Introductory advice on why screening is important, and some basic tips for avoiding bad dates.
If this is old-news for you, scroll down to Screening 102.
Screening is about asking for and getting accurate information about individuals you may meet. The more information you ask from and have about someone:
– the more likely you will be able to accurately assess whether or not they pose a threat to your well-being and safety.
– the more likely the person you meet will be who they say they are.
– the less likely the person you meet will cause harm to you. (Because if they do, you will be able to report them to law enforcement or a black-list, and they will know that negative consequences may result from invoking harm).
1.) Give access to your email address/cell-phone-record to a friend in the business so that she/he can access it in case anything happens to you.
2.) If you are working on the street, work with a buddy. Have a buddy write down and text the license plate number of the car to you, in case anything bad happens. If the client does anything bad, report the information to YWEP (Under 24) or SWOP-Chicago. Rape Victims’ Advocates can also provide confidential, non-judgmental advice on whether or not you should report the incident to law enforcement and, if so, support around your case. See Tricks of The Trade for more advice on screening clients & staying safe when finding and meeting clients outdoors.
3.) If you are working indoors, the following advice is useful:
4.) Try to get at least one (and preferably all of) the following:
- full name & place of employment (you can also sometimes get this by searching the person’s phone number).
- a reference from another person he has interacted with before.
- an “Okay” from a verification or screening program.
5.) Ask for an ID when they arrive to confirm their identity.
6.) If you must meet with someone who does not give you their full name and work information, try to:
- Google whatever information you have about them, and search that information using internet-based background check and bad date lists. (See suggestions for bad date lists below).
- Meet them in a public place first. They may feel more comfortable giving information to you after you meet in person, and meeting in public will give you more time to assess the person as well as an out in case the person seems dangerous or unstable.
- Spend some time talking to them on the phone to get a sense of whether or not they are aggressive, using substances, or mentally unstable.
Best-Practice Guidelines on Screening for Independent, Indoor Workers in the Adult Entertainment Industry
1) Ask for a business or other published number, and check the number in http://www.whitepages.com (reverse phone) or Google it to verify it. Call at an agreed-upon time under an agreed-upon method – for example, “Anne calling from Dr. Levin’s office to confirm an appointment.”
(2) Some clients are high-profile, so you can verify them by Googling them or looking at a company directory. In that case, a business number isn’t necessary (although you may want to call to make certain the man who contacted you actually is the one who works there). You verify the company is legit by double-checking it at Dun & Bradstreet: http://www.dnb.com/us/.
(3) Often times, people e-mail you from their company addresses, which are often the same addresses as their homepages. When a client is self-employed, and has a website, do a WHOIS search of the website URL here, which spits out the registrant info: http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jhtml
If it’s an international client, you can do an international WHOIS here.
If neither of the above are convenient, then:
(4) Two recent references from other independent workers, always getting a physical description from them to make sure he isn’t “borrowing” a buddy’s reference.
Other background-checking methods:
*Attorneys can be found on http://www.findlaw.com
*Doctors can be found on http://www.ama-assn.org
*Licensed brokers can be found here:
*Verify a business website, how long it’s been in existence, etc:
Backcheck info against: http://www.nsopr.gov/
It goes with out saying: don’t leave this information lying around on your computer or in a little black book. Delete it after you’ve had your session. Invest in an overwriting program like this one:
You can call the hotel front desk and ask them to connect you to the name that the person registered under. And of course, if you don’t ask to see ID, all of this is moot.
Bad client lists:
http://www.mypinkbook.com (Bay Area-based, have to be a “heart” who contributes regularly)
http://www.thebluepond.net (Ladies Only)
http://www.bigdoggie.net (Ladies Only – need to be a member and have bigdoggie.net link on front page of website)
http://www.pipl.com (free – limited information but good for checking e-mails)
http://www.verifyhim.com (runs a background check, including a scan of bad-date lists)