Background Checks a Growing Trend in the Online Dating Industry

By Michael Klazema on 1/15/2014

Over the past decade or two, online dating has become a massively significant piece of the United States relationship and marriage scene. Researchers have gone so far as to estimate that one in four couples meet online. Popular online dating services like eHarmony,, and OkCupid have even managed to turn the phenomenon into an incredibly sustainable business model.

With the growth of online dating has also come a corresponding increase in the number of predators who realize that they can use online dating services to find easy victims. When people meet online and set up an in-person date, they don’t really know who they are speaking with. The person on the other side of the internet connection could well be a kind and honest soul who is precisely who they made themselves out to be in their dating profile.

However, someone on a dating service could just as easily be lying about everything, from their interests to their identity, all in a ruse to harm other people – physically, financially, or both. Therefore, those who utilize dating services to meet potential mates are opening themselves to a reasonable level of risk by putting their name, their information, and their photograph online.

With this risk in mind, various sources have been working to make online dating services safer places for single people to mingle and interact. On one end, legislators have worked to tighten up the security for online dating sites. Last year, Illinois passed a new law – called the “Internet Dating Safety Act” – that requires online dating services to inform users on whether or not they conduct criminal background checks.

Numerous other states have instituted similar legislation of their own, all in an effort to increase the accountability of dating services. Since dating websites can provide predators with an incredibly efficient means of locating potential victims, states like Illinois believe that the websites should be required to monitor their customers to determine which ones are trustworthy and which ones are dangerous.

Perhaps in response to the online dating safety legislation movement, the number of dating service users that run makeshift background checks on potential mates has increased. According to a recent study by Washington’s Pew Research Center, about 30 percent of people active on dating services try to learn more about their potential matches before agreeing to in-person meetings. Pew’s findings indicate that these cautious people look for everything from a potential date’s relationship history to traces of criminal or sex offender history.

Users looking to cover all bases are best served by selecting dating sites that commit to running background checks on their members or offer an easy way for a member to request one. Vendors like offer comprehensive and instantaneous background screening options to dating sites, such as US OneSEARCH, which looks for signs of criminal active, and US Registered Offender OneSEARCH, which browses sex offender registries from around the country.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.