In our current era of online dating, it is becoming quite common to meet your partner on a dating app. Dating apps are convenient in that they alleviate some of the time commitment involved in the process, but they also come with various risks. Conducting a quick background check on your date can help keep you safe from harm.

background check dating

The Importance of Background Screening

Checking a person’s background is not only important for online dating. It is also used quite frequently in other areas of life.

For instance, employers will often do some research into a person’s past before they offer them a job. The company will want to protect its employees and their reputation, so they will do their due diligence and conduct checks. It will also save the company time to do a check on someone rather than find out that they are a poor fit for the company, terminate them, and then rehire someone else for the position.

It is important to background check the person you are going to date because this is the only way to know if they have any criminal records. In many cases, people will lie about what they have done in the past and this can make things worse if you are then dating them.

Match Group, the company behind the popular dating app, tinder, has already promised that the app will start offering background checks to users as added safety measures. 

How to quickly do online background checks?

Let’s now take a look at some of the easy ways to quickly do a background search of the person you are going to date.

Use a Search Engine

One of the easiest ways to find out information about a person is to put their name into a search engine such as Google or Bing.

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If you put quotation marks around the words, the search engine will only bring up pages relating to the exact name, which will narrow down your results. If you know any additional information about the person, such as their age or the city that they currently live in, you can add that into the search.

Ideally, you will be able to find news articles, photos, or employment records that you can use to verify their identity. This is a neat way to look into public records. Anyone with a criminal record like reports of violence or registered sex offenders can be found this way.

Another thing that you can do is use Google’s reverse image search. Save the photos that the person has on their dating profile, and then upload them to the image search feature. The photo may bring up more information about the person, such as linking you to their social media usernames. If it turns out that the image is a stock photo, then you can safely assume that the person you are talking to is not who they claim to be. In this case, you can ask them for an explanation, or (the safer option), you can stop communicating with them right away.

Third-Party Background Search

If you want to go more in-depth with your sleuthing, the next best option is to perform a background search on the individual. A background check is a thorough way to search for people online and will give you more information to work with. During a background check, you can expect to find out about a person’s criminal, financial, employment, and educational history, among other things.

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Background checks can also uncover aliases that your person of interest goes by, or used to go by. These aliases can be useful in tracking down crimes or records that the individual wants to keep hidden. There are specific ones available for criminal background checks, gender-based violence, etc. They offer a background check feature that allows you to search for people by their first name, last name, city, and state.

Third-party companies can conduct background searches, or you could do them yourself. Keep in mind that you may not have access to all the data, and it can take longer if you do it by yourself. You may also need to pay a visit to your local courthouse to track down their criminal history and other records. Alternatively, background check services are quick, but they will require payment to use them.

Social Media Websites

It is very common for people to share a great deal of personal data on their social media accounts. Check the person’s profile on online dating sites to see if they have shared a link to their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok accounts. If not, check all these sites individually anyway to try and locate their accounts.

quick ways to do a person's background check before dating - background check social media

Facebook is the best place to start, as people are more likely to share their full names on that site, and not just have a username. By using the search tool, you can try to narrow down your results by inputting the person’s name and their general location. You may have a ton of options pop up, but you can scroll through the profiles until you recognize a display photo. Once you find their Facebook profile, you are likely to come across links to their other social media accounts as well.

Social media can tell you a lot about a person. Even if nothing illegal shows up, you may find that the person has a bad temper, or has children, which you may not be looking for. Examining these aspects of a person will give you a good idea of whether you want to meet up with them or not. 


Since LinkedIn is a business networking site, people will be less likely to lie about their achievements or identities on it. Knowing their last name will help you search for them, but you can work with what you have. For instance, you can input their first name and their occupation into the search feature and try to find them that way.

LinkedIn can help you cross-reference data that the person has told you about their job, education, and age. If you find any inconsistent information, you may want to stop and ask yourself why they lied to you, and if they will lie to you about anything else in the future.  

Keep in mind that the person will get a notification that you have viewed their profile if you have your visibility set to public. Go into your privacy and settings tab and change your visibility to private if you want to remain undetected. 

When in Doubt, Do a Check

If the person you have been chatting with online seems perfect in every way, they may be lying or faking certain aspects. No matter what, if you are planning on meeting up with someone that you met online, you should always do a quick check on them. This is especially true if they have been forcefully trying to take the chat off the dating app, or are insisting on meeting in person. These are signs that they may have nefarious intentions in mind.

Always be sure to arrange the first meeting in a public place, never at a private residence. Tell a friend or family member where you are going, and when they can expect you to return. Also, you can check in with them occasionally via text throughout the night. If your date is a good person, they will not mind if you take a minute to send a text message verifying your safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions that people have with regard to dating background checks.

1. Would background checks make dating apps safer?

According to a ProPublica report, people who are convicted of sexual offenses go on dates with women who have no idea they’re conversing with one. With these new women, they repeated the crime and left them to report it to the police and app moderators. These dating apps would have been much safer if there had been background checks.

2. Is it illegal to run a background check on someone without their consent?

As long as the reports are kept confidential, you don’t need someone’s consent to run a background check on them. Using their data for marketing purposes, harming them physically or emotionally, promoting information about their activities, or providing instructional information is strictly forbidden. You can still go with the dating background checking sites, read the information, and then click ‘Delete’.

3. How Do You Run a Dating Background Check?

There are multiple ways to screen a person’s background history before going on a date. We have detailed the available options above which include Google search, social media search, third-party background check services, and more.

4. When is the best time to run a background check for a date?

It’s a tricky question. One should do a basic online search immediately after deciding to go on a date. Basic online search includes looking at the person’s social media profiles, LinkedIn profile, reverse image search, etc., and see if there are any anomalies in what you find and what they say on their dating profile.

5. Is there a dating app for background checks?

Earlier this year, the Match Group which owns popular dating apps like Tinder and Hinge announced that they have tied up with Garbo, a background checking platform founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides, a survivor of gender-based violence. Garbo finds violent crimes based on only the first name and phone number of your potential date. It searches public records for arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other crimes.

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