If you have recently met someone who could potentially be a love interest, then doing a little D.Y.I background checking surely is your very first step to making sure that he isn’t some kind of creep, stalker, or criminal. If you have any kind of nagging feeling inside you that tells you that something is a little bit off about him, then you should definitely act on that instinct.
When it comes to just referencing someone’s background though, you don’t want to necessarily do a full background check, and most importantly, you really don’t want to end up paying for something you could have very well done yourself for free.
The sad fact is many women attempt to research their dates but leave many stones unturned. Here’s a complete guide to doing a background check on the new man entering your life.
Make use of free public records.
If you’re not up for paying to have the public records searched on your behalf, then try using the Free Public Records Search Directory. If you’re going on a date with a person then you should probably know what area he lives in, and that gives you a great starting point.
There’s also the National Sex Offender Registry that you could use to see if your date has been listed as a sex offender.
If you want to know if he has a criminal record but you aren’t sure where to head to in order to search criminal record databases, try using Wikipedia. Wikipedia lists every state with links to the relevant sites.
Public records don’t always have ALL the info that you might need, but it’s surely a great starting point.
Make use of people search engines.
There are quite a few people search engines on the web that allow you to find out information on just about anyone. In retrospect, these sites might not give you ALL you need, but it could definitely help you compile enough data so that you can use it to expand your research, or cross reference it with the info that you already have.
Pipl is a great search engine that only requires you to input a name and then it basically does the rest for you. It throws out all the relevant online profiles for that name, which you can then cross reference to see who and what he really is.
Although it gives you just as much comprehensive details 123people, asks for a name as well as a location, and sorts the results into categories, which really helps if you need to find something specific.
Just remember that the info you find on people search engines can often times be either vague or confused with other users, so take it with a pinch of salt and trust your gut instinct. Never assume that what you see is the absolute truth. These are merely stepping stones on your journey of D.I.Y background checking.
Measure up the info you have.
Take into account the info that he has given you and the findings that you get from online searches and really compare them. See where he has profiles and if he appears to be the same guy on every one of them. Getting search results from search engines will rarely be a problem, seeing as we live in a digital world where social media is booming. It’s also wise to remember the fact that you’re searching for truth here and not just any random crap you can get your hands on.
Using multiple search engines is your best shot at ensuring that you’re not missing anything. Google is GREAT, but it’s not the end-all, be-all. By using more than one search engine, you could find that you’re getting more and more results, and some that a specific site might have missed. Bing and Yahoo aren’t as good as Google but they can still provide you with some valuable info.
Facebook TRULY IS your Friend.
When all else fails, try scanning through his Facebook profile page. Facebook really helps to fill in the blanks where other sites simply cannot keep up with the pace. If he has a privacy setting that doesn’t allow you to see his page, then request to be added as a friend. If he doesn’t accept it, you should probably view that as a red flag. If he accepts your Facebook friend request then browse through his history feed, check out his friends and get a really good look at his life and who he is as a person.
As a rule:
- Only check out people when you get the feeling that something isn’t quite “right” with them.
- Do check out what he claims. If he says he’s super rich, just Google him and find out the truth. People tend to “bend” the truth, so they can look more attractive to you. The chances that he’s telling you the truth are relatively good; he might just not be telling you the WHOLE truth.
- Not everyone is out to get you, and not every man is a lying cheater.
- Always trust your gut instincts and be a smart dater. If it’s not your thing or you feel uncomfortable, walk away!
- You are NOT a weirdo for checking out your date’s background if you’re using the free public information (which we just talked about). You ARE a weirdo if you’re getting into contact with his family and friends and going as far as running a comprehensive background check on him before you even had coffee with the guy.
- Keep your intentions good at all times. Stalking someone online and snooping just for the sake of snooping is just plain WRONG.
There’s a world of difference between cyberstalking and just researching. We live in a world where anything you do online is basically everyone’s business. If the info out there can help you acquire a sense of safety, then take advantage of it and read up.
Trusting your gut instincts is your heart and mind’s way of making sure that they agree on something. You owe it to yourself and your emotional well-being to always make sure that the person you intend on dating really is who he says he is.
About The Author: Sally B. is a writer for BackgroundHawk.com, a website that is dedicated to online dating safety, background check advice, and general safety/security themes.