Dating Sites That Do Background Checks

Women's Dating

10 Dating Sites That Do Background Checks for 2021

Amber Brooks
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Given the safety concerns of meeting strangers online, it’s not surprising that so many singles are interested in dating sites that do background checks. Such positive environments set high standards and build trust among real single people with honest intentions.

The background check doesn’t have to be all that in-depth to be effective. In many cases, checking a new dating profile through social media or manually approving photos can be enough to ensure scammers don’t have an opportunity to make trouble on the dating platform.

Our experts have done our own background research to select the most popular dating sites and apps that do a good job at verifying that new users are legit. That way, singles can arm themselves with information and online date without encountering a fake profile or scam artist in their matches.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.8/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

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Match has set the standard for online dating since its launch in 1995. The dating website and app have powered many innovative features that help singles get to know one another and form heartfelt connections. And the dating service is constantly growing to meet the demands of a fast-changing world.

In March 2021, Match.com’s parent company announced that it would work alongside Garbo, a nonprofit background check platform, to make online dating safer one background check at a time.

“Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records,” said Garbo Founder Kathryn Kosmides in a press statement. “Being able to reach historically underserved populations is fundamental to Garbo’s mission and the partnership with Match will help us connect with these communities.”

★★★★
OurTime.com 4.3/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.3/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is well-known in the over-50 dating crowd, particularly because it has a ton of helpful search features and an easy layout...” Full Review »

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OurTime has created an online dating site where senior singles can feel safe and secure. That’s a major accomplishment, but the OurTime team hasn’t rested on its laurels. Over the last few years, the senior dating platform has evolved to add more video features and matchmaking filters to facilitate relationships.

It’s 100% free to join OurTime and browse the membership base. New users only need to supply a valid email address, a unique username, and some basic demographic details to get started. Photos are not required, but profiles with photos tend to receive more likes, matches, and messages because they appear more legitimate.

Although OurTime does not conduct a criminal background check, it does ask many personal questions and require ID verification, so a fake profile doesn’t stand a chance here. What’s more, OurTime users can upgrade to the ConnectMe feature to exchange texts and phone calls without giving out their private phone number.

3. Tinder

Tinder is an astoundingly popular dating app that has been going strong since 2012. The dating app has been downloaded over 430 million times and created over 60 billion matches. The Tinder leadership recognizes the responsibility that comes with its popularity and has recently made strides to support safer interactions from start to finish.

Screenshot of Tinder

Tinder verifies the identities of all new users through Facebook or a phone number.

Tinder is part of Match Group, so it will benefit from the Garbo partnership. In fact, the dating app will be among the first to test the background check service and see if users like it.

Tinder users will soon be able to pay a one-time fee to access a criminal background check on any person in their matches.

4. OkCupid

Since 2004, OkCupid has used advanced technology to power an online dating platform that is safe, affordable, and effective. The dating app offers free communication to all users and creates more than 91 million matches every year.

OkCupid’s matchmaking system depends on a compendium of personality questions ranging from “Do you like the taste of beer?” to “Are you attracted to dangerous situations?” The answers to these questions can provide great insights into another person’s perspective and temperament.

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid uses personality questions to inform online dating matches.

Free chat tools can sometimes pose a security risk — which is why OkCupid has a rigorous security system in place.

“OkCupid considers the security of our applications and the privacy of our users’ data extremely important,” the team said. “While it is impossible to predict the full range of future cyber threats against our systems, we regularly assess and work to improve our security in an effort to enhance the safety of our user community.”

5. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish is a free dating site and app that encourages authentic relationships and friendships. Fake profiles have been screened out of this diverse dating pool. POF has seen over 150 million signups since its launch in 2003, and all of those new members have had to pass a series of profile verification tests to gain entry.

Screenshot of POF

Plenty of Fish creates a vibrant atmosphere where singles can chat for free.

In 2020, Plenty of Fish partnered with the Noonlight app to protect its members as they go on dates and get to know someone new. This safety app allows individuals to log the details of an upcoming date and share a location with friends while on that date.

