Don’t Fall in Love Until You Do This

 

Some people may say that running a background check on a potential date is the least romantic thing a person could do.  We absolutely disagree.  In fact, we can easily think of ten things that are less romantic than running a background check on a potential date:

  1. Going on a date with a married person who claims to be single.
  2. Falling in love with an imaginary person.
  3. A date with a history of sexual violence.
  4. A date with a history of domestic violence.
  5. Dating a deadbeat dad or deadbeat mom.
  6. Catfish.
  7. Finding out your spouse is on-line and trying to date other people.
  8. Dating someone who is only interested in your money or other resources.
  9. Going on a date only to be robbed or victimized.
  10. Finding out that single no kids, may be single, but has children out there.
Run a background check before going this far. Photo credit: Michael Coghlan, under Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/

Run a background check before going this far. Photo credit: Michael Coghlan, under Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/

Now, we realize that as long as people have been dating, people have been misrepresenting themselves to seem more attractive to others.  However, internet dating has offered up incredible opportunities for fraud because, unlike traditional dating scenarios, when people meet on the internet they rarely have a common group of friends or acquaintances that could help identify potential predators.  Instead, in on-line dating, many times people feel like they are left with only their judgment to determine whether someone is genuine or a fraud.

Fortunately, this is not true.  Using a service like BeenVerified, you can run a background check to find out information about a potential date.  Background checks can help avoid the top ten list of dating horrors found above.

BeenVerified’s background checks include information about marriages and divorces, and can help you identify whether someone is actually single.  Our search can also help you determine whether someone actually exists; while some people may have a minimal public record presence, few real people will have no public record.  BeenVerified’s Criminal Background checks can help reveal not just convictions for sexual assaults or domestic violence, but, in some circumstances, also arrests or charges for those crimes that did not lead to convictions.

BeenVerified’s search of public records can help you find out if a person has children, and, even if they are current in their obligations towards those children.  A background check that reveals a history of frauds or property offenses may be a red flag that a potential date is interested in your money, not in you as a person.

Finally, BeenVerified can help keep you from being “catfished.”  While catfishing schemes can vary, many of them involve appropriating others’ identities to create dating profiles.  If a background check reveals details that do not otherwise match what the potential partner has shared with you, it should serve as a red flag, not just for dishonesty, but also for a potential catfishing scheme.

Have you found dishonesty among your past online dates? Has BeenVerified helped you make a decision about a potential date, either positive or negative? Let us know in the comments section.

The Key to Repelling Unwanted Phone Calls

 

When so many of us rely upon our cell phones not just for calls, but for internet access, cameras, and entertainment, getting persistent calls from unknown numbers can feel more like an orchestrated invasion rather than just a mere nuisance.

We all hate receiving unwanted phone calls. Photo by Alon: http://www.flickr.com/people/photoloni/

We all hate receiving unwanted phone calls. Photo by Alon: http://www.flickr.com/people/photoloni/

This is especially true if you answer the call and find out that it’s someone you do not want to talk to: sales calls, someone trying to pull a phone scam, a crazy ex or a stalker, or even a bill collector.

By providing you with the name of the number’s owner, BeenVerified’s reverse phone lookup service can help you identify who is trying to reach you.  Once you know who is calling, you can decide if you want to talk to them.

Hate to get sales phone calls?  We do and we try to avoid them, but sometimes it seems like some companies just ignore the Do Not Call Registry.  What may be the most challenging part of a sales call is that many of us have been raised to be polite, rather than assertive, and many telemarketers are taught to take advantage of those good manners.  Knowing a phone call is a sales call can help you avoid sales calls in two ways: first, you can choose not to answer the call; second, you can contact the company and inform them that you are on the Do Not Call Registry and ask them not to call you.

Another type of phone call that can be more than a nuisance is the scam phone call.  There are a wide variety of scam phone calls, but they all basically involve trying to get financial information or money from you.

Five of the most frequent types of scam phone calls are: charities, legal, lotteries or sweepstakes, work from home, and false banking alerts.  Charity scams are calls where people represent themselves as legitimate charities seeking contributions, but the callers are either not linked to the charity they reference or the charity is a fraudulent one.  Legal scams threaten civil or criminal legal action unless you take certain steps.  Lottery scams say that you have won something, but ask for financial information to secure your winnings.  Work from home scams offer to provide training or job opportunities so that someone can work from home, but without any actual attached job.  Finally, false banking alerts suggest that one of your accounts has had fraudulent activity and asks for identifying financial information to remedy the problem.

Almost all of us have dealt with unwanted personal phone calls.  Many of us have probably experienced the ex who calls from different numbers in an effort to communicate.  Others of us have probably had strangers call from multiple numbers as well, in a persistent stalking pattern.  Using BeenVerified’s Reverse Phone Lookup  to identify who owns a number can not only help you decide whether to answer a call, but can also be an important way to help build up a record of stalking or harassment.

