Ever wish you could find out if the stranger sitting across from you is a total scumbag? Well, Intelius, a leading information company, had a great idea when creating DateCheck, its first free mobile application. Intelius already specializes in services such as background checks, with more than 8 million customers to date.
John Arnold, cofounder and executive vice president of Intelius, believes we no longer live in Mayberry, where everybody knows everyone. "There are a lot of folks coming in to verify information in the dating decision process," he says over the phone. "It's due diligence. People want piece of mind."
Arnold's insight is keen, of course. No one wants to date a lying sack of shit. But people have been lying since cavemen began grunting -- so why would it be more pervasive today, especially with abundant access to information online?
"It's a transient society," Arnold adds. "Tools like this emulate the
dad asking the boyfriend: 'What's your intention?' The loop of
information used to be strong, but it has disappeared. Networks of
information have taken on a different perspective."
Wise words, to be sure. But does DateCheck really work?
app intends to sleuth for you and is easy to use. Type in a
person's name, phone number, or address and you might hit bingo. The
problem is that it's not really free and it's not exactly accurate.
You can get additional dirt only by clicking on "more details," which takes you to an Intelius page for purchasing a full report.
truly did a simple search for her own cell phone number, which revealed
her previous address right off the bat. This confirmed the person, but
how would some guy know this unless he asked where she used to live?
How would he bring that up in conversation? "Would you like another
glass of wine? And did you live at 1019 Fifth St. in Miami Beach last
Under the "Sleaze Detector" option, which checks for
criminal records, yours truly found she has a double life as a
lawless hussy, with more than a dozen instances! No wonder she doesn't have
a boyfriend. She's out there robbing convenience stores for tampons
and beef jerky -- or so you'd think. She'll have to pay Intelius to
find out what she's been doing instead of writing for Miami New Times.
option is supposed to dish about property ownership, which, again,
proved faulty. Yours truly doesn't own a random numberless unit in
her former Miami Beach digs, though it would be awesome to brag about
being able to afford a mortgage!
The app also features a compatibility
search, which is kind of bogus; it's just a horoscope, with month and
year of birth. Unless you're a trained astrologer, you won't know if
that Taurus bull is going to end up loving your Virgo ass.
is supposed to reveal who lives with whom as well as past addresses.
This would've come in handy when yours truly recently met a
pathological liar who fooled even the friend who recommended him. But
the search yielded no results. The wife did not appear on DateCheck's
search, though yours truly has been able to confirm, just by checking
free public county clerk records, that she shares a mortgage with the
And finally, DateCheck is also supposed to give the 411 on "Interests,"
which links to social networking profiles. Again, you can find
out if your new heartthrob is on any networks only by clicking on "more details"
and buying a report. But you have to be pretty intellectually challenged if you can
use a smart phone app yet can't find someone's MySpace, Facebook,
Linkedin, or Twitter account on your own. DateCheck would score major
points if it could dig deep into Adult Friend Finder, for example, and
call it "Perv Detector."
It's a sad world we live in that
we can't trust people. The idea behind DateCheck has been a long time
coming and is great in theory. But it needs to be completely accurate
to be of any value. Additional searches by yours truly gave mixed results -- some
accurate, some incredibly misleading and downright false. How are you
going to know what's really true or not unless you're Sherlock Holmes?
you really doubt someone, DateCheck is only a first step. Go to the
Intelius site and pay for a full report or hire a private eye.
let's face it. We may no longer have loudmouth yentas to protect us
from crazies, but if you keep assuming every guy you meet is a
sociopathic charmer, or every woman you meet is out to make you
miserable, you'll probably keep attracting the same kinds of jackasses into your life. You need therapy, not technology.
is available on iPhone and Android. If you're interested in
being notified about future versions, sign up at the DateCheck page.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.