POF also recently released a Livestreaming feature, so singles can low-key check out each other’s physical features and engage in fun, ongoing conversations with real people.

6. Hinge

Designed to be deleted. That’s the promise the Hinge dating app makes to users. Hinge has used personality-driven matches to accelerate the time it takes to go from “hello” to “let’s be exclusive.” The dating app boasts having the best first-date success rate in the business.

Hinge users must respond to three personal prompts and upload six photos to complete their dating profile. They also have the option to supply demographic details, background information, and a summary of their recent Instagram stories.

Screenshot of Hinge

Hinge uses swiping to support in-depth conversations that lead to real relationships.

Hinge is part of Match Group, and therefore it will benefit from the partnership with Garbo that promises to add extra value, safety, and transparency to online dating. Its background check service is not up and running yet, but Hinge authenticates its dating profiles through Facebook and Instagram, so it’s  a respectable portal to meet new people.

7. The League

The League goes to great lengths to screen new members and highlight the cream of the online dating crop. This high-class dating app conducts employee background checks through LinkedIn and general background searches through Facebook. Only the most successful professionals make the cut into these ranks.

Screenshot of The League

The League connects with social media profiles to cultivate a genuine membership base.

The League was built with high standards and unapologetic elitism. A tech entrepreneur named Amanda Bradford founded The League to encourage discerning singles to seek a life partner on their level and never settle for second-rate dates.

“Anyone can apply and join the League regardless of their income, the family they’re from, their profession, or what schools they’ve attended,” Amanda Bradford wrote in defense of her elite dating platform. “The common thread in the League community is the desire to be successful and having the ambition and work-ethic to make an impact somewhere.”

8. Raya

The Raya dating app — no relation to the Disney movie — has made headlines for hosting celebrities, millionaires, and Insta models. Members have to apply to join this private network, and they could be waitlisted for weeks or months before gaining entry.

If a trusted Raya member vouches for you, then you can skip the waitlist and become a full member of the community as soon as you complete your dating profile.

Screenshots of the Raya app

The Raya app uses a smart referral system to build trust and respect within its elite community.

Raya has made a name for itself as the celebrity dating app. Its members have included A-List actors, diva singers, and sports legends. But the dating app never name drops. Raya protects the privacy of its members and asks all members to show courtesy and respect for one another.

“Members agree to a Code of Conduct, so conversations are interesting and respectful,” the team said. “Anything short of that results in removal.”

9. MillionaireMatch

MillionaireMatch is an online dating site for the most successful and attractive singles in the dating scene. It is not a sugar daddy site. The moderators will remove any members who actively seek sugar allowances or offer payment to a potential date.

Screenshot of MillionaireMatch

New members have to pass a rigorous background check on MillionaireMatch.

Since its launch in 2001, MillionaireMatch has seen over 4.9 million signups, and it has perfected its privacy protection system to look out for the interests of single millionaires.

High earners can choose to join MillionaireMatch to raise the caliber of their date prospects. The site verifies the income of members who claim to make over $200,000, and it uses Facebook to verify photos, names, and other profile information.

10. SafeDating

SafeDating is a background check app that exposes cheaters, liars, and fakes by doing research into criminal records and social media footprints. The app does not have a social network of its own. It is meant to be used in conjunction with traditional dating apps.

“Want a straightforward, no-nonsense, and user-friendly app? Choose SafeDating,” said Valen S. in a Google Play review. “Jump right in and get fast and accurate information.”

What is Gatsby?

Gatsby was a dating app that launched in 2017 on a mission to make online dating safer. It was the first dating app to conduct a criminal background check on all app users. However, the app is no longer on the market. Gatsby Founder Joe Penora shifted gears in 2019 to focus on developing Caravan, an app for travel lovers seeking social networking and adventure support.

How Do Background Checks on Dating Sites Work?

