With the growing popularity of online dating, the number of people running background checks on their potential partners has increased as well. Companies such as checkpeople offer different services in this area. If you are looking for more specific information, here’s everything you need to know about running a background check on your online date.
Checking for a Criminal Record
You should start with a criminal background check because this is likely the most important information you need about them. Regardless of the type of search you choose, it will generate a list of findings such as their warrants, arrests, court records, or convictions if they have any. The amount of information you have about this person will determine the best criminal background check to choose.
It has been estimated that about 20% of Americans have a criminal record. You can run a federal, state, or county background check to see whether your date is among them. Keep in mind that a county record search that yields nothing should not put your mind at ease, since it only looks for crimes committed in that particular county.
A better option might be running a state criminal background check. Some states have databases with all county records, while others have very few records on file. A national check is the best option if the subject of your search has lived in lots of different places across the country.
Search for Social Network Accounts
You can also lookup this person on the major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can use the person’s name, location, and groups they belong to in order to search for their profiles on Facebook. If you know what city they live in, but you can’t find them online, you can try a search of the city and their last name. You may be able to find one of their relatives on Facebook, and check their friend list to find your online date on it. This option can be useful if they have turned off the “search” feature on Facebook or go by a different name on their profile.
Reverse Image Search
Has your online date sent you any pictures of themselves? They must have. If not, you can download and save their profile photo on social media or their email avatar. As surprising as it may seem, people sometimes try to catfish others with a profile from another account or a stock photo. A reverse image search on Google will lead you to the original source of their photo. This search might prove more helpful than scouring social networks.
To perform a reverse image search, upload their image to images.google.com. Look at the section with “similar images” at the bottom of the search results list or click through the results list to check whether this picture was posted somewhere else.
You might find they’re using the same picture on each social media account; however, this is unlikely. On the other hand, the image appearing on a random person’s timeline would indicate something is off.
Searching LinkedIn will help check them from a different angle. The professional networking site is ideal for cross-checking information. There’s a lot of useful things you can learn. You might be able to infer their date of birth from employment and graduation dates. You can also use their LinkedIn profile to confirm any information they gave you about their occupation or location. Few people dare to provide incorrect information on LinkedIn because the consequences of this can be serious. While not a given, the number of peer endorsements on their profile is a good indicator of the truthfulness of their profile.
Moreover, you should not feel guilty about researching your online date before meeting them. One study found that almost one-third of people have run background checks on an online date. You’re better safe than sorry.