Tinder now offering low-cost background checks for potential dates

As you’re swiping through potential dates, Tinder’s parent company wants to make it easier for you to know exactly who you’re heading out to dinner with. 

The Match Group, whose brands include Tinder, Match, Meetic, OkCupid, Hinge, Pairs, PlentyOfFish, OurTime and many more, will now allow Tinder users and the general public to have access to a low-cost background check option, the company announced on Wednesday. 

In a continued partnership with Garbo, "a female-founded, first-of-its-kind, non-profit background check platform," the Match Group will allow users access to Garbo’s database at $2.50 per search, according to a company news release. 

Tinder users will be given two free searches upon launch which can amount to up to 500,000 free searches in total. 

"We know that the biggest indicator of future abuse or violence is a history of these types of behaviors. Whether it's online dating or the dozens of other ways we meet strangers in today's digital age, we should know if we're potentially putting our safety at risk," said Kathryn Kosmides, founder of Garbo. "We want to protect those most vulnerable to experiencing harm both online and offline and this is just the first step in delivering on our mission to help proactively prevent harm in the digital age." 

389293da-Tinder logo

FILE - Tinder logo displayed on a phone screen and a heart shape displayed on a screen in the background.

All funds go directly to Garbo to continue making background checks and help with any additional fees associated with record searches. 

Match Group is also partnering with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) to allow access for anyone who has fallen victim to sexual assault, harassment, or other harmful behaviors from another individual, the news release continued. 

"The Hotline's advocates provide high-quality, trauma-informed education, validation, and connection to services that empower victims and survivors to make life-changing decisions with dignity and respect," according to Match Group. 

News of the Match Group’s newest safety feature comes amid the virality of Netflix’s popular documentary, "Tinder Swindler." 

"Tinder Swindler" showcases the victims of a man who went by the name Simon Leviev, but his real name is Shimon Hayut, as he swindled women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars after meeting them through the dating app, Tinder. 

Hayut managed to not only steal money from women he was dating, putting them into massive amounts of debt, but he even stole money from friends. Hayut would lead his victims to believe that his life was in danger due to the many "enemies" he managed to garner for being in the "dangerous" diamond business. 

Lev Leviev, an actual diamond tycoon, is now suing Hayut for posing as his son and appropriating the family name, the Times Israel reported. 

Hayut served just two years in a Finnish prison for defrauding three women and he served another 15 months in an Israeli prison after being convicted in four other fraud cases, according to the Times. 

Following Netflix’s release of the documentary, Hayut has since been banned from Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid and Hinge, USA Today reported in February. 

"For far too long women and traditionally marginalized groups have faced many barriers to resources and safety," said Tracey Breeden, Head of Safety and Social Advocacy at Match Group. "Garbo's thoughtful and innovative consumer background checks will drive the industry forward while empowering people with critical information to help inform personal safety choices."