Over the past few years, online dating web sites have exploded in popularity. Not only are sites like Match.com, eHarmony and Plenty of Fish an accepted way of dating in our culture – online dating may even becoming the norm. These sites essentially allow a person to pre-screen prospective dating partners – by being able to instantly see pictures of and read information about them.
Of course, the problem with dating site pictures and profile information is that it’s not verified in any way. It’s easy for anyone to write about themselves in only the highest regard, and leave out any negative factors that, in the case of a dating site, may be a dealkiller. And, online, it’s easy for people to use old, outdated or highly-Photoshopped pictures in dating profiles.
It’s natural and good that people are apprehensive and want to further research the people they meet online. Many start with basic searches on Google or Facebook. Some employ the use of religious faith. And some turn to private investigators, who can provide full personal background checks.
Googling a person’s name or checking for a public Facebook profile is harmless and instant. However, Google can be difficult when the person in question has a common name – such as John Jones or Mary Smith. Sometimes there is no way to know if the person found via search is, in fact, the person you are looking for. And of course, the information on Google and Facebook may also be self-authored by your date.
Faith-based dating websites like Christian Mingle and JDate are also very popular. Many of our clients start their process at one of these sites. Some tell us that while they eventually Google their date’s name, most simply start dating the person because they believe this is God’s will, and they have great faith in the process. This can be a tragic mistake, as many victimizers use this possible low level of naivete to pursue their victims and prey. Unfortunately, it’s usually after a negative experience has already occurred that we hear from the victims.
With online dating, it’s important to be open minded, but remain somewhat skeptical and apprehensive when you first meet someone. Your intuition is a powerful force that has been honed over your lifetime and a sea of experiences. If something just doesn’t seem right – you are usually right. But remember that you need proof.
And so we arrive at the point that a private investigator can help in the online dating experience. We don’t recommend using most free or low-cost background check sites on the web to verify or disprove facts about a person. These sites use limited and dated information and usually prove to be of little actual benefit.
When you hire a good private investigator to perform a background check, the investigator will use many different sources of information available to him or her to personally review and cross-reference the data. (One particular bit of nonsense we hear about from time to time is dates or boyfriends that claim to be in the CIA or Navy Seals – they NEVER are.)
Think about this: Most people have already paid hundreds of dollars (in dating site fees, the cost of dates, etc) and a significant time and emotional investment to find their “soul mate”. At this point, if something still feels wrong, a $95 investment in a simple background check is nothing. This check will verify the person’s name is real, he/she is of record at the address given to you, or that the person’s date of birth or social security number is genuine. These tasks can be accomplished by any above-average private investigator in your area, but they may charge you a lot more. Most do not have their own in-house system, like we do at www.martinpi.com.
Just call our toll-free number at (800) 577-1080 and mention this blog post for this special rate of $95. Within 24 hours you will have the answers that might save you time and heartache or begin a process that will lead you down the aisle.