The world of dating has changed dramatically. Mobile apps and setups from friends have made it easier to connect with your perfect mate. However, meeting a total stranger for the first time could actually be dangerous, so it’s a good idea before going on that first date to do a full background check on the person to find out who they really are.
Why You Should Run a Background Check Before a Date
Not only is it essential to have interesting topics to discuss on a first date, but it’s also critical to know if the person is lying to you right off the bat. One way you can get a lot of information is through public records. You can find out a ton about a person just by doing a little research. They may not even realize how much is out there about them. Some important things to check on before starting a relationship with someone are:
Marriages & Divorces - The first thing is to know if the person you are starting to date is still married. If they tell you they are single and there is no record of a divorce, but you do find their name on a marriage certificate, at least you will know now.
Criminal Records - Before you start seeing someone, you definitely want to know about their criminal past. Even if they had a few slight scrapes with the law as a young adult, it’s good to know if they have ever been arrested and how serious the crimes were and if they use any aliases. Just a quick peek into someone’s criminal history could save your life.
Inmate Records - These will show if you the person has ever been in jail or prison.
Police Records/Warrants/Arrests - Even if your date does not have a criminal record, there may be instances where they were arrested. Just because they weren’t charged or convicted does not mean they are innocent. This information will help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to take that chance.
Court Records - Take a quick look to see if your new love interest has any pending lawsuits. Even small claims stuff can tell you a lot about the person. Then you can ask them for more details. If they refuse to answer, that might give you some insight also.
Assets, Liens, and Bankruptcy Records - Although it may not make or break a new relationship, it’s good to know if your date is responsible with their finances.
Email Accounts & Social Media Feeds - If your date has something to hide, the truth may be out there on forums, subscriptions to sketchy websites, and obscure social media feeds. All of this is good information that will help to fill in the blanks about your new companion.
How to Perform a Background Check for Online Dating
Unfortunately, public records do not reside with one single agency, so to perform a full background check on someone using government sources, you will have to visit a few different locations.
- First, you can check with the courts in your area to see if any court records or criminal records are on file using a name search. Some courts have online search tools, but others do not. You have to visit in person. You can also find marriage and divorce records through the courts or the state Department of Vital Records office.
- Second, you can contact the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to search for inmate records of people who have been incarcerated. You can also consult the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to see if they have landed in federal prison.
- For police records, warrants, and arrests, you may find those in court documents, or you can contact the state police or local police departments for copies of incident reports and more.
- Town Clerks keep records of property and other assets, and you can easily request copies there. There are usually special state courts that handle liens and bankruptcy records, so you might have to locate them (some are online) and search for any of those records.
- You can then search the popular and less well-known social media websites for usernames and email addresses of the person you are seeing.
In some cases, you may have to pay a small fee to get copies of records. Some resources have free online services.
A much easier and better option is to use a search tool like InfoTracer that combines all of these different types of records into one nice, easy report with all the details you want to know. They even troll the dark web for information about hidden accounts and suspicious details found there. It’s so much better to be safe than sorry. Take a few minutes before letting that special someone sweep you off your feet, and run a quick report to see what comes up!