Kevin Connell, founder of the background check site DateProtection.com, reveals the frightening statistics of online dating and urges the public to drive change in the industry.
Online PR News – 16-February-2012 – – TAMPA, FL – Kevin Connell fears for the safety of the more than thirty million Americans actively using online dating sites to find love. As the founder of the background check company DateProtection.com, Connell has seen the darker side of the online dating world.
The concern about dating scams is so severe, that even the FBI announced a warning to online daters this Valentines Day (http://1.usa.gov/xtX6e8).
Connell says that there are some alarming secrets in the world of online dating that are putting people in real danger.
Statistically, at least one of every ten sexual predators utilizes online dating websites to find their prey. Even more frightening is the fact that such a predator created one out of every ten online dating profiles.
According to Connell’s statistics, 90% of online dating profiles contain some sort of lie or fabrication. These lies can range from a cosmetic lie about height or weight to lies about occupation and criminal history.
Many owners of online dating sites are afraid to include a step for a personal background checks as part of the sign up process – either as an option or a requirement. They fear that it will reduce sign ups and that the added step will deter users from creating profiles.
“Everyone in the online dating industry is well aware of the statistics -- but owners of online dating websites are hesitant to include a step for a background check. Like any business, they are responding to the public opinion of their users. However, keeping these statistics from the public is keeping the public from protecting itself,” said Connell.
Match.com and E-Harmony said they already screen members’ sex offenses.
“The problem with dating sites that only check sex offenses is that you are doing an incomplete check at best. Anyone who performs background checks knows that the first objective of a background check is to verify the identity of the subject. This is crucial, and with so many fake dating profiles out there, estimated in the millions, it is even more important for dating site operators and dating site members. Only after you verify the identity of the propsective member, then you can do a background check on them. Without an identity verification, you are wasting your time, this is not a background check. Any dating site that does this type of background check is inadvertently providing a false sense of security to it’s members" says Connell.
DateProtection.com’s mission is to ensure that daters know exactly who they are connecting with through comprehensive dating background checks. Even though dating websites don’t require members to take a background check, daters can still take their safety into their own hands by ordering their own background checks on potential dates.
Currently, only two states have laws governing dating background checks, they are New York and New Jersey. All that is required for compliance with these state laws is for the dating sites that charge a membership fee to inform their users whether it does criminal background checks (most do not).
The other part of the law in New York, named the Internet Dating Safety Act, requires dating sites to post common-sense safety tips, like “meet in a public place.”
As Connell points out “these laws are very weak and they do not eliminate the lies and potential danger from those posting fictitious or fabricated profile information.”
Connecticut introduced a bill in 2011 to regulate Internet Dating Sites (http://bit.ly/hOp5P7). Illinois is the latest state to introduce a bill to begin to regulate Internet Dating sites (http://bit.ly/wafcuW),
Connell urges users of online dating sites to consider using dating services that screen their applicants in some form – or at least provide an option. Daters have the right to choose to connect with only those members on the site that have willingly undergone a background check.
DateProtection.com is an AccuScreen company, founded by Kevin Connell. The company provides online dating background checks, which help online dating site members have full disclosure of information to prevent making dating mistakes. Most importantly, the criminal background check also provides their customers with an element of security, and helps keep people safe.