How to Dig Up Dirt on Your Date

You don't need a private investigator or mutual friends to do a background check on a date. Being your own sleuth is all about knowing where to look—and what you're looking for.

You will need

  • Some free time
  • And patience

Step 1 Find out date's names Find out all you can about your date’s name—get any former married names, maiden name, nicknames, and middle names.

Step 2 Google names Conduct Google searches on all variations of your date’s name—first name with full middle and last name, first name with middle initial and last name, et cetera.

Step 3 Google email & phone number Run Google searches of the person’s email address and phone number.

Step 4 Check Google images Check Google images for pictures of the person.

Step 5 Search social networking sites See if your date has a page on MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking sites.

Step 6 Do background search Do a background search by logging on to www.backgroundcheckgateway.com, which helps people conduct free investigations.

Step 7 Check dating sites Check Match.com and other popular dating sites for profiles of the person.

Step 8 Check sex offender registries Make sure your date is not a sexual predator by logging on to www.fbi.gov, which provides links to various states’ online sex offender registries.

Step 9 Go on a date If you don’t find anything alarming, appalling, offensive, or illegal, go out on that date—and draw your own conclusions.