Everyone has skeletons in the closet and it’s a statistical fact that there is someone in your family who has a criminal history, but do you know who it is? Maybe they have a violent past or maybe they have previous arrests for being a sex offender. It’s hard to imagine that sweet Uncle Tom spends more time in court than he does watching your kids, but you may be surprised at how little you actually know about someone.
Go beyond your direct family and think about the people you or your family spend time with. There are more regular interactions on a daily basis than you may realize, and every one of those encounters is an opportunity for someone to scam you or take advantage of you. Ask yourself…
– Are you or someone you know dating?
– Do you buy and sell things online or on Craigslist?
– Is anyone you know buying or selling a car or home?
– Are there people watching your kids when you’re not around?
Unfortunately, the people that commit these awful crimes are the people you would least suspect. By doing your homework and making sure the people you and your family surround themselves with check out, you can sleep well at night knowing everyone is safe.
One way to do a background check is to type the person’s name in Google to see what kind of results are returned from a search. This may not give you complete insight into a person’s criminal history, but it may show recent newspaper articles, notices or other activity that the person may have been involved in.
Otherwise, all criminal and court records are listed on public records databases. A simple search for the person’s name will tell you exactly if they have been arrested, if they have any outstanding warrants or judgments, and a whole list of personal personal information that may surprise you.