Background checks will vary in breadth and scope depending on the resources at the disposal of the dating site or app. Sometimes a free dating site will only scratch the surface by verifying the user’s full name, gender identity, location, and other demographic information. A premium dating site often employs slightly more detailed checks through social media or online moderators to stop catfishers, scammers, and frauds from lying about their employment, income, and personal history.

Some basic verification tools come standard on dating sites and apps, but it may be necessary to upgrade to a premium subscription or pay a one-time fee to get more insider information and security upgrades.

Photo of a woman on her phone

Singles can learn a lot by reviewing a person’s dating and social media profiles.

It is rare for online dating apps to conduct a full criminal background check on app users. Criminal background checks involve searching through court records and the national sex offender registry to find evidence of a criminal history. Online dating sites typically leave that work for a private investigator, but some cybersecurity experts are looking to change the way platforms make introductions.

Garbo Founder Kathryn Kosmides said she hopes to power a new type of background check for the digital age. Garbo can empower online daters to learn more about their matches — even if they don’t have the person’s last name.

“Garbo’s online background check goes deeper into backlog of unconvicted crimes by providing access to more than just the conviction data traditional background checks share,” Kathryn said.

Do Any Dating Sites or Apps Conduct Criminal Background Checks?

A criminal background check takes a lot of time and effort to complete, so it is not standard on most dating sites and apps. Some high-end matchmakers offer it with a premium membership pla. In 2021, Match Group partnered with Garbo, a nonprofit focused on cybersecurity, to make this a viable option in the future of online dating. The Tinder app will begin a rollout of its background search features for premium members in the coming year.

In a press release, Match Group said its new security and background check features will “proactively prevent gender-based violence by providing people with more transparency and information.”

How Do I Go About Choosing the Best Dating Site That Does Background Checks?

Doing research and exploring lists of dating sites can be a good thing if you have no idea what to expect in the online dating world. But don’t spend too much time overthinking it. Joining a dating site or app is free and relatively low-risk. The user is in control of every step of the matchmaking process, and dating sites can offer screening and blocking tools to ensure only viable date prospects can get in touch.

Our online dating advice is to go with a popular dating site that has a good reputation, a diverse user base, and quality match filters to help you find a local date who is your type. Don’t worry about cost. All dating sites and apps start with a completely free membership, and subscriptions only come into play if singles choose to invest in the experience and increase their odds of online dating success.

Are Dating Sites That Conduct Background Checks Safer to Use?

Yes, dating sites that conduct background checks through social media, text verification, and other methods do tend to be safer than anonymous chat rooms or sites that only require a username and email address. It just comes down to better security. It’s harder for a romance scammer to set up multiple fake accounts on a dating platform that has high standards for profiles and photos.

Dating sites don’t necessarily have to research a user’s criminal record to maintain a safe community. In many cases, dating sites can deter scammers and fakes simply by having a lengthy registration process, requiring multiple photos, and setting up a paywall for online conversations.

And, of course, online daters can take action to protect themselves by exercising caution. It’s important to vet any potential date for yourself before making any commitments or forming an attachment.

Photo of a magnifying glass

Online dating can pose some safety concerns because of how easy it can be to lie on a dating profile.

The online dating world can be an exciting place to fall in love and start a new chapter of life. But singles should be aware of the risks when choosing a romantic partner. Entrusting one’s heart to an untrustworthy person could lead to abuse, violence, or sexual assault. These are real hazards, especially for single women. According to domestic violence stats, about 1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime.

Fortunately, using a legitimate dating service and/or background check service can help get new relationships started on the right foot. Just be careful out there and make sure to look out for red flags, so you know when to hit the block button to protect yourself from a scam or abusive situation.

Which Dating Sites are Safe But Don’t Do Background Checks?

An online dating service doesn’t have to support a background check feature to be safe, reliable, and trustworthy. Plenty of legit dating sites and apps have successfully paired happy couples and promoted honest matchmaking — without accessing any criminal record or public record information.

Here are a few of the top dating sites and apps with good safety ratings and legit databases.

