So your baby girl is seventeen! Congratulations. But who in the world is she dating? And should you care? After all, at 17 she presumably has some sense.
Yeah right. Maybe she’s got more sense than a gaggle of other seventeen year olds. But seriously, there’s a reason we don’t allow them to vote or drink. Teenagers need our protection. They need time to think, to grow and to become more mature.
Your kid may be a genius at school. But knowledge is not the same as wisdom. What most teens have is impulse. They think. They feel strongly. And they live eternally in the present, without much understanding of the past or the future. So it’s natural for them to assume that what they see, feel and want must be right, good and true.
But your teenage daughter does not have the lifetime of experience that you do. She can’t see the danger signs the way a middle aged adult can. So yes, you should know who she’s dating.
Anatomy Of A Background Check-A Real Story
To protect the not so innocent, all the names and places below have been changed. (Anyone who feels I’m talking about them can sue me!)
Recently I was approached for an intervention. A father knows his daughter is prone to date bad boys. And he wanted to protect her. So he demands she give him the name and address of her latest love interest.
She says his name is Mergio Valdez, he’s 19 and he lives with foster parents Jill and John Longbottom at 123 Main Street SW, Backwater Georgia. An address lookup of the property confirms that the Longbottoms do in fact live there.
So what do you do with this information?
Step 1: Assume His Name & Address Is Correct and Learn More About Him
My first step was to look up Mergio Valdez in the Age Lookups. I wanted to see if there was in fact a Mergio Valdez age 19 who lived in GA. I also wanted to link him to the address I was given.
Age lookups are great for they list relatives, addresses and the all so important middle name. They also include almost everyone in the United States over 18. Even when their number is unlisted.
Red flags to look out for would include if I couldn’t find a Mergio Valdez age 19, or if I was unable to find a Mergio Valdez in backwater GA or at that address.
In this case, I looked at several sites, but his name DID NOT turn up in the age lookups! This would be virtually unheard of if he were over 30. But it could be he was still too close to 18 for there to be much about him just yet. But I wasn’t so sure.
What really was surprising was that there was no Mergio Valdez of any age whatsoever. If I saw his name in an older age bracket, this too would be worth investigating.
Step 2: Use Social Media To Get His Photo & What He Says About Himself & Others
At this point I needed a quick and dirty way to find him on social media. I knew I could root around in Facebook. But Facebook is confusing. Especially when you have no idea what the person looks like.
Facebook floods you with a billion people including those from other countries. I didn’t want all the Mergio Valdez’s from Mexico. Just the ones in the US, and preferably from Georgia. I also wanted a means to get to all his social media postings at once.
With Pipl I was able to enter in his name and his location. If I found too little I could always search again without his location. But in this case I hit the jackpot.
A Mergio Valdez from backwater GA was on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! And from his photo he looked like a dorky 19 year old kid. (Just as we hoped he’d be.)
Now was the time to find out if he was safe. I reviewed his tweets and postings and they were all about sports and school. There was nothing about sex or violence here.
And from the photos of his friends, it seemed his site was legit and that his friends were numerous and about the same age he was. I could even read about the 3 poems he had posted.
The age of his posts were also important. I noticed his posts were from three years ago to the present. This bolstered my conclusion that this was not just a made up site to lure in the innocent. He had this up and running for a while. But not for so long that I would doubt he was really 19.
Step 3: Check Criminal Records
At this point I went to check arrest records, and other criminal databases that would pull up anyone with his name regardless of where they live. These could also be restricted to a particular state if his name was a common one.
However, using a nationwide search I still didn’t find anything. He was either squeaky clean. Or he didn’t exist!
Step 4: Check If He’s For Real And Investigate All Other Leads
It bothered me that I could only find him on social media. I kept thinking about his posts and photo. Something seemed a bit fishy.
Mergio was just too clean. What teenage boy talks only about school and sports? Either he was unusually careful or an absolute saint!
Also, why did he keep posting the same dorky photo of himself? Add to this that he kept listing his city and state, yet I could not trace him to the address we had.
So now it was the time to see if there was anything about him that wasn’t for real. After all, he could be a real person with his own photo but using a fake name. Or it could be everything including the photo was fake. Perhaps the photo belonged to a model and he “borrowed” it for his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Using Photo Lookup And Pipl To Learn More Based On
His Picture, Usernames, Phone Number or Email Addresses
So I checked the photo in Google Image lookup to see if it came from another person or another website. But I didn’t find anything.
I also put his usernames from his social media accounts into Google and Pipl. But I still got nothing. I would have plugged in a phone number or email address too if I had them. But you can’t use what you don’t have!
Googling His Name With What You Know About Him
My next step was to Google his first and last name with the main part of his alleged address like this:
Mergio Valdez “123 main” backwater Georgia.
Again I found nothing. But I wasn’t about to give up. Now was the time to Google based on other things I knew about him. These included the names of his foster parents and the fact that he claimed to be a foster child.
I Googled for him and his foster parents like this:
Mergio Valdez foster Georgia
John Longbottom foster Georgia
Jill Longbottom foster Georgia
Mergio Valdez Longbottom
I could have added a city too if there were too many false leads. But the searches above found nothing! It was as if he just moved there yesterday or never existed.
Step 5: Circling Back To Reverse Address Lookups
At this point I was getting desperate. As a last resort I decided to do a reverse lookup on the address. It was then that I hit pay dirt!
Starko was a bad boy. He had many arrests and had been busted for crack! I was able to see his age, his photo, and that he was living at this address as late as 2013.
So was he still there now? Was daddy’s little girl dating a 25 year old crack addict? Given her background, it was frighteningly possible.
Soon I knew there would be a heart to heart talk between daddy and daughter! But as for me, my job was done. It was time to leave this small, sad town with all its troubles. And so here I travel on this lonely road. Bravely walking off into the deep red sunset.