Guess who is coming to dinner? Do you really know who the new guy is you are dating?  Gone are the days of having to snip a hair or search through library records to ensure the people at your dinner table are legit.
In today’s world, it is more important than ever to do your research, know the people around you and ensure that your friends, colleagues and the people you surround yourself with are trustworthy and worth your time. Approximately 15 million US residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with a financial loss totaling upwards of $50 billion. Stats for crimes go up over the holidays.
Erik Knight, creator of saw the importance of access to information and created the website to present an easy to use and completely free platform. DirtSearch ( searches through online public records and can find out how ‘dirty’ friends, family or loved ones are. In its fifth year, Dirt Search has over 2 million users.
Here are the top 6 people you should be running a background check on today:
1) Yourself: Approximately 15 million US residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with loss totaling upwards of $50 billion. The numbers just go up during the holidays. In addition, have you ever considered that the reason you didn’t get that job or apartment is because someone background checked you? It is important to know what information about you exists on the web and to ensure it is accurate. Maybe you have the same name as someone with a sketchy past or maybe someone has stolen your identity without you realizing it. Search yourself often to know what information is accessible about you.
2) Your Date: The potential dangers of dating in today’s world are endless . When you meet someone off an online dating site, knowledge is power. When you have someone’s phone number, username, and first name you can often find additional information including someones last name. Always meet up in a public place – but beyond that, take a little time to protect yourself. This is not just about safety, make sure that you know the background of someone before you enter a committed relationship, move in with someone, or get married.
3) Your Sister’s Boyfriend: Shoplifting and fraud cost American retailers 8.9 billion last holiday season. The average small business owner loses $1,000’s of dollars in outstanding invoices. Most people spend more time everyday with your co-workers than your family. Know who you can trust and who has dirty laundry. Any time money is involved in a relationship, know who are you getting involved with.
4) The Housekeeper: There are very few professions where honesty and reputation matters more than in the medical field – from a nurse, a plastic surgeon, or a general care doctor. Background checks for medical professionals can be very revealing, showing any malpractice suits as well as revealing any red flags. In today’s day and age, medical care is expensive and the market is very saturated, everyone is trying to stand out. There is no reason to trust any medical professional or give them the benefit of the doubt – do your research and find what they don’t want you to see.
5) The Independent Sales Person that Has a Great Deal for You: You may have bought a new couch or a cabinet off a website from someone and they agreed to deliver it to you but do you really know much about them? They could damage your property, or bring unwanted illegal activity into your home or onto your property. Background checking any potential to see that they have a clean financial and criminal history, it is an excellent way to ensure the overall integrity and honesty of the person sharing your home.
6) The Babysitter: Entrusting someone with your children and your home means putting major trust into another person. Do you research and ensure that your applicants ‘all smiles’ attitude is not just a facade.