• Online Dating Background Checks-> How Important Are They?

    Online dating background checks are important, you never want to find yourself in a bad situation because you used an online dating site to meet someone.

    Online dating services are efficient at letting you know about potential matches in your area.  They offer the anonymity you don’t have when someone tries to pick you up in a public place.  On a dating site you can simply decide not to respond to an email or wink.  That same anonymity can sometimes have a dark side though, allowing those with criminal backgrounds to lurk around.  Thus making online dating background checks more important than ever.  Now that online dating service Match.com has settled the online dating background checkslawsuit brought by a woman who sued after she was sexually assaulted by a man she met through the website, some are questioning whether or not online dating sites, like Match.com, are going to do enough to protect its members?  It’s one thing to meet someone who has annoying quirks or only talks about an ex; it is quite another to find yourself in danger because you used an online dating site to meet someone.

    The lawsuit stipulated that Match.com perform online dating background checks on its members using state and federal sex-offender registries to verify that people who signed up for the service were not sex offenders. The man who attacked the woman who sued had been convicted for sexual assault six times in the past. The woman’s lawyer was of the opinion that once Match.com put these measures in place, other dating sites would follow and the world of online dating would be much safer.  Starting in 2012 major online dating sites stated that they would start doing background checks on subscribers against national sex offender registries and actively search for fake profiles, but has anything really changed?

    In 2012 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) , an accredited background check company, said “consumers should be aware that certain types of background screening do not produce reliable results.” The company president warned that companies may cut corners with “cheap” background checks that could create a false sense of security and “suggests if online dating sites want to protect members in online dating situations, they need to do a proper background screening, one which can include county court level searches carried out by a professional background check firm or private investigator.”

    What can you do to ensure your safety when online dating?   Run your own online dating background checks on a potential date using a third party service you trust.  If your potential date has a problem with that, that should be a major red flag that you need to cut communications.  You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about trying to protect yourself.

     

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