Love is Blind, BeenVerified Isn’t: Over 40 Million Background Checks Help Keep Daters Safe

Online Dating

Love is Blind, BeenVerified Isn’t: Over 40 Million Background Checks Help Keep Daters Safe

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks • 9/30/16

The Short Version: Before you go on a date with someone you met online, you should know a little bit about them — like if they’ve been arrested or own a gun. To help singles stay safe, BeenVerified runs a complete background check that allows them to search online for individual names, phone numbers, email addresses, or property addresses. This site offers easy access to public information for an affordable subscription fee. The service will even provide a court runner to go to the courthouse in person to look up any details for you. On a desktop or mobile device, BeenVerified makes searching for criminal records easier — and online dating safer.

Maria Christina Johnson created an online dating profile in Southern California, but she wasn’t looking for love.  She was looking for a dupe. She used her dating alias to get close enough to take what she wanted, stealing her date’s valuable possessions and personal information.

By the time she was arrested in a luxury hotel in 2016, she’d stolen more than $250,000 using at least five different aliases. She’d been at large since 1997, charming her way into her victims’ pocketbooks. It’s unclear how many people she was able to con by using misleading online profiles.

Online dating has its fair share of scary stories, but some are avoidable with the right tools. A little information can help singles feel less vulnerable to con artists on the web. BeenVerified’s background checks protect people from the dangers of strangers.

Photo of Josh Levy, CEO of BeenVerified

Josh Levy, CEO of BeenVerified, started his first company when he was 15 years old.

A New Jerseyan born and raised, Josh Levy is the CEO of BeenVerified. Alongside Co-Founder Ross Cohen, he built an online platform where people can look up any name, address, email, or phone number that seems suspect.

The pair set the tone for the company’s casual yet diligent approach. BeenVerified’s office has the feel of a typical startup company: employees wear jeans to work, grab a beer from the company fridge, blow off steam in a fully-stocked game room, and gather for weekly collaborations on the company’s progress.

Justin Lavelle, Social Media Director for BeenVerified, enjoys the relaxed feel of the Manhattan offices. “There’s this nice balance between being serious and not taking ourselves too seriously,” he said. “That comes from Ross and Josh and their style.”

This fun-loving team of 37 employees isn’t laid back when it comes to online security, though. BeenVerified’s platform offers access to billions of public records. Since its founding in 2007, it has run more than 40 million background checks for 109,000 subscribers. The app has been downloaded over 10 million times. This service is in high demand with millions of visits per month.

BeenVerified is available on any desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Apple Watch. The Android version has recently been updated to have an even cleaner interface for users, so a wealth of free information is always at your fingertips.

“We want to be seen as an all-around tool that can help people and focus on safety,” Justin said. “It’s really a tool for online daters — one they may not realize is available to them.”

Public Records Reveal Criminal Records, Gun Licenses, Social Media Profiles, and Contact Information

BeenVerified pulls together public information into a single comprehensive resource. A person’s background report can include things like publicly available social media profiles, criminal records, bankruptcies, gun licenses, previous addresses, and other personal information.

“We’ve really built the data infrastructure,” Justin told us. “We’re not just dependent on one data source like some of our competitors are. We have the ability to go from a lot of different data providers to have a complete record.”

Gone are the days of driving yourself down to the courthouse to wait in lines and fill out paperwork for a criminal record that may not even be there. BeenVerified saves you the time and trouble with a simple online search. Digitized public records make a background search easy and accessible to everyone.

Screenshot of BeenVerified's background check page

BeenVerified offers a simple, centralized report on a person’s criminal record and personal information.

“We try to give someone a complete look at a person, a property, or a phone number,” Justin said.

This platform also goes above and beyond a simple online search. If the records you’re searching for have not yet been digitized, BeenVerified has it covered with a court runner service and a dedicated customer care team.

Court Runner Service Sends Someone to Search In Person

If certain records require some legwork to get ahold of, BeenVerified lets you send a live court runner to your selected county courthouses to obtain the files or records compiled within the past seven years on any individual.

