Does Your Online Date Have a Dirty Past? New Services Will Find Out

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Nothing kills romance like discovering you’ve been flirting with a felon, or even worse, ahem, a married man online.  But now, New York state and New Jersey are passing laws to regulate the billion-dollar internet dating industry, reports the New York Times.

And there’s also plenty of websites and apps to boot.  For a fee of less than $10, now you can run a background investigation on that special someone to ensure they’re really the Romeo or Juliet who they say they are. And with more than 20 million Americans signing up to 1,500 online dating sites across the country, the industry is no stranger to a crime scene or two. Remember serial rapist Jeffrey Marsalis who met his victims on Match.com?

(See the top 10 oddball news stories of 2010.)

So what sites are popping up on NewsFeed’s radar? MyMatchChecker.com has quite a catchy slogan that says “know your date…know your fate.” Date Check runs a free mobile app that encourages you to look up before you hook up. And then there’s always ValiMate, the creator of the Instant National Criminal Search app, which allows users to send the results of the check to a friend for added safety.

(See the top 10 tweets of 2010.)

State officials are also pushing for safer Internet dating. For instance, a law that takes effect this month in New York State, the Internet Dating Safety Act, requires sites like EHarmony and Match.com to post common-sense safety tips, like “meet in a public place.”   And you thought it was just your friends and auntie worrying about your matchmaking future.

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