Tools of the Trade
One of the hottest jobs for 2011 is going to be an online dating detective. Online dating is as popular as ever before, and this service is said to offer both time savings (going out on wasted dates) and security. The purpose of these individuals will be to search out potential partners, and report their findings for a fee. This can sometimes be a rather large fee, depending on the extent of their investigations. While this service may be a useful one, it can get expensive, which is why it may be to your advantage to become your own detective. These will be your seven most valuable tools of the trade.
1. Background Checks Web Site
Everybody is using background checks to get an overview of people, from potential employers to Web savvy daters. These tools make it easy to get an overview of a person, including criminal and marriage records. These background checks come with a fee, but you can check the National Sex Offender Registry for free. The problem with these types of checks is that they often provide a false sense of security. While these checks can certainly be helpful, these databases can be incomplete, considering that not all counties provide digital records of their population.
In today’s world, it is not an easy task to cover up Internet tracks. In fact, some Web site experts claim these can follow us for a lifetime under certain circumstances. Everything from court cases to news stories can be dug up on people, just by searching for their first name, last name and location (city, county and so on). In many cases, Google may be all you need to get a good overview of the past couple years of somebody’s life, including their job profile, blogs and personal Web site.
3. Social Networking Sites
Anyone who wants to succeed in a career has to throw themselves in the ring of social networking. These Web sites allow people from all over the world to watch the lives of friends and family unfold on both a personal level and professional. To give you an idea of the reach these social networks have, Facebook currently has 600 million members, LinkedIn 85 million and Twitter over 200 million. You can connect and find information on just about anyone through these sites, and if you can’t find someone, then consider this a small red flag – their profile could be an alias.
4. Watchful Eye
Trust your gut instincts when sorting through profiles of other members on dating Web sites. If your gut tells you that something doesn’t look right, you should probably trust it. One way to recognize a scam profile is the photo(s) will look overly photo-shopped or commercial. These are people who are either not being honest about their appearance, or are posing as someone else – neither is a good base to start a new relationship from.
5. Good Memory
An easy way to avoid trouble from online dating is to pay close attention to profiles by taking note of any details, such as childhood, job, pets and hobbies. If at any time you’re communicating with someone, you notice inconsistencies in what they say (and how they say it), you could be dealing with a scam artist. These individuals often have several profiles they’re working from, and consist of various people communicating with the same members. This makes it easier to identify contradictory background information, writing style and sentence structure.
6. Smart Questioning
When communicating with members on dating Web sites, pay particular attention to their communication style, or lack thereof. Members who are overly secretive to certain questions, or are not very consistent with writing back, may either be too busy, disinterested or are communicating with an overabundance of members – none of which is good, if you’re looking for a serious relationship. Use smart questions to seek out information about their past relationships, job and daily activities. Members who avoid sharing such day-to-day information may not have your best interest at heart.
7. Pay Attention to Patterns
Surveys suggest that as many as one-third of the members on any dating Web site are cheating, married men. With this in mind, it becomes increasingly important to pay attention to members who appear to have minimal flexibility in their daily schedules. In particular, men and women looking for affairs, will often email and chat late at night when they’re most available (keep track of time stamps). Cheaters will be particularly busy during the early evenings and weekends. While keeping odd hours may be legitimate for some, it should definitely be considered a red flag in romance.