3 DIY Background Check Tricks You MUST Use When Online Dating

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I can see why folks who want to meet the love of their life would turn to dating sites like Tinder or Kovla to brighten their days with a person who just "gets" them. It's true, we're never too old to give up on love or to stop imagining the prospects of a happy marriage—even if we've been divorced and escaped an unhappy marriage.

But instead of going all wide-eyed and full of naiveté onto one of those dating sites and falling for the first man or woman who promises you the moon, it helps to use Google for all it's worth to make sure the person is telling you the truth before you fall head over heels in love with them.

1. Perform a Google Image search on ALL photos they send you.

Google is so cool. If you use the Chrome browser, you can right-click on most photos you find published online and choose the "Search Google for this Image" option. Or, if you know the URL address of the photo, you can copy that from the URL bar and paste that web address in the Google search box, and choose their "search by image" option. That way, you could uncover the same photo showing up on other sites—like stock photography websites or on the real person's website—which will let you know whether you're dealing with a liar.

2. Search for their name and different variations of it in quotes.

Placing a person's exact name in quotes can uncover more information specifically about the person. For example, placing "Joe Gillis, Jr." or "Joe A. Gillis" or "Joseph Gillis" would surely turn up at least public record documents—houses purchased, criminal records, etc.—even for the most un-tech savvy person. The lack of such data might send up red flags since in this day and age, nearly everyone has an online profile or some sort of Google results under their real name.

3. Pay to go deeper.

If Google just isn't cutting it and you're hearing a sob story from someone who is close enough to propose marriage, but you haven't yet met them in person there are other options. Instead of shelling out the hundreds of dollars they’re begging you for, why not give it to an online investigator instead?

Type "people search" into Google and use the tactics that those guys on MTV's Catfish use to uncover the real frauds. Those sites could very well be worth the $7.99 per month some of them charge to reveal the deeper truths about your intended—and $8 is a whole lot cheaper than a quarter of a million dollars to lose. It's also well worth avoiding the broken heart and marriage scams.