| Read Time: 2 minutes | Self Defense

Can You Swipe Right for a Criminal Background Check?

You meet a girl on a dating website. She seems nice on the first date so you decide to ask her out again. This time things went terribly wrong as she brought three thugs to rob you. Such is the set of circumstances for Adam Hilarie, who in addition to being robbed was also murdered during the robbery. The woman that Mr. Hilarie met on a dating app had always intended to set him up and rob him. In fact, after their first date, she texted him stating that she wanted to meet up with him again. It was at this point that she showed up to his home with her co-defendants. They robbed him and according to the police report “Hilarie was begging for his life, he was not putting up any kind of fight, and was telling them that he had a 5-year-old daughter.” Tinder, match.com, and Plenty of Fish. All fairly mainstream online dating websites and apps. And all, at least according to their marketing material, very successful at making a match. Success might be measure differently on Tinder than on Christian Mingle, but that’s beside the point. BUT, how do you know that the person you are speaking with, texting, or meeting is truly looking for that special someone. The reality is that in today’s online dating atmosphere people truly need to protect themselves, and unlike in past generations that requires more than a pack of Trojans. So what should you do to protect yourself? Well, I suppose the easiest thing is to google the person that you are meeting up with. See if there is any information on them and if so, does the information match the info you are seeing on their profile. Check social media. Everyone seems to at least have a Facebook account these days. Again, see if the information in their dating profile matches up to their social media account. Check to see if you have any mutual friends. Before inviting them back to your place for dinner or post-date romance, you may consider running a background check. In Florida this can be done at on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website and it costs $24.00. There are also a number of private companies that can do national checks for a fee. It may seem like common sense, but don’t give out your address when you are first meeting the person. Meet at a public place or restaurant. As an attorney, I also think that the companies offering these dating services need to do a better job of protecting their clients. I think that the lack of verification could subject them to liability in the event they knew or should have known of an individual’s prior violent criminal history. The clients enrolling the various website should have to go through some verification process in order to prove they are who they say they are. Verify accounts through email or other social media. Be careful out there in the online dating world. Meeting someone online has become such a part of life as we know it, but everyone must make sure that they are protected.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

The Criminal Side of Online Dating

Love. Soulmate. Companionship. At some point we all want to experience it. We search high and low for someone who we can call our own and when we find him or her, most of us try to hold on tight. With the increase of technology and different paths available to find love, such as online dating, meeting people has become considerably convenient. However, crime has also increased due to the convenience of “love” and technology. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime associated with online dating, it is important for you to seek legal advice. Contact an experienced Florida criminal law attorney to help you with your case. Crimes and Online Dating: What You Should Know Though online dating has been around for a while, in recent years online dating has become a trend and although there have been some very successful relationships resulting from online dating, there has also been an increase in crime. For instance, recently in Florida, a woman who moved from Alabama to Florida to be with a man she met online vanished. This is not the first time nor the last time that online dating has led to a potential crime. In 2010 Carol Markin went on a date with a man she met online, and after he asked to use her bathroom, he raped her. Though online dating is a booming industry, it can also be a scary one. Online dating crimes in recent years have consisted of sexual offenses, money laundering, and extortion scams. Targeting women over 40, who are divorced or widowed, money laundering has become significantly easy for those who have joined dating sites. According to the AARP, the FBI says that Americans lost approximately $82 million to online dating fraud in only six months in the year of 2014, and that number is only for those who chose to report the problem. Because online dating crimes have increased and most dating sites do not make their users submit background checks, Florida has proposed bills that would require a dating service to notify their consumers on whether or not they have conducted background checks. Need Legal Advice? Being charged with any crime can be overwhelming, however, this is definitely the case when the crime is considered to be a crime associated to online dating. If convicted, you can face imprisonment, fines, registering as a sex offender, as well as probation and community service. Because of this, it is invaluable to seek legal advice. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime associated with online dating, contact Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law  at (407) 377-0150  to help you strategize about the best possible outcomes for your case. Contact our office today for a free consultation.  

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