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Can Dating Background Checks Keep Online Dating Safer?
Home and Family Author: Cathy Taylor
Can Dating Background Checks Keep Online Dating Safer?
What are the chances a dating background check could actually save your life from a violent criminal or protect you from a sexual predator? Online Dating Magazine's recent estimates report that more than 20 million people use an online dating service every month. By sheer numbers alone, chances are that you could run into an unsavory character along your dating journey. But checking criminal background records could very well reveal information about individuals that could very well keep you from harm.

Online dating provides people with a convenient and extremely diverse world of new people to meet, but most of these companies that offer the actual match-up services do very little to protect your safety. If you have tried to sign up for one of these services, you already know that they might not have run a criminal check on you or pass your name through a national sex offender registry.

What makes people who are dating online particularly vulnerable is they are often in a heightened emotional state and their normal filters that might make then more cautious tend to be lowered. People don't like to be alone and are often anxious to meet the right person. The whole process can cloud your good judgment and leave you open to those who would take advantage of you, including criminals and sexual predators.

Common Sense Tell us to be Prepared

If you want to use an online dating service, first make a plan as to how you will conduct yourself online, and be sure that includes a dating background check before you meet someone face-to-face. Also, follow these safety tips:

If you can afford to run a full background check (figure on spending around $100), then hire a reputable company that has a decent track record in the industry.

At a minimum, these are the things your provider needs to give you:

1. National criminal history and sex offender registry - this a no brainer and should be your first and minimum step.

2. Positive Identification - that the person is who they say they are. Typically that entails running a social security search which identifies the person's address history and aliases (akas). Note: running a SS# search requires permission from the person you are running the report on.

3. Credit history - if someone doesn't want you looking at their credit, there is always a good reason for it, and it's never good news.

4. Driving record - this report identifies whether the person has a driving under the influence (DUI) or traffic violations that could be of concern such as a hit and run.

5. Marriage/Divorce records - obviously you want to know if your date is actually married as many online daters are not looking for long-term commitments.

6. Financial records - including tax liens, judgments, bankruptcies, property ownership, UCC filings, air/vehicle ownership, civil suits, etc.

7. Professional Licenses - verify if the person is really a doctor or lawyer as well as corporate affiliations.

8. Employment history and education verification.

Online dating has expanded our social circles significantly making it possible to find people with similar interests and desires with very minimal effort. You can even hire people to do your matchmaking searches for you.

But along with these great opportunities, you must also always keep the risks in mind. It is distressing to speak with people who still feel uncomfortable letting the other person know you are checking them out. Just ask yourself, if they don't have anything to hide, why would they mind? Besides, some searches can be done completely anonymously. Go to for a basic search.

If the online dating companies don't do it for you, then you must do it yourself.
Total Views: 1129 | Approx word count : 603 | 07/28/2010
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