Court runners can obtain important police and court record details such as:

  • Date of offense
  • File date
  • Disposition date
  • Charge
  • Charge level (felony, misdemeanor, traffic, etc.)
  • Sentencing information

The service saves customers the time, energy, and hassle of going to the courthouse to track down a particular record. Court runners have the experience to dig through the files and retrieve the public record you seek without any trouble.

Customer Care is Available If You Can’t Find What You’re Looking For

Based in Miami, the customer service team answers questions about the background report, subscription services, or general public information. Available by phone or email, this team walks BeenVerified customers through the search process so it becomes easier to understand.

“Oftentimes the information on public records can be a little jargon-heavy,” Justin said, “so we have a phone number that’s available 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.”

Any BeenVerified subscriber with questions or concerns can talk to a real person trained to walk customers through the process. This personal touch sets the team apart.

“We’re trying to build a real company with faces that people know. We’re not just a basic search engine,” he said. “We’ve been recognized for our great customer service.”

BeenVerified Explains Comprehensive Information in Simple Terms

In its background report, BeenVerified offers clear explanations of public records so they’re not confusing to the layman. A knowledgeable team breaks down the information into a simple yet comprehensive resource.

The mission is to help people feel secure when online, and keep con artists like Maria at bay.

Justin’s research into online dating and all the different scams out there, a topic that he blogs about regularly, has made him a big believer in doing a background check — at least as a precautionary measure. “We’re not trying to keep people in a state of perpetual fear, but to ease people’s minds,” he said.

With a quick check, you can be sure that the person you’re meeting isn’t using an alias or hiding an unsavory past.

A user-friendly tool, BeenVerified has a multitude of uses for everyday scenarios. “We have weapons license information,” Justin explained. “So you might be someone who feels very firmly about gun control, for example. If you’re going out on a date and find out that that person has five different gun licenses, maybe that’s not such a compatible match for you.”

A screenshot of BeenVerified's online search tool

BeenVerified is a helpful search tool geared toward increasing transparency, trust, and safety online.

Services like BeenVerified are more important than ever with the rise of mobile dating that encourages impulsive decisions and quick meets. Justin recommends checking a person out through a trustworthy service before diving into a date.

BeenVerified offers a clear and full picture of who a person is through aggregate public records.

“If you put someone’s name in a search engine,” he said, “what you typically get is an incomplete picture or scattered information. What we do is give you the most complete information available and also make it very digestible — in plain English — in one report.”

That one report can provide a person’s history of addresses, criminal records, business information, gun licenses, and even social media footprint.

An Affordable Product for People With Multiple Queries

From online daters who need a one-time search on a single date to home buyers who want to look up a whole neighborhood, BeenVerified fills a range of needs.

“We feel public data is an underutilized asset,” Justin told us. “We want to make it affordable enough where people don’t have to worry about using it more than once, so that it can be a toolkit in their life.”

More than a one-time only service, the platform has a subscription package that ensures that multiple searches don’t come with a high price tag.

Photo of BeenVerified's office

Customer testimonials speak to the success of the site in helping people to do their research.

BeenVerified has helped people all across the country, from a nursing student finding romance to a job applicant finding employment, BeenVerified has helped people all across the country. With this service, online daters have the freedom to go out on a date without worry.

“Some people have told us they’ve gone on a second or third date with someone, but they want to check that there won’t be any surprises,” Justin said. “Our tool allows them to run that search and have that peace of mind.”

Know Who to Trust Online With BeenVerified’s Background Check

This platform is on the front lines against online scammers like Maria Christina Johnson.

Through intuitive design, affordable pricing, and clear language, BeenVerified offers quality information that rids people of their nagging questions. Want to know if your date owns a gun? If your employer can see your criminal record? If your high school crush is still single? BeenVerified has the answer at the click of a button.

Arming you with valuable knowledge before you even go on your first date or job interview, this platform gives you greater confidence and security in a variety of situations.

“BeenVerified builds trust between two parties that don’t know each other. Whether they’re transacting online or going to meet in an online dating setting,” Justin said, “we really care about people not making a mistake.”