The final category of unwanted calls is debt collections.  There are some pretty basic rules outlining what type of behavior is legal for debt collectors, but many of us who have fallen behind in our obligations have experienced behavior from debt collectors that steps well outside of those legal boundaries.  Using BeenVerified’s Reverse Phone Lookup service may help you identify how to contact debt collectors to direct them to contact you in writing, rather than on the phone.

If you receive persistent calls from unknown numbers, get the information you need today.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Working as a Product Manager at BeenVerified

 

Did you know that BeenVerified is hiring? Check out the interview below with our SEO Product Manager, Tony Aly, to get a sense of what working with us is like.

How would you describe your co-workers at BeenVerified? 

BV office 1

The BeenVerified Office.

I’ve worked at and with quite a few tech companies, and BeenVerified is by far one of the most congenial and familial companies I’ve ever seen. I think it’s an attitude that starts from the very top — Josh and
Ross
are caring, empathetic, and approachable.  This helps to define a
culture where no one is put in a silo and everyone feels like they’re part of a team that takes care of them.

What projects are you working on right now? What are you most excited about?

My role is as a Product Manager with a focus on SEO.  We’ve been
working on optimizing existing pages to make sure they’re all part of
a unified taxonomy and structure, and putting in a framework to allow us to quickly and efficiently deploy new, interesting and relevant content on a regular basis.

Name one new thing you have learned since you started working at BeenVerified? 

Ross and Josh have so many data connections, and they have shown me how connected that data world is.  BeenVerified provides access to some of the best data in the world, and this is not accidental — it’s
due to Ross and Josh constantly pounding the pavement to add new
sources to the database to continue to improve the product.

What one skill or ability would you say is most crucial for success
in your position? 

The break room.

The break room.

Communication.  It’s imperative that every person on the team has a robust sense of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what our status is.  We’re an Agile shop, which is very helpful in this regard. But, in addition, we also make sure to empower each team member to collaborate and communicate on an ongoing basis — especially when it comes to ideation.

What’s different about BeenVerified compared to other companies you have worked at?

The BeenVerified family is incredibly friendly and caring, and that shows in their work. Everyone is happy to be providing such a valuable service to the world, and they approach each day with cheer and dedication.

What are your personal interests outside of work?

I enjoy fishing, gardening, and landscaping.

For more on BeenVerified’s company culture check out our pages on LinkedIn and Pinterest

That Funny Feeling is Trying to Tell You Something

 

BeenVerified can be used for any number of purposes and that’s why we make running multiple searches quick and affordable. We never want you to have to ask if it’s “worth it” to run a background check, especially if you have that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Use your intuitive mind.

Use your intuitive mind.

But what is that “funny feeling” exactly, and why should you listen to it?

Whether it happens with a new neighbor, someone who shares the carpool responsibilities for your kids or a new romantic interest, that funny feeling is trying to tell you something and you should listen to it.

The funny feeling is called intuition.

Numerous studies have validated the scientific grounding behind the use of intuition. On its most basic level, as Kelly Turner notes in a recent Psychology Today article, intuition works because it “operates from the part of our brain that developed at a time when hidden dangers could jump out at us at any moment – such as a tiger hiding behind bushes.” That is why you often subconsciously know the correct answer—or that the person you are dealing with may be hiding something—long before the actual facts appear.

Intuition can be triggered by any number of scenarios and is not foolproof. It can be less reliable when you are in unfamiliar environments. In situations where your intuition may be less reliable you should take an analytical approach, like the method described here in a Lifehacker article on how to tell when someone’s lying.

When you encounter someone who sets off that funny feeling, don’t ignore it. We have been conditioned as a society to rely solely on the rational, yet your intuition has an important role to play in keeping you out of trouble.

As Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

When was the last time your intuition helped you in making a decision?

Unfriend old social networks in 3 easy steps

 

Last week we looked at the various things you should look out for when you run your own background check. One issue we mentioned is old social media accounts. Think of the MySpace account you haven’t updated in five years but still sits open. Is that information you still want out there about yourself? friendster

In the spirit of spring cleaning, we thought it a good time to highlight the best ways to clean up those old social media accounts from your past life that have been lying dormant but are still part of your public record.

Here are some easy steps to take to spring clean your social media presence:

1. Start by reviewing this helpful list of social networks that should help jog your memory. If you only have a handful, then logging in and manually deleting the accounts shouldn’t be too difficult, assuming you can remember the passwords. Remember to actually delete them and not just deactivate them, though.

2. However, you may have trouble even remembering all the social media accounts you have opened since high school or earlier. In order to see the full picture, you can complement a basic Google search with a background check on your public record.

3. Consider a service like Persona that helps manage your online reputation. These services will not only find your old accounts, but will also scan your active ones, such as Facebook and Twitter, for unsavory content that may harm people’s perceptions of you on the web.

