Silicon Beach: DateCheck App Is a Tease

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.

The "$$$"

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.

"Living Situation"

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'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Miami native Maria de Los Angeles currently journeys in northern latitudes but is a correspondent for the Magic City. A community advocate, she pens stories about art, culture, good folks doing good things, women's issues, and only-in-Miami moments.