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Tips for Running a Dating Background Check
Home and Family Author: Cathy Taylor
Tips for Running a Dating Background Check
Protecting yourself from online dating predators only makes good common sense. If you are using dating websites to find your potential match, and want to move to the next step of actually meeting someone, how do you protect yourself?

Or what if you are out at a bar with friends and you meet someone that you might be interested in. The answer is you can run into the bathroom with your iphone and check someone's criminal background records including sex offender records and a verification of who they are via their social profiles. It's all available at one site for $10 per name - Sweetheart Checks

There are several things you should be aware of to make sure you get the best criminal search possible. Here are some suggestions as well as how to get them done:

1. Verify that your potential date is the person they say they are. You can do this is several ways and the most common is running a social security number search. Unfortunately, because of privacy laws, you can't do that without their permission. But don't despair, there's an easier way - look for their Social profiles on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

2. Use an online database check for the purpose of generating possible cases to research.

3. Run additional public records searches such as: marriage and divorce records, professional licenses, as well as financial records including civil suits, small claims judgments, property ownership, tax liens, judgments, notices of default, foreclosure, bankruptcies. You can easily find some of these records online for free and others you'll have to pay for.

Identify your Candidate

The more information you can obtain about someone, the better. Before you actually meet someone from an online dating site, get their full name (including middle initial) and date of birth. This is the minimum amount of information you need to run a nationwide criminal search online. If you are running a dating background check on a female, check to see if they have a maiden name (or two) and make sure you get the spelling right. If you use Sweetheart Checks, you'll need a first name and last name and middle initial or date of birth (not both).

Pretend you are an investigator: does the person have a website? If they claim to be a professional of some kind, such as a doctor, lawyer etc., chances are they will have some kind of profile online.

A lack of information should raise a red flag for you, unless the person is so young they haven't begun a career.

Using Database Searches

When using an online database search, you should be careful that you are getting the best information available. Databases are only as good as their original source(s), depth of coverage, method of download and consistency of updates, as well as the search logic used to retrieve stored data.

If you do a search for someone using an online database, and you have the wrong person, you've wasted your time and money. So step number one is there for a reason. But if you are reasonably sure you have the right name, a good online database can generate possible leads into cases filed that you should further research at the court where the record was filed. Some of these records can also be obtained by going to the courthouse's website.

Remember, just because you run an online database check, does NOT mean that you have all records available on someone. There is no ONE database that exists in the U.S. that contains all criminal records. Being cautious is always a good strategy.

Use Common Sense

Here are some important safety tips you should use every time you plan to meet someone new:

1. Arrange to meet your date somewhere in a very public place. Do not allow them to pick you up from your home and do not give out your home address. Drive your own car and make sure you have enough gas. If possible, date in a group for the first time.

2. Don't drink on a first date. Alcohol affects your judgment and lowers your inhibitions and that is the last thing you need when you meet a stranger.

3. Don't assume that someone is safe because they claim to be religious. In fact, don't believe anything you hear at first - being cautious is always the safest way to go.

4. Listen to your instincts and always stay alert. If something doesn't feel right, that's all you need to know ... just leave immediately.

5. Always make sure someone else knows where you're going and who you will be with. Set up a time to call and check in with that person.

6. Give out your cell phone number versus your home phone.
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