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State Rep. Wants Online Dating Check

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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A man speaks on his mobile phone as he uses his laptop computer.

A man speaks on his mobile phone as he uses his laptop computer.

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas lawmaker is trying to make online dating safer for everyone across the Internet.

State Representative Diane Patrick of Arlington is proposing legislation that would requires online dating sites like Dallas-based Match.com to say if they do background checks on their users.

The bill would not require the sites to do the checks, just to tell users if they do them or not.

“I think it’s important that consumers be informed with information they need to make a good decision,” says Patrick.

The bill would also require online dating providers to publish a list and description of safety measures designed to increase safety awareness.

In a statement, Match.com said that background checks could create a ‘false sense of security.’  Other popular dating sites like E-Harmony also say on their site that they do not require checks.

But one company, Irving-based True.com says background checks are part of the deal when you sign up.  “We felt like online dating should be safer dating,” says True.com CEO Ruben Bell.

Bell says True.com denies membership to more than 35,000 applicants a year based on background checks.  “Everything from check fraud to grand theft auto to rape, murder and then of course sex offenders.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety says a basic background check costs $3.

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