New to CiviCRM and learning the ropes. I know how to search for duplicates and merge them but wondering if when CiviCRM finds a potential duplicate on its own is there a setting where I can be notified by email or within CiviCRM when I log in to the Dashboard where a "cache" of potential dups is waiting for me to inspect?
Currently, there no setting that will email or notify you about duplicates in your system. The only way is searching duplicates and merging them as mentioned by you.
What you could do is create a group or a tag "potential duplicate". You can then use the standard contact reports to create a dashboard with member of this group/contacts who have this tag?