How Safe Is Your Next Blind Date?

July 7th, 2010

Online Dating SiteHave you ever met someone through an Internet dating site? How safe did you feel going out with a stranger?

Sure, everyone listed on the site has their own profile. You can see the person’s picture, bio, interests and other information … all of which is directly supplied by that person. This can lead to several questions. Did they provide accurate information? Were any important details left out? Is that photo even current?

Missing Details

A recent discovery shoved this issue into the spotlight. Abraham Fortune, a seemingly typical date seeker, posted a profile on several popular sites. The man appeared to be just another person looking for love, but he left a monumental fact off his bio. He is a convicted murderer.

This story raised major concerns about the safety of online dating sites. Fortune’s profile was removed once his past was revealed, but the incident made it abundantly clear that many of these sites do not run background checks on their members. So what do you really know about the person on the other side of your screen?

No Background Checks Required

Mandy Ginsberg, the General Manager at Match.com, admitted that the company does not run background checks. Protesters insist that since the dating site charges fees, they should be obligated to provide security checks for their customers. Ginsberg disagrees, and admonishes that singles should always be very careful when meeting strangers from any forum.

Dating services do require each user to fill out a personal profile, but online bios are notorious for containing incorrect or misleading information. People who want to put their best foot forward may be tempted to embellish the truth, but where do you draw the line? When people hide the fact that they committed a serious crime, isn’t that taking things too far?

It’s Up To You

So how can you be protected from criminals and sex offenders online? You may just have to watch out for yourself. Before agreeing to meet anyone you’ve been in contact with through a dating website, run a comprehensive background check. This will inform you if the other person has a misdemeanor, felony or some other serious secret they may be hiding.

Of course the possibility of danger from strangers isn’t limited to the Internet community. It’s a good idea to check up on anyone before you get involved with them. Most people have little secrets that they don’t reveal right away, but how much time do you really want to spend with someone before discovering they have a criminal past?

Millions of people use online dating services. It can be a fun and exciting way to meet new but people, but just like anything else you must consider your own safety first. Run a background check before you agree to go out with any stranger, get the facts you need to protect yourself and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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