Hot Topic: Would You Run Background Checks On Your Dates?
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Admit it, you know someone who has been “Catfished” before. The popularity of the MTV show that chronicles the story of those who have been fooled by online love interests, has only made men and women more aware of the risks of dating – both on and offline. If it’s customary today for employers to Google or Facebook potential job candidates to find out as much as possible about them before making hiring decisions, why can’t we do the same with potential dates?

This is where sites like come in, which allow women to play undercover detective and dig up need-to-know info about potential dating candidates.

“We realized that a lot of women, and I guess men too but especially women, are meeting these people that they’ve never met in person for the first time based on what someone has told them about themselves online which may or may not be true,” said Kris Kibak, co-founder of Instant Checkmate. “So we thought it’d be pretty cool if people could run a background check on someone before they went out and met them.” Instant Checkmate was launched as a database to protect online daters from becoming victims of internet scams and other incidents that we see all too often on Catfish.

Since 2010, the site and others like it have offered information from a number of public records that can provide a clear picture of your latest love interest so you know exactly whom you’re dealing with before things get too serious.

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According to the site’s blog, Instant Checkmate is now considered one of the premier online resources for background investigations.

Through a basic report on Instant Checkmate, you can find your date’s age, address, birth date and the name of any license he has obtained. (Marriage licenses included!) You’ll also be able to view his criminal history to determine whether he has ever been arrested for a violent crime or received a speeding ticket. Find out if his name is on the list of registered sex offenders in your area. You can even learn more about his relatives.

Other sites that offer similar background search features use US Search, CupidScreen and Intelius as other options for your research.

Would you run a background check on a potential date or a guy you’re dating before things get serious? Is it ethical? Let’s discuss!