NEW YORK (MainStreet) With more women bringing home the bacon, men are increasingly looking for financial security from their romantic relationships.
"With so many people laid off or out of work, we have seen an increase in identity thefts on the site," said Erik Knight, CEO of DirtSearch.org. "The characteristics of a gold digger is someone who might be involved in a petty theft, identity theft, fraud, back child support payments, writing bad checks and multiple bankruptcies."
While the typical gold digger is stereotyped as someone like Cameron Diaz's character in the film "Bad Teacher," men are rising up the ranks. The movie "Bernie" starring Jack Black is a perfect example.
"Female gold diggers typically subjugate their power through sexuality whereas a male gold digger achieves what he wants through charm and persuasion," Knight told MainStreet.
For example, V. Stiviano was allegedly arrested in 2004 for petty theft before she befriended Donald Sterling, who reportedly gifted her $500,000 worth of luxury cars and a $1.8 million duplex in Los Angeles.
"Yes, V. Stiviano is a gold digger," said Knight. "A rise in petty theft makes the gold digger phenomenon all too common."
Some 1 in 8 DirtSearch.org queries reveal a criminal past, with states that are more economically hard hit seeing more of an increase in identity theft.
They include Arizona, California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.
"Gold diggers look for people that are financially secure," Knight said. "They look for people that are confident and not afraid to spend dough on their significant other. They also tend to look for people that don't keep a hard watch on their finances."
To avoid marrying a gold digger, due diligence is recommended.
"If you are dating someone new you can never be too safe," said Knight. "With just a name and a state, you can quickly DirtSearch them free and anonymously to find out if they have a civil, speeding, divorce, criminal or arrest record."