Monday, June 04, 2007
Meeting Online Friends In Person
A family member is planning a trip to California to meet a man she met on the Internet, and she plans to take her two small children with her. This trip is planned for June. Many in the family are not comfortable with this arrangement. I was able to get the man's name and other information. I am wondering can SBPD do a background check to ensure us that he does not have a criminal record. We would not expect the specifics of the search to be made to us, but we just want to be assured that the children will not fall victim to some maniac.

A: Adults planning to meet an online acquaintance in person for the first time should consider taking a few precautions:

* Meet in a public place, in a well-known location and at a time when many people will be in the area. It is a good idea to meet as part of a group first.
* Consider doing a quick online search of the person's name so you have some background on that person.
* If possible, try to verify factual information.
* Remember that photographs sent over the Internet could be modified or be a photograph of someone else.
* If you feel uncomfortable with the person, trust your intuition and choose not to continue the relationship.

With that said, we do not perform background checks for this kind of service, however I do encourage you or anyone else meeting someone off the internet to verify the information you are getting and do some internet research about the person you are trying to meet, in addition to following the advice above!
posted by South Bend Police Department @ 8:27 PM  

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