I recently had the opportunity to review Date Check, an online service offered by Intelius, designed to answer any questions you may have about another individual (presumably someone whom you’re dating, given the name, but you can search out anyone). Job history, criminal convictions, address history, bankruptcies, and all sorts of stuff that you'd want to know if you're nosy, like me.
It's no secret that I've been having a hard time with the dating scene since I moved here. Last month I decided to dip my baby toe into the online dating world.
Online dating squicks me out, and even I think that's inconsistent with my personality and what I do. I'm a blogger, and I'm comfortable and open and quite happy to form new relationships through the internet. But. Dating? I mean....that could lead sex?? Call me old fashioned, but online dating really just feels off to me.
But where do you meet people?? It's not like I've got a lot of choices here people.
So I've had a few matches. I've looked them over. Some email conversations. I haven't met anyone yet in person on account of the afore mentioned squick factor. But with a date check! A ha! This is the answer! This is exactly what I've been looking for!
The Intelius user interface is very simple; you enter the person’s name, state, and you have the option of entering their address. The person I searched only came up with one match, but I was searching for someone with an unusual name, so I imagine that with a more common name, there would be a set of profiles to choose from. You select the profile you wish to view, and Intelius spits out its report, which includes (as available) the following:
* Personal Public Records Data
* Property History Summary
* Single State Civil Judgments
* Business Profile Summary
* Address History
* Single State Criminal Check
* People Search Report
Lucky for me, I know how to pick a winner, and ALL of these things were available. Oh yes, you read that right, ALL of them.
Personal Public Records Data: This is name, known aliases, age and date of birth. Straight forward.
Address History/Property History Summary: This is where Date Check lists known historical addresses, along with associated phone number, known neighbors, etc., as available. The addresses aren’t listed in chronological order, and the dates of residence aren’t listed, so this section seems a little random. Ten listed addresses bouncing around from city to city could be strange, but you have no way of knowing the time span of the list, or the order of the residences, so this feature, in my opinion, seems to have limited functionality. You do have the option to click through to a property report, which for $10 will give you home value, ownership info, neighbors, tax information, legal description, neighborhood information, etc. I live in an area where almost NO ONE in my age bracket is a homeowner, so I have a hard time seeing the value of this service to me personally.
Civil Judgment Report: This section lists civil records from county courts, and provides all the relevant information you would need to pull records at the courthouse. Wouldn’t you know it? This is where the state tax evasion showed up. This person is starting to look suspicious.
Single State Criminal Check: NOW we get to the juicy stuff. The criminal check lists criminal records from county courts, department of corrections, and administration of courts. The report through Intelius lists the case number, the county, and the offense date. With this I then used my library sleuthing skills to go to the county court websites and look up the case numbers to get more info. For the individual I checked, Intelius didn’t offer a great deal of information on the 8(!) different records, but the case number and county were enough for me to take it to the next level and unearth a series of records ranging from the mundane (traffic citation), to the undisclosed (paternity case for a child whom I’ve never heard mentioned), to the genuinely criminal (felony case). At this point my journey left Intelius completely, and I’m off using the Freedom of Information Act to call courts and pull records, but Date Check was certainly the jumping off point.
Intelius has the option to “confirm case at the courthouse” for an additional $49.95. If you choose to do this, criminal records are verified on-site by a court researcher, and the report includes the offense, case number, sentencing, and some other info. Personally, I’d rather save the $50 and pull the records directly from the court. There are typically processing fees for this, but they’re much lower than $50, and unless a case is sealed by the court, you can pull substantially more information. So for me, the benefit of confirming at the courthouse is pretty limited.
Overall, Intelius offers an easy to navigate service that’s easy to read and understand. I particularly like the volume of information consolidated into one report. In regards to the features that are offered at additional cost, I didn’t see any that I thought would be worth the money, although I admittedly did not try them. I think a background check can be hard to do on your own because you don’t necessarily know where to look, but once you have a starting point, it’s simply a matter of fleshing out the details directly at the source.
I’m still feeling squicky about online dating, but I learned something very important:
I think I have heinously bad taste in men.
In addition to Intelius’s data search service, the free iSearch.com search engine allows you to quickly and easily uncover information about anyone. This is a great, targeted search that looks not only at public records, but also through social networking platforms. Get your search started at http://www.isearch.com.
This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Intelius. Read what everyone thought about it here.