How to do a background check

Have you ever wanted to know more about someone before getting more involved?

One of the biggest reasons is that there is someone you have just met and you have an uneasy feeling about him/her -- and you want to see if your intuition is right. Have you ever had an uneasy feeling about someone who was spending time with a loved one?

You can find out the truth about people from the comfort of your own home. Because so many people misrepresent their backgrounds and credentials, it is important to do at least a little checking to see if what the person says about his or her background is true.

You can do a free criminal background check yourself before applying for a job to see what a potential employer will find.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, all criminal court records are available to the public; but that doesn't mean that the records are very easy to locate.

The chances that your county has records online are getting better and it should only take a few minutes to check on your own. Start by doing a web search for "your county your state public records." So, you might go to Google and type "Cook county Illinois public records".

If public records are available, you'll find it as an option in one of the menus or via search.

Occasionally, you will find the information you need right away and be done. Often you will be able to either download a form to fax or mail in, or you can complete an online request, make an online credit card payment, and wait for your record to be mailed.

But what if the person just moved to Cook County, Illinois? There would be no record of him/her in their databases.

You can go ahead and try a google search right now without leaving this page.
1) In the right sidebar you will find a google search box.
2) Type your county and your state plus the words public records.
3) The results will open in a new window that you can close when you are finished.

While there are no free services that allow you to perform criminal checks, if you use a reputable online criminal search service, the prices aren't too high. There are many websites that compile information from different databases across the country. By using one, you can find pertinent information about the person you are checking.
offers instant access to the same resources used by police detectives, private investigators, and the federal government. Their databases contain criminal records, court records and bankruptcy records as well as marriage records, death records, birth records, and people searches.

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