If a dating service doesn't perform such screenings, it must acknowledge that in large capital letters in every electronic communication with members from New Jersey, who would be identified by zip codes they provide when registering.Details of the notification rules are still being worked out.Phone numbers that are associated with them might help you figure out where else (and who else) they might be spending their time with.

Try it out: With the free preview results, you can ensure you’ve got the right person and then decide if you want to plunge into a complete, confidential background check report (about $10).

The background check reports include all manner of public records, including: Even if you think you know someone pretty well, chances are you’ll learn something from an online background check.

A Cleveland firefighter, George Greer, was indicted last June for raping a woman he met through an Internet dating site.

An online dater in New York City, actor/musician Franca Vercelloni, said background screenings "couldn't hurt matters" but should not be a reason for dropping one's guard."You're not going to rely on what you learn from the online profile anyway," said Vercelloni, who's in her late 20s.

If someone recently moved from out of state, how can you really know what kind of past they left behind?

Or how can you know they’ve truly left it behind – marriage records might reveal they’re still attached.

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Services that do conduct screenings must disclose that fact and say whether they allow people with criminal convictions to use the site.

Those services also must note that background checks are not foolproof, but that disclaimer doesn't have to be displayed as prominently as the disclosure by companies that don't do screenings.

"Dating in New York City is just as hard as trying to get a job or an apartment.