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Meeting someone for the first time online can be exciting. You feel like you clicked with that person and conversations flow easily. As time goes on, you may even feel like it may be time to meet this person in real life. With that said, there are some important questions you should ask yourself before doing so. Is this person really who he or she says she is?
Are they not telling you basic information about themselves? It's possible and you should check them out for yourself before moving forward.
Meeting someone online should always be a concern to you if that person you’re speaking with is really who they say they are. They could be hiding criminal records, aliases or more from you.
We should be able to trust people, but the harsh reality is we need to double check who we are dealing with and confirm who they say they are.
Here are some main reasons why you should background check someone you meet online.
Technology has made running a basic background check on someone much less expensive then it was years ago. However, running an extensive and full background check on someone's employment and credit history can still be expensive. This guide will explain how to run a basic background check on someone.
Start with Google.
Google is the natural first choice when searching for someone to verify data. However, you will not find a ton of information on someone, in fact, you probably won't find more than just social profiles and possibly a few images.
That is okay; it’s quick and should be used for the first search. A few other methods to try would be to do an image search to make sure the profile matches the Google image search if you can find one. We will show you how to run a reverse image search below. That is your next step.
Reverse Image Search
- Save a copy of the image from their personal profile page to your desktop.
- Access images.google.com from your browser.
- Click "upload image."
View the search results to see if they match the profile picture or have been posted anywhere else online.
Search Social Media Profiles
Check social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. If you have an email, you can run this through Facebook, as they have a search to help find profiles.
Search a Name Through the Courthouse
If you know which county the person you met online is from, you can then take that information and run public records search directly through the county courthouse. Most county courthouses have the ability to search for records.
To find the county courthouse simple go to Google and type in the name of the county + courthouse. Once you've found the county courthouse, find the public records search section, and run the person's name through the system.
Use a Search Service
Using a search service can make finding public records much easier. This can be done directly online using a first and last name. You can find great information on how to background check someone you meet online by accessing a website like Criminal Data Check; they provide in-depth guides on almost every state on how to find criminal records by accessing different websites.
If the person you’re chatting with or speaking to is hiding something, it is better to find out now before things get too far. This will also give you the peace of mind that who you’re talking to is really the person they say they are.