downloaded a "hook-up" app five years ago to explore his sexuality and ended up being groomed by an older man.
It comes as the National Crime Agency warns users on the apps like Grindr, Blendr and Scruff to ensure the people they're meeting for casual sex are above the age of consent.
"I was struggling with my sexuality so having something on my phone I could easily download was one way of meeting people who were gay that I could relate to" Aaron said.
App designers say users must confirm they are of appropriate age - over 17 - before signing up. They also say people who break their terms and conditions will have their profiles closed.
Aaron was speaking to Newsbeat reporter Declan Harvey.
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Radio 1 Newsbeat and BBC Radio 5 live will broadcast a special joint programme about online safety on 11 February between 12:30 and 13:00 GMT.