Do dating criminal checks work? I put it to the test

My Match CheckerMy Match CheckerI've seen the future of online dating. And it includes websites like MyMatchChecker.com whose mission statement is "Know your date. Know your fate."

Sure there are guidelines for online dating safety: first date should be for lunch, let someone know where you're going, don't drink too much alcohol, and meet somewhere neutral versus having him pick you up at your house.

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But MyMatchChecker.com helps you answer the questions that are really important, like is the guy a convicted felon or a sex offender, before you put yourself in a possibly precarious position.

I did a search to find out if a certain guy was potential boyfriend material. Here's what I discovered about him.

I did the search for my girlfriend, who had met this guy -- let's call him Gerry -- on a popular online dating site. His picture was cute, they seemed to have a lot in common, and their email rapport had been casual and fun.

After a few weeks, they decided to meet face to face at a local bar. But before they did, she wanted to do some checking up on Gerry. With no mutual friends to ask, we decided it would be the perfect opportunity to try out MyMatchChecker.com.

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There are four different search options to choose from, ranging in price from the $12.95 "Just Met" search up to the $89 "All About Me" search. We went for the least expensive option, which searches a national criminal history database as well as a sexual offender database and a terrorist watch list.

The search itself was pretty easy to do. We just plugged in the Gerry's full name, his last known address, and his birth date. Filled out the credit card data and presto! About two hours later, the results arrived in the email inbox.

My friend and I opened it up together, anticipating the worst but ... nothing. Gerry was clean, except for a minor vehicle infraction over four years ago. And he paid the $7.50 fine.

My friend went on a date with him and then a few more. We'll see if it lasts. At least she won't have any sleepless nights wondering if this new boyfriend is wanted in three states on multiple counts of fraud and burglary.

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The searches can only tell you so much. They don't verify employment or marital history or whether or not the guy treats his mother properly. A man who is respectful of and caring with his mother will likely be the same with other women.

But in this age of online dating, this service is a good addition to your dating security. Consider it a pre-screening tool, kind of like that first picture you see when you pull up their profile. Or finding out whether or not they like horse racing and real Kentucky bourbon. Very helpful.

Would you use this type of service?

Image via My Match Checker

Written by Jennifer Cullen for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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