Authored by Douglas Mefford in Legal
Published on 03-10-2009
There are many legitimate reasons to want to find out a person’s history. It may be to help you decide to hire someone (or to work for someone) or to determine if that new interesting person is really what they say they are. Whatever the reason, there are several ways to get a better idea of what a person has been in the past.
Traditionally, the first place to go to in order to find out any potential criminal history on a person would be your local law enforcement agency. While there will usually be a fee involved, these people can link up to a vast storehouse of criminal records to see what trouble your prospect may have once been in. While you are at the courthouse checking with the Sheriff’s Office, you would want to check through the public records section. Vital statistics, deeds, marriages and divorce court proceedings can offer further clues.
On the state level, you may be able to check through the criminal records division. Some states will waive the usual fee under certain circumstances. You will be required to fill out all the necessary forms in order to access what they have on file. The more information you can provide about your target, the better their chances of finding you accurate information.
If money is really no object in your search, then engaging the services of a private investigator may be the best way to find out all there is to know about a person. This would be especially desirous if there are such things at stake as inheritances, paternity, or royalty payment issues. An experienced private investigating agency, being already established professionally is often allowed access to records that a private citizen would not be allowed.
One of the newest methods of running a background check on someone is by using the resources of the Internet. The World Wide Web is information. Starting with your favorite search engine will give you some extra information about your target. Checking through the various social bookmarking or networking sites can either add to your information or eliminate people with similar names.
There are also a growing number of tracking sites and search tools that can help locate information about people. Professionally, the Big Three credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and TRW are useful in determining the financial and credit-worthiness of a person’s past dealings. For a fee, other sites that collect and collate information from a wide range of publicly available information databases can be utilized to determine much about a person. The information gleaned from here can include rental information, relatives, relationships, organizations and other associated connections to help give a picture of what a person is like.
One should remember though that it is illegal to use the results of such people searches for improper actions. You should also keep in mind that no search or background check can be guaranteed 100% accurate. Accepting any information without a compelling backup report can cause untold grief if used without discretion.