WASHINGTON - In recent weeks, FOX 5 has introduced you to a “Criminal Casanova” who women say they met on dating apps and websites and a Navy veteran whose identity was used to catfish other women on those same dating sites.
But a new app called Gatsby claims it can prevent people who are looking for love from getting heartbroken or scammed.
The company said they are the first dating platform that scans every user for criminal and sex offender records and there are some requirements to join the platform.
“We require a Facebook account or you have to sign up with an email address,” said Gatsby CEO and founder Joe Penora. “We analyze every stitch of data that comes into our app and have a few billion records of data and we go and we verify each piece of data and then compare it against criminal records and the sex offender registry.”
Penora added, “If you are a criminal, like a sex offender, and you are actually going online or a dating app, that is a violation of your parole. So if we actually find out and it is a violation of your parole, you can go back to jail. So that is just another deterrent, like a psychological deterrent – these people are actually checking, I may end up going back to jail if I sign up.”
He said they provide no guarantees, but the company is rigorous with their background vetting. However, there are still some guidelines they suggest:
- Use Gatsby’s messenger system at first instead of providing your phone number initially
- Meet at a public place and drive yourself rather than having a date pick you up at your home
- Use common sense and be proactive about your safety
It is free to join Gatsby.
If you are curious, a background check on a potential date could cost you $10 to $50.