★★★★★
EliteSingles.com 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.7/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

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EliteSingles is a premium dating site that assists single professionals on the road to true love. The platform has implemented guidelines for quality control, including a personality test and pay-to-chat subscriptions.

All EliteSingles users must browse under their first name, not a username, and they must upload a clear and appropriate profile picture. Online daters can read the EliteSingles Code of Conduct on the website to learn more about its safety standards and membership requirements.

★★★★★
eharmony 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.7/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Accounting for 2% of U.S. marriages, eharmony's compatibility-based system and commitment-minded user base are ideal for those seeking a serious relationship...” Full Review »

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Since its launch in 2000, eharmony has distinguished itself as one of the most trusted and successful dating platforms in the industry. The dating service does not conduct a background check, but it does have an 80-question Compatibility Quiz to help reveal the true nature of the person behind the dating profile.

The goal of eharmony is to inspire healthy and fulfilling relationships that last. Its smart algorithm searches for compatibility in lifestyle, values, and personality traits to ensure singles are impressed by their potential match list.

★★★★★
SilverSingles 4.6/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.6/5.0

Relationships: Friendship, Casual Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by age, location, height, education, ethnicity, and religion

Our Experts Say: “SilverSingles is a fast-growing, easy-to-use niche dating site exclusively for active daters over the age of 50...” Full Review »

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SilverSingles is a senior dating site that shows great promise. The team has perfected high-tech encryption and fraud detection systems to keep all users safe.

SilverSingles looks out for the interests of seniors in the online dating scene. That means taking an aggressive stance against romance scammers, who tend to target older individuals. SilverSingles has an anti-scam policy that’s so strict a person could be banned for asking another user for money or posting a link to an Instagram, OnlyFans, or Twitter account.

★★★★★
Zoosk 4.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.5/5.0

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is integrated with social media sites, like Facebook and Google+, so it's very popular with singles on the go...” Full Review »

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Zoosk began in 2007 as a dating application inspired by social media profiles. Its matchmaking games and chat tools can give singles a boost into a flirtatious and safe environment. The database currently has over 40 million members in 80 countries, and all profiles are screened for markers of authenticity.

Zoosk can review photos upon demand. The moderators will award a photo verification badge if the pics match a real-time selfie. This proactive system helps authentic daters stand out from the crowd and assure a potential date that catfishing won’t be an issue.

How Do I Conduct a Criminal Background Search on My Own?

If you question the integrity of your online match, it’s definitely a good idea to take matters into your own hands and get the facts. After all, even dating sites that do background checks can’t answer every question or overturn every rock. So it’s important for singles to take that power for themselves and hire a private investigator or conduct a background search on their own time.

The internet is a great accomplice in this endeavor. Singles can engage in social media stalking on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to get a good idea about another person’s daily life, opinions, and personality. It’s also a good way to confirm the person’s relationship status, education, and employment history.

Want to dig deeper? Intelius is a digital search tool that can conduct a full background check through over 20 billion public records. Intelius can deliver information regarding a person’s criminal history, including traffic violations, restraining orders, and prior arrests, and identify the person’s relatives and spouses on record as well. These personal reports are accessible to Intelius members with a monthly subscription.

Do Your Research to Find a Real Love Match Online

An online dating background check can uncover lies, red flags, and criminal history, so it can be an instant checkmate against a potential scam or catfisher. Many dating sites that do background checks have a friendlier atmosphere and spark more serious relationships as a result.

Online dating can only benefit from adding more transparency and accountability. A background check feature can weed out undesirables based on their criminal record, employment history, or income and financial assets. That can make it easier for high-caliber singles to network safely.

One last caveat emptor: online dating sites and apps can take steps to keep unsavory characters out, but that doesn’t mean singles should automatically let down their guard when meeting a new person. Abusers and scammers may still slip under the radar and use lies to win over unsuspecting victims. Ultimately, your good judgment is the last line of defense against abuse, violence, and crime. So be careful to do your homework and create a solid foundation before giving away your heart. Best of luck!

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