You may have seen the show on MTV called Catfish, which exposes the trend of people being dishonest about who they really are on dating sites. The show follows many different people who meet the person they have had an online relationship in person for the first time. All too often the person had been lying about their name, age or what they look like. One private investigator is helping people avoid being catfished by offering comprehensive online dating background checks.
Brian O’Shea is a private investigator who started doing online dating background checks after he heard a Catfish story. He researched several online dating sites and found that the ones who offered background checks weren’t very detailed. The reports they sites gave to users were substandard and the lack of information was actually putting more people in danger. When O’Shea does a background investigation for a client he makes a call to a second or third removed acquaintance to get a feel for the person. He also looks for other activity the person has on the internet to make sure they aren’t involved in anything suspicious. He is looking for warning signs, not just the basic information a typical background check will give someone.
O’Shea says that his online dating background check service has really taken off. He gets clients of all ages, who have just met someone online and want to see if they really are who they say they are or want to do a check before getting married to someone they met online. He says that most people don’t uncover dark secrets about the person they have met online. Typically there is just a lot of embellishment about height, weight, education, or success.