Although the social stigma associated with online dating may have faded, opportunities for trickery and deceit are stronger than ever in the digital dating realm. If you’re one of the 40 million Americans using an online dating site, avoid future heartache and keep yourself safe by doing a background check.
Need more convincing? Here are four reasons why you should do a little digging before throwing on your little black dress.
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Reason #1: One in 10 dating profiles is fake.
Need I say more? Online dating sites have become prime real estate for con artists, felons, and even that 40-something video game addict still living in his parents’ basement. Why? It’s no secret that because of the emotions at stake when dating, singles often put their trust in the people they meet online, making it easy for an unsavory bunch to turn to these sites when looking for their next victim. Take that target sign off your profile by stating that you research anyone prior to meeting.
Reason #2: Many dating sites don’t have precautionary measures in place.
While some of the bigger dating sites, like Match.com and OkCupid, have put certain precautions in place, smaller niche sites don’t have the bandwidth for proper security. On top of that, with a little cyber security knowledge, any tech-savvy creep has a way around a dating site’s check. Don’t let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security when using these sites.
Reason #3: Picture your worst fear….
Now picture yourself going home with it. Maybe the guy is a thief. Maybe he’s married. Heck, maybe he’s a snake breeder.
Let your worst fear dictate the information you want to know. Run a comprehensive criminal background check to ensure you’re not about to go hiking with the next Craigslist killer. Check public civil records to ensure this guy isn’t married. Even dig to find his credit score and employment status to clarify he doesn’t plan on paying for dinner with unemployment checks.
Reason #4: That Adam Levine-like profile picture could be from Google Images.
Many women have been there. The guy who met all of your criteria (fit, single, attractive, etc.) doesn’t even closely resemble his profile.
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The truth is profile fraud is the most common type of trickery in the online dating space. Save yourself the frustration and disappointment by doing your research before sitting down to dinner with Mr. Beer Gut or Mr. High-Waisted Jeans.
The dating world is scary and complicated — even without the risks that come with online matchmaking. Eliminate the worry by first checking out your date. Then, rather than trying to sniff out the skeletons at your first in-person meet, you can focus on finding out all the great things about your possible match.