With 3 in 10 Americans using online dating at some point in life, dating sites have certainly grown in popularity over the years as a means of finding love. However, considering the growing trend of online dating scams, doing some sleuthing on a potential date could often spare you a lot of trouble. So, if you are thinking of researching someone you have just met online, you are not being entirely unreasonable.

Here are 4 essential steps to help get you started

1. Scan their online presence

The first step to a background search is to discover their online presence using a search engine like Google. Simply type in their name together with any other details you may have such as an email address or workplace name and begin the search. This will instantly provide you with a long list of related sites for you to scan through. It can prepare you for the next steps by, for example, identifying the social platforms they are most active on and any other important clues that could help with your search.

2. Find and verify personal details

The easiest way to get hold of personal details is with the help of a people search site. Websites like Nuwber can access a range of information sources, from public records to media reports, and provide you with comprehensive details of a person’s private life. These could include details of their age, marital status, home address, relatives and friends, career, financial status, and even any criminal offenses.

People search sites would also be ideal to perform a reverse lookup using an email address or a phone number, as well as to verify any personal information your potential date may have already shared with you.

3. Browse personal interests

Finding out about personal opinions, preferences, and causes they support is a great way to identify compatibility with your own interests, to find out their personal values as well as to get a glimpse into their true personality. And social media platforms are the easiest source for this. With 7 in 10 adults using Facebook, it should be a great place to begin your search. Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn could also provide you with some useful insights.

However, exercise caution when scanning social profiles. This is because many people filter and manipulate what they share to project a preconceived image to the rest of the world. And fake social media profiles are equally common.

4. Seek real-life opinions

And finally, look for personal opinions from those who may have met or known your potential date. You might be able to find someone in your social or professional circles who could share some valuable insights based on personal interactions. These are a great way to validate your first impression as well as to get a glimpse into their personality. However, ensure that you are discrete. After all, you don’t want the word going around.

Whether you have met your love interest on a dating site or social media, doing a background search should be an important first step before you meet in person. So, get started with this essential guide to ensure compatibility as well as a safe dating experience.

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