Do You Trust Your Babysitter? Public Records Can Now Be Viewed Online

Can You Trust Your Babysitter?

I thought nothing was more nerve-wracking than becoming a parent … that is, until I started my search for childcare before heading back to work. It’s a terrifying experience — handing your child over to a virtual stranger for the better part of the day. With so many awful stories in the news, it’s not an easy thing to do whether you opt for a daycare center or a nanny in-home.

The good news is: You can now check anyone’s public records e.g. criminal records online!

You might ask yourself if a background check really necessary?
My answer: When hiring a child care worker, trust and credibility are key. Background checks should be a critical component of the hiring process. A resume may look impressive on paper, but how do you know the information is true or false? A background check should verify work history, references, education, credentials, and criminal history. This will help you find the best employees and to protect your child, family and home.

An innovative website—Instant Checkmate (a play on words, meaning “check your mate”)—is now revealing the full “scoop” on millions of Americans by making millions of public records available to anyone with an internet connection.

Real sex offenders found.

Real sex offenders found.

Instant Checkmate aggregates hundreds of millions of publicly available criminal, traffic, and arrest records and posts them online so they can easily be searched by anyone. Not only does the website post arrest records, but it also provides information on what assets a person might own (boats, houses, etc.), relatives, phone numbers, previous addresses, marriage and divorce records and even things like security guard licenses.

Members of the site can literally begin searching within seconds, and are able to check as many records as they like (think: friends, family, neighbors, boyfriends and girlfriends, etc. etc.).
In the past, if you wanted to research someone’s arrest records, you might have had to actually go in to a county court office—in the appropriate county—and formally request information on an individual. This process may have taken days or weeks, or the information might not have been available at all. With websites like Instant Checkmate, however, a background check takes just a few clicks of the mouse, and no more than a couple of minutes. An added benefit is that the website is able to scan records from across the country; meaning you don’t have to know the exact location of a person or specific record.

While preparing this article I decided to run a quick search on myself to give the service a real-world test. To my dismay, the search revealed several items I’d long forgotten—one of them being for the possession of a fake ID I was (embarrassingly) issued back in college when I was just 18 years old.

After searching myself and finding those records, my curiosity was piqued, and I began researching family members—apparently my aunt Susanne isn’t a very good driver, judging by the numerous traffic citations that showed on her record. The website showed that one of my cousins has a DUI, not to mention several other driving-related citations.

One of the most interesting aspects of Instant Checkmate is that it shows not only criminal records, but also more general background information like marriage records, divorce records, various types of licenses (medical, firearm, aviation, etc.), previous addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, assets and even satellite imagery of known addresses—it’s really pretty scary just how much information is in the public record and available in these reports.

In addition to giving information on the specific person you search for, the report also includes a scrolling list of “local sex offenders” for whatever region you’ve searched—along with a map plotting out the locations of those offenders. I started perusing the ones that showed up in my report, and I was absolutely blown away when I stumbled upon my junior high school wrestling coach’s mug shot. His crime was listed as “Out of state offense,” so I wasn’t able to get the specifics (you usually can—this was an unusual case), but he was definitely a registered sex offender. Scary stuff.

I would definitely recommend this tool to friends and family. Anyone can start running background checks on Instant Checkmate within a few seconds—just click this link to get started.

If you would like to search someone you know, click here.