Background Checks

As Internet dating services become more popular, the question is being raised more frequently whether or not some sort of background check is being done to help insure the safety of the 20 million people who visit a dating site at least once each month.  Unfortunately, most of the time, the answer to that question is “no.”  Nothing is ordinarily being done to insure that people who sign up for a dating site are even who they claim to be, let alone checking to see if they might be convicted rapists or sex offenders.

The irony is that most employers would never consider hiring someone without doing a background check.  Single people, on the other hand, are willing to take the risk of becoming involved far more personally with someone about whom they initially know next to nothing.  Most employers would never do that when hiring a new employer.

Is there a way to reduce the risk being taken by those who are using an online dating service?  Sadly, at this point in time, there does not appear to be a way to require dating services to take any precautions at all about the identities and backgrounds of people posting information allegedly about themselves.  So, users of dating sites are taking, what seems to me, a significant chance that the person in whom they’re interested could be a complete fraud – or worse.

About the only possible way to obtain information about a person found on a dating site is simply to do an Internet search of that individual’s name – a marginally useful tool at best, but better than nothing, I suppose.

At this point, about the best advice that can be given to people using an Internet dating service is to be as careful as possible before becoming too involved in any sort of relationship!