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The Online Dating Service Background Check

Unfortunately, fear is a reason why many people are reluctant to try online dating. Chances are that you have heard a horror story on the news and vowed to never put yourself in that situation. Meeting someone who is not who they claim to be, or who discloses a criminal history, can be a scary experience and may put you in danger. While these concerns are valid and should not be ignored, negative experiences are not as widespread as you might think and should not turn you away from the opportunities presented by online dating services. In fact, it was estimated in 2007 that online dating results in more than 120,000 marriages each year 1. Recently, a new debate was initiated concerning background checks and online dating websites. Some states including New Jersey, California, Michigan, and New York have passed legislation requiring online dating services in these states to conduct background checks on their members before admitting them access to their services.

Some online dating websites that oppose background checks claim that they are not foolproof and cannot guarantee member’s safety 2. While not all states or online dating sites are required to conduct this screening, it is something that you can do on your own. Websites such as allow you to search the National Sex Offender Registry by name and state, for free. There are a variety of other websites that offer complete online dating background checks for a nominal fee. These background checks scour state and federal records to find information on criminal history, credit history, current and past addresses, marriages, property ownership, and much more.

It is important to remember that dating can be dangerous in general, whether you meet online or at the gym. When you are dealing with someone you do not know, it can be easy for the other person to create a false identity and present a persona that is misleading. Taking all of the necessary safety measures in the dating scene is essential in ensuring your safety. Read the articles Online Dating Advice and Online Dating Safety Tips to learn more about the precautions you should be taking. For more information on online dating background check laws in your state, or to lobby for such legislation, visit the website for your state’s legislature.