One of the most important things to know in business and sometimes your personal life is who you’re dealing with. Whether you need employment screening for job applicants, need a criminal background check on a potential business partner, or want to vet a new boyfriend, you need the security that only a full background check can reasonably provide so that you’re not blindsided by a cheating or malicious associate. Are you in search of the MYTHICAL “National Criminal Database?”
It’d be nice if we could go online, pay a few dollars (or better yet, get it free), and type in names to access full criminal background checks. But nothing that comprehensive or coordinated exists. The closest thing to a national criminal database is the National Crime Information Center, which is a resource managed by the FBI to share with state and local law enforcement agencies in search of terrorists, fugitives, stolen property, or missing persons. But it isn’t directly available to the public for background checks or to private employment background screening companies.
The other option of pursuing criminal background investigations solo would mean accessing every residence, place of employment, or education that the person in question has had during his or her adult life. And then you’d have to contact each state and local courts individually. On top of that you’d be surprised by all the different rules and laws affecting what information they can divulge. It takes legwork.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because your online investigation netted an incomplete compilation of addresses, workplaces, and schools. Promises of cheap background checks online offer only a tiny glimpse into a person’s background.