As we’ve blogged about before, your online footprint is a double-edged sword. It takes work to manage your online reputation, especially if like some of us, you’ve been online for decades now.

What is the oldest social media account you still
have open? Friendster? Bebo? Let us know in the comments.

3 Must-Reads on the Epic Google Ruling

 

As a company focused on making it easier for the average person to conduct a background check, we’ve been following the EU ruling that individuals have the “right to be forgotten” when it comes to search engine results with some interest.  As Google begins complying with the new law,  it is worth considering the implications, even if a similar ruling has yet to make it to our shores.  shhh

With an individual’s right to request removal from a search engine, might this make the ability to search public records even more valuable? Should this apply equally to those with criminal records and those with merely unpleasant embarrassments from their past? We don’t have the answers, but think it merits more attention.

Here are some links to get you caught up on this fascinating case, and remember, BeenVerified respects your privacy. Individuals have always had the right to opt out of our search results by request.

What Europe’s Right to be Forgotten Means For Google (and You)

Pedophile, politician and unpopular doctor among those who want Google to forget them 

What Google Must Forget: The EU Ruling on the Right to be Forgotten 

What do you think about this ruling? How might it affect your ability to search or be searched?  Let us know in the comments.

What’s hiding in your background check?

 

A common use of BeenVerified.com’s background check service is the self-check. Sometimes concerned, but often just curious people will “BeenVerify” themselves to know what’s out there. Just as your doctor recommends self-examinations to monitor your physical health, so should you monitor and be aware of your online reputation. Simply put, you should know what’s in your public record.

SLC Minilypse-City Library

We’ll take a closer look at some of the following items that may show up in your own public record in future blog posts and what, if any, response might be appropriate. Here are some things you might find in your search:

1. Current and Historical Addresses  BeenVerified.com is a popular destination for those looking to update their address books. Make sure your current residence is accurately listed in case old friends want to get back in touch. If you’re a homeowner, you may want to ensure your home’s vital statistics are listed accurately to ensure the correct value.

2. Criminal Records  We’ve covered how to interpret and understand criminal records in detail in the past. If you have a criminal record, there are ways to present yourself in the best possible light as we will examine in a future post. And remember, employers are barred from using BeenVerified to screen for employment or tenancy by the Fair Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA).

3. Bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments All three of these events can appear in your public record. It’s important these events are updated to reflect current realities of your situation. For example, an unpaid tax lien can appear on your public record for ten years after the fact and affect credit decisions for years later. If there is an inaccuracy in your public record, then you should dispute it and get it corrected.

4. Social media accounts  You may not be overly concerned if your primary social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter show up as part of your public record, as they are usually intentionally left public. But what about that old MySpace or LiveJournal account? You may decide after running a self-check that it’s time to do a social media account clean up. We’ll go into detail on some of the best ways to do that in a future post.

5. Incomplete Information  Public records do not come from one data source but disparate sources across the country from different states and municipalities. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, it may because it’s not yet been digitised. In that case, you may be interested in learning more about BeenVerified’s court runner service.

Don’t stay curious–run a background check on yourself  now with BeenVerified.com and take action if needed.

If you’ve run a check on yourself and have questions let us know in the comments section below.

Check Out the New BeenVerified!

Over the past couple months, we’ve been working pretty hard on a thorough BeenVerified redesign. Now, we’re proud to announce that our work has paid off: announcing a new, more awesome-looking BeenVerified!

Our users still receive the same services, such as background reports and reverse phone checks. However, now you can navigate through BeenVerified a little easier, such as viewing all your reports in a drop-down box and checking out your recent activity right when you sign-in. Plus, we’ve revamped our press page as well as our team section so you can get to know us better. Continue reading

How Social Sharing & Google+ Brand Pages Can Improve Customer Relationships

Only a week after launch in November, 61 percent of the world’s most popular brands and companies were already utilizing Google+ as a form of social sharing. Although the results may vary based on the particular brand, the base message is simple: we are continuing to utilize the social Web as a way to connect with consumers and formulate our brand.

With Google+ joining the social networking atmosphere, it gives brands another reason to deal the transparency card into their overall business model. Think about it this way: the more open you are with consumers, the more they will trust you, which could lead into more loyal relationships. Whether you’re a small mom and pop organization or a giant dating site, full transparency is never a bad thing.

So, how can brands, big and small, embrace social sharing on Google+, while at the same time providing full transparency? Continue reading

Google’s Good to Know Campaign – People Want to Know What is Out There

As the Web progresses, people are going to demand more transparency and more control over their data. Google plays a huge role in this, as they are the ultimate gatekeepers of the information available on the Web. When it comes to public records, BeenVerified plays a very similar role. We are excited to see that Google is educating people through their Good to Know campaign on their end, and we plan to continue to work on educating people on public records. Continue reading