Don't Get Blinded by Love: Run a Background Check Before your Next Date
Background checks are no longer just a tool employers use to find out if a potential hire has a criminal past.
There's a new trend in background checks and it's coincided with the surge in popularity of online dating. With so many people heading online to look for love, scammers have turned to these sites to con innocent people out of money.
So if you think running a background check before a date might seem a bit extreme, maybe these numbers can change your mind.
Romance scams duped Americans out of more than $85 million in 2014.
Victims were swindled out of $14,214 on average.
70 percent of the victims were women
Lesson here - a thorough background check from a reputable company like Instant Checkmate won’t only save you from future pain, heartache and surprises, it can also save you big bucks by not falling prey to a scammer.
Background checks can offer up a lot of valuable information - whether a person is married, living with someone or has no known address, which can be a real red flag. With a background check from Been Verified you can find out if the person you’re with comes with a financial risk - whether it’s debt or bankruptcy - knowledge that can save you big time.
Still not convinced of the benefits of running a background check?
Here’s a true story for you
Susan, 44, had finally resolved to start dating again after a painful divorce and years spent alone. With her children away at college and a newfound confidence, Susan signed up for a dating site and was soon overwhelmed by messages from men interested in getting to know her.
Among the flood of messages, one man in particular caught her eye. His name was James, a 52 year old army vet, recently divorced, who shared Susan’s love of the outdoors and biking.
The two emailed and chatted for the next few weeks. Susan wanted to take things slow, but soon found herself curious and eager to meet James.
However, before they got a chance to meet, James was suddenly transferred to Egypt. But that didn’t stop the budding romance from continuing.
“We spoke constantly on the phone over the next few weeks,” Susan said. “He’d send me poems, handwritten letters and tell me he was counting down the days until he could see me. I started thinking this could turn into something real.”
But then James started calling Susan, asking her for financial help. He told her he had to pay some fees to the Egyptian customs but didn’t have access to his bank.
“He kept calling, he made it seem really urgent,” said Susan. “He kept saying the Egyptian officials would put him in jail if he couldn’t come up with the money. He was really panicked.”
So Susan wired James $900 via Western Union.
Then she got another call. James said the money didn’t get to the officials fast enough and that he was now in jail and needed bail money. His bank was still frozen, he claimed, and he was desperate to get out.
So Susan wired James another $1,200.
This continued for another few months, until Susan’s children finally made Susan lose James’s number and change her own. Susan was out, all told, $3,100, but it took her another year to fully realize the warped web James had her in.
Had Susan conducted a background check she would’ve learned that James was not an army vet, but was in fact a married man, previously convicted of three different charges of fraud.
Do you have a hot date lined up tonight?
You’ve probably already Googled and Facebooked them out of curiosity. But you don’t have to stop there.
Using an online background check tool, you can find out in seconds whether the person you’re thinking of hooking up with has a dark past. A criminal record. A string of bankruptcies. You name it.
The rise of internet dating means that, oftentimes, the person across the table is a total stranger. While that can be thrilling (and can make for one hell of a story), don’t let it become a threat. Get your detective hat on before your first date, and you might just save yourself a ton of heartache.
Top Sites for Background Checks:
Intelius: A comprehensive people searching and reverse lookup tool. You can find out everything from someone’s address and financial history to who’s been trying to call you, for as little as $29.95 a month.
BeenVerified: A background search tool that searches public data to find out personal information such as current and former address, court records and convictions, for as little as $22.86 a month.
Instant Checkmate: A public records database that enables instant criminal background checks, including known aliases, arrests and charges. Plans start at $18.43/month or pay just $1 for a 5-day trial.