Thanks to the internet, we are more connected than ever before. There seems to be an endless supply of online dating websites that can make finding someone to date easier. The increased security risks with dating a stranger you meet on the internet are why online dating background checks are so important.
Without the proper risk assessment, anyone can join a dating app and approach potential matches. The problem is, some of those matches can present serious problems. Below you’ll find four ways these apps can be unsafe and how having an investigations company conduct background checks can put your mind at ease.
Profiles Are Highly Visible
Online dating apps make it possible to view and connect with many people. However, if you can see the information of a particular match, they can also see your information. This can lead to cyber stalking, where someone can find out all sorts of personal information from your various social media accounts.
That means hackers and scammer can track down your personal information and put you in a vulnerable situation. The search for love is now more convenient than ever, but it is also dangerous with a high level of visibility attached to it.
Scams Are Everywhere
Before online dating, you could size up a person where you met them. Often, you would be introduced through friends and family, which carries a sense of trust and safety with it.
However, now people can hide behind a screen and be whoever they want to be. That makes it easy for people to run scams, such as catfishing. Lately, this particular form of deception has become a huge problem for online dating sites.
Someone could decide to run a scam that lures people in and asks for explicit photos or money. The scary part is this kind of scam sometimes works. Or, it’s possible that someone you rejected on one site can create a fake account on another, find your profile and trick you into communicating with them. Neither situation is ideal but background checks can help mitigate these issues.
Identities Can Be Faked
More than just scams, people can create entirely new identities online since people rarely verify someone’s identity before speaking with them. This makes it easy for people with criminal records to connect with unsuspecting people. Even registered sex offenders can create accounts and withhold their status from you. Some ways people do this include the following:
- Out-of-date images
- Fake images
- Incorrect information such as age, height and gender
- Bogus phone numbers
All of this leads to a profile that draws you in and tells you what you want to know. Some of these accounts are harmless. People want to be younger, slimmer or better looking so they lie on social profiles. Others can be the work of a digital predator searching for hapless victims. Caution is key.
These profiles are often difficult to spot, which is why online dating background checks can be incredibly helpful. If you are at all suspicious of someone you’re connecting with or simply wish to err on the side of caution, we encourage you hire someone who can do so for you. Beau Dietl and Associates has experience with these types of investigations, so feel free contact us to help bring you peace of mind.
Violence Can and Does Happen
Due to the fact that people can create false identities and hide their true ones, it can be difficult to know whether a potential match poses a threat or not. There are instances of a person showing up for a date only to find a dramatically different person than the one they connected with online. Sometimes it can simply be something innocuous such as a different hair color.
Other times, it can be much worse. There are stories on the news every day about online dates that end badly. The best advice we can give is to be cautious. It may seem intrusive, especially if you’ve never been in this situation before, but if you want to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation a background check may put your mind at ease.
Background Checks Can Help
Some people believe dating sites should offer background checks to participants and take responsibility for unsafe situations. However, it’s increasingly difficult for companies to catch every dangerous user or potential threat.
The specialists at Beau Dietl and Associates have law enforcement training to help you determine the validity of an online identity. Some services we provide include searching for and verifying the following:
- Criminal and sex offender charges
- Phone number
- Domestic violence and harassment cases
- Education and employment
- Social media accounts
- Biographical information such as age and marital status
- Financial history
Searches like these can catch dangerous predators before you go on a date. Your safety is worth it.