How to Investigate Your Date

Stalk is a scary word, it implies malice and creepy intentions. However, in this day and age the internet is alive with the heavy background story of your potential suitor.

My friends would call me a professional P.I. but I don’t like labels, I’m just really good at finding out about people. It’s probably in the realm of too much information but it’s better to know now if your new potential boyfriend has 4 DUIs and has been lying about his past at Stanford University. To me, taking an online course at Stanford University through Coursera just isn’t the same as a four year degree.

Disclaimer: I don’t condone searching people or using any of the below information to be creepy or harass anyone. You should only use these superpowers for good, like saving your best friend from a creepy credit card scammer date.

Below are some tips to investigate your date.

1) Start with Le Google. You really need a first and last name, any other information only helps narrow the scope.  This will require a little patience. Sometimes you need to check alternative spellings, nicknames all coupled with shreds of information about the person’s past. “John Bob Harvard” and “Jo Bob New York”.

2) Site queries. Whaaa you might be thinking. But this is a strong tool in Google, in the search bar you do “ robert bob” search! This helps if you’re having trouble finding the right profiles on linked in, Facebook, myspace etc. You can even do “inurl:” or “intitle:”

3) All those old blog sites are still relevant, myspace, live journal, and xanga still exist. They still hold interesting tidbits of information. Same with current social media platforms, a site query (like above) with linked in, Facebook, twitter, etc. (Knock yourself out)

4)  Public records for county and state as well as sex offender search, if you poke around enough local government and state governments usually have free public criminal records. You just need to know what states to check in for your person. Just start googling “state sex offender search” and “state criminal records”

5) Newspaper and police blotters, you know that nice section of the newspaper that says “At 2:15am officers arrested Grace Smith for indecent exposure”? Most newspapers are online and are searchable.

6) Google Image Search or the Tin Eye this is helpful in determining if a potential someone is still active on dating websites and also helpful in making sure that someone isn’t catfishing you.

7) Spokeo, creepy neighbor giving you trouble? This is probably the creepiest tool around, but I have used it to find a creepy man that was peeping in my friend’s windows. You almost have to back into the data, you might know the house and you need to put in your address to figure out their name, etc.

Pro Tip: when you do find something you consider “dirt” about someone don’t immediately freak out, it could be a false alarm. There are so many people with the same name, be sure you have the right person. Also finding no dirt on someone, in fact no data at all could be a sign that they gave a fake name.

I can’t even stress how much I want you to use these tools for good and not to be creepy! These are tips to investigate your date.

@RomanticalAid on twitter or comment below with any additional tips!