For some, the good ol’ days, before the internet changed everything, were a more reliable and honest time. Predators weren’t lurking in cyberspace, and conversations were not interrupted by a cell phone buzzing with a text message. In terms of dating, before websites, you met a stranger face-to-face first, were set up on a blind date, or contacted a dating service. These days, television shows like The Millionaire Matchmaker make dating services appear like a high-class, specialized ordeal, but in fact, they still exist for ordinary folk. Unfortunately, dating services, as a recent news story sheds light on, are experiencing similar problems as dating websites.
This week, a woman sued a New Jersey dating service over allegedly poorly conducting a background check on a potential match. The service, called Two of Us, paired the woman with a man who had multiple drunk driving convictions and a warrant out for his arrest. The woman, Jeanne McCarthy, had paid $7,000 for the service and is claiming, because her match was not screened correctly, the company is fraudulent and breached its contract. Two of Us’ contract apparently states that all members are interviewed, given background checks, screened, and evaluated before being paired up.
Over the past year, dating websites’ lack of background check protocols has come to light, first in August 2011 when Match.com stated it would begin conducting background checks. Through the online dating service, a member met a man with six convictions of sexual battery.
Illinois, in early 2012, took regulating dating websites even further. Lawmakers proposed to introduce stronger background check policies for such websites.
But, no matter if you go the old fashioned or modern route, knowing a bit more about your date is important. While two individuals can talk about interests during the evening, those with extensive criminal pasts or who are less authentic (such as a con artist luring unsuspecting individuals through a profile) should be weeded out before a face-to-face meeting takes place.