Online dating is more popular than ever. An increasing number of relationships begin online, and then move to a first in-person date. Besides being nerve-wracking, meeting up with someone face to face who you know little about can be dangerous. With Catfish scams on the rise, it can be hard to trust that the pictures and messages you’re seeing are from a real person.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? Start with where you met! The internet has many resources and tools to help you stay safe. As with hiring professionals, performing your own background check can give you a greater sense of ease.
Perform a Digital Background Check
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably Googled yourself. And if you have, you know that a shocking amount of information is available publicly online. When checking out someone’s digital footprint to confirm their identity, you can use this information to your advantage.
Begin with Facebook
The biggest social media platform in the world is the perfect place to start. Check out their friends list—do they seem real or fake? Are they established profiles with years of posts, or were they set up in the last few months? The key to an authentic profile is interaction. Look for friends tagged in photos, birthday posts on their wall, and friendly messages between friends.
Use Their Usernames
People often reuse usernames and assume no one will look up their posting history. Usernames often show up in three key places you’ll be able to easily see: 1) the beginning of their email, before the @ symbol, 2) as their Facebook username, and 3) as their dating profile name. Simply Google these usernames, and you may find information they would not normally disclose.
You also have the option to work with a background screening professional. You can run a background check with just a date’s full name and date of birth. While there is no such thing as a standard background check, you can determine what elements are most important to you and find a screening provider to help.
Dating can be a stressful thing. By taking simple safety measures, like performing a background check, you can feel more at ease and focus on finding the perfect match. Need background screening services in your professional life? Contact ClearStar today!