How Do You Run a Dating Background Check?
We don't meet our significant others like we used to. Now that we have the internet, many Americans turn to online dating sites to find their life partners instead of friends, family, or real-life encounters.
While this can widen the pool of potential mates, it also makes it easier to come in contact with potentially dangerous people. Luckily, the increase in online dating has also increased the popularity of online dating background checks. One study found that 29% of people have searched online for information about someone they were currently dating or about to meet for a first date.
If you're one of those 29% who want more information, read on to learn about how you run a dating background check.
Check Their Criminal Records
About 1 in 5 Americans have a criminal record. You can see if your date is one of them by running either a county, state, or national background check.
County records include crimes only committed in that particular county. Since most crimes are prosecuted at the county level, you'll likely want to run a county check on your dates in order to get the most detailed records.
However, there are some caveats: you need to know which county (or counties) they spent most of their lives, and you'll need to have someone physically go to the courthouse to obtain the records. Luckily, that person doesn't necessarily have to be you. For example, our country background check service sends a licensed investigator on your behalf to get the records.
If you don't know which counties your date lived in, a state criminal background check might be a better option. State records vary depending on the state: some states have just a handful of county records on file, while others have all county records in their databases.
Since a national criminal database isn't available to the public, most national background checks search each state's online database. These checks are the best option if your date has lived in multiple locations throughout the U.S.
It's important to note that there are only 46 states with electronic databases; if you run a national background check it will only pull records from those states. If you need information for the four states that don't have records online (Delaware, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Wyoming), you'll need to stick with a county background check for all the counties your date lived in.
No matter which type of background check you choose, they will all contain information about arrests, convictions of felonies and misdemeanors, court records, warrants, sex offenses, and incarceration records. Which criminal background check you should choose will depend on how much information you know about the person you're dating.
Make Sure They're Not a Convicted Sex Offender
It's a good idea to look at your date's sex offender status. All US states are required to maintain a sex offender registry, which is public information. There is also a national sex offender registry, which includes all state, tribal, and territorial registries. Or, to run a quick search right now, check out our 'Neighborhood Watch' free sex offender search tool.
Find Their Social Media Profiles
Standard criminal background checks can only tell you what your date has been legally charged or convicted of. The internet, on the other hand, can offer more information.
Type your date's name and city into a search engine to see what comes up (make sure to turn off all personalization settings in your browser first). You'll likely find their social media profiles. You'll be able to get a better understanding of their interests, hobbies, and friend groups, sure. But you might also see updates that reveal sexist attitudes or characteristics you don't agree with.
So, How Do You Run an Online Dating Background Check?
Running a background check on your date consists of three steps.
- Run a criminal background check at the county, state, and/or multi-state level
- Check sex offender registries
- Search their social media profiles and online footprint
The information you gain from these resources will keep you safe and make sure you can enjoy many more dates to come.
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