Worried About Stalkers and Felons on the Dating Scene? Check ‘Em Out First with the White Pages

NEW YORK – Starting a new relationship with someone can sometimes be a stressful affair, especially as you go through the dreaded “break-in” period of getting to know the real person you’re involved with once enough comfort has seeped in where they’re no longer on their best behavior. Sometimes you will discover that you’re actually dating quite an amazing person…and sometimes, not quite.


Phone numbers are an amazing thing. Not only can they be used for their usual purposes – to actually call or text message someone – but they, in the right hands, can also be used to lay bare the identity of their owners in a way that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s one reason why you always need to be very careful who you share your contact with in this day and age, but it’s also why that same information can be a valuable tool to use to make sure the people you’re dealing with are truly on the up-and-up.


But why do we need to be so cautious these days? Well, according to USA Today, over 15 percent of adults in the United States – approximately 40 million people – either have or are currently using an online dating website or mobile app, and research has shown that a large amount of those people – as many as half, according to some studies, if not more – outright lie about themselves in their profiles, and this is compounded by the fact that some of the most popular dating apps and sites around – such as OKCupid, Tinder, and MeetMindful – don’t bother to verify their user’s accounts to make sure they actually are who they say there are.


Some lies told on dating site profiles are relatively minor, such as shaving off a few virtual pounds from the waistline or fibbing about one’s success in the workplace, but there are instances where people on dating sites or apps are guilty of weaving intricate webs of deceit and subterfuge when attempting to woo the opposite sex into the prospect of a relationship. Would you blindly walking into a situation where it was at least 50 percent likely that your date was lying to you about some possibly vital aspect of themselves? Of course not, and that’s where some simple research comes in, using the most surprising of sources – the White Pages.


Typically, when you meet someone on one of these dating sites, you can chat back and forth using the site’s own messaging system. But once you get to the point where you want to know a little more about this person, try asking for their cell phone number. Once you have it, basic White Pages “reverse lookup” search (some sites offer this via a premium subscription, some for free) will likely get you the person’s full name, home address, real age, and possibly more. From there, simply feed that data into Google to see if any incriminating evidence comes back in the search results. While you may turn up nothing wrong about your prospective date, there have been numerous instances using this method where women have discovered pictures of allegedly “single” men they’d been chatting online with wearing wedding rings and posing happily with their real-life wives…and this happens more often than you’d think, sadly.


Researching a potential online dating partner beforehand could save you more than just a broken heart…it could literally save your life. Recent reports indicate that Ingrid Lyne, a 40-year-old mother of three who worked as a nurse in Seattle was found dead in a dumpster; her friends that had last seen her said that Lyne had planned to go on a date to a Mariners baseball game that night with someone she met online. That man – John Robert Charlton, 37 – was arrested in connection with her death, and it was soon revealed by authorities that Charlton had a criminal history, including a conviction in a 2009 felony theft in Montana, negligent driving in Washington in 1998, and a second-degree felony for aggravated robbery in Utah in 2006. A simple White Pages search and subsequent Google research could have clued in the unfortunate Ingrid Lyne to her date’s criminal past and given her pause about going to meet up with him that evening.


As you can see, online dating comes with its share of pitfalls and hazards, and while many people have made wonderful love connections using the internet, there have been just as many problems caused…and a few tragedies as well. But the power of technology can not only help you find a compatible and loving life partner, but it can also be used to weed out any undesirables while you seek out your love connection. It’s better to be safe than sorry!