Love knocks on the door – and we open our hearts, our minds, our souls, and put all our defenses down. And maybe it is right, because how can love grow if we do not invest our trust in the person next to us?
However, there is a difference between being romantic and taking unreasonable risks. Good people rarely suspect others in repulsive acts, which is one of the reasons why bad things often happen to good people.
How many of us have been misled by Hollywood dramas and believe that to trust in your dreams is a guarantee for success? However, look at the news and see how often life differs from romantic movies. Think about it: Keeping yourself safe is an obligation you have not only to yourself, but to that true love that you will surely meet one day. That true love, which you are probably facing even now.
But how to be sure if we’re actors in a love story, or in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series?
Some careful research that will cost little may reveal hidden dangers that you must be aware of. Doing a background check on your prospective partner is the prudent course to take. And not only when love strikes – entrepreneurs regularly use background check companies, both government and private, to check public, company and criminal records of business associates or applicants for a job.
Is there a way to check the available information about the person you’re interested in without violating the rules of good manners?
Of course, but before we present the options we must stress on one important fact. Any information you find for free on the web may be outdated, misleading, or even simply wrong. Do not hurry to jump to conclusions, and if you have reasons to suspect foul play, you to best turn to the experts in the field, so you can be sure you have accurate and up-to-date information on the basis of which you can make your decisions.
But it is too early to think about it at this stage. Let’s first focus on our free layman background check, and see if it will provide any reasons for concern.
There is a new proverb in the modern age – Google knows everything. Google the name of the person you’re interested in. Cross-reference with any information you have at the moment, as current and previous address, schools, universities, places of work. Is there anything interesting showing up? Remember – the surprises of our background check may prove to be positive as well. Maybe the person you’re checking on often volunteers for noble causes? Maybe he has achievement he never mentioned?
But let us contradict the modern believe that Google knows everything. Yes, it is maybe the best and surely the most trusted search engine, but as it is free, and doesn’t require much work, why don’t you check multiple search engines? These may provide additional information that you missed in your initial research.
So far, all is well, is it? However, there are a few other venues of information you can check, in order to get a more complete picture. Think of the social networks – Facebook, Twitter, or the professional LinkedIn.
Human recourses specialist rarely invites a candidate for a job interview before checking the social networks. There is a fake sense of anonymity when one sits behind the monitor and just types his opinion, without facing the people he’s communicating with. That is why it is not as rare as you would suppose that good-educated, kind people post racist or otherwise offensive comments. Social networks may reveal parts of a person’s character that he may not even be aware of under normal, real-life situations.
There are also specialized people search engines as spokeo.com, instantcheckmate.com and checkthem.com– to name the best ones. They search public records and will give you a report against a modest fee. You get a criminal background check, bankruptcies, list of relatives, etc. However, life is not as simple as it seems. Not all public information is available online, and such a report can hardly be exhaustive and up-to-date with all details. Still, it is best to have that information that to jump blindly into danger, dating a rapist or a sex-offender.
Can you check public records yourself? Of course, some government agencies may publish certain information online. Because these sites are state operated and official, they are free to use an extremely trustworthy. You can try searching court records, sheriff’s department, prison records or arrest warrants, but still remember that you get just part of the picture and do not jump to conclusions. We stress again – if there is a reason for concern, you best to turn to the professional background check companies that do not rely solely on online research but check physical records as well.
And something more – a background check may prove worth it even if you think you already know your partner well and you are even considering engagement. In this case, checking the financial background may be a wise step, if you have reasons to suspect that your partner may have hidden liabilities. In the opposite scenario, when considering divorce, spouses are looking for hidden assets, and in both cases, it is best to consult experts, as a financial background check is complex and is subject to laws limiting the access to information.