Stranger Danger: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

Hi Readers — Just got alerted to this ad and service,  It allows you to do a background check on anyone, from the comfort of your own home. Check the guy you met online, check your mortgage broker (make sure it’s not Alan Greenspan), check your electrician — yes, a guy on the ad says he’s going to do just that. And of course, check anyone AT ALL who ever has ANYTHING to do with your kids. As the pregnant lady in this spot says, “No stranger comes around MY growing family without a background check.”

Really? Not the UPS guy or waitress at TGIF’s? Not the soccer coach or piano teacher or kid selling Girl Scout Cookies? (Can’t be too careful!)

The idea, of course, is that if you are not constantly background-checking, you are a sap. In this world view — which I worry is spreading like a fungus — everyone is evil until proven otherwise. That is not only wrong, it leads to the breakdown of community (I look out for you, you look out for me) that actually makes us SAFER.

And while we’re on the topic of what now constitutes “rational” precaution, another product on the horizon is a kiddie watch or backpack tag or some-such small device that not only tracks the child via GPS (how 2009!), it will also text the parent every time the child enters or leaves a designated area. A park, say. Or the front yard. The assumption being that not only are all strangers dangerous but so is the world beyond the fence — a world no child should explore.

What are we bequeathing our kids? Distrust. Xenophobia. And the idea that curiosity = death. Ah, those golden childhood years! — Lenore [youtube=]

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71 Responses to Stranger Danger: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

  1. Stephanie - Home with the Kids April 8, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    Finally! I don’t have to trust anyone! The background check service will make my family safe. Surely it will find all the child molesters who haven’t been caught yet so my children won’t be snatched while my back is turned and they’re climbing too high up a tree.

  2. SIlver Fang April 8, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    That’s stupid beyond words. At one time, background checks were only required for certain government jobs. Now practically every employer runs one. It’s ridiculous!

  3. Sander de Regt April 8, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Well, if you think about it since curiosity DID kill the cat
    I guess a background check for curiosity is in order.

  4. Melissa April 8, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    So the 2010 version of the kiddie lo-jack texts mom and dad the kids whereabouts? That means I’d have to learn how to text. And then keep my little texty-thingy-device with me every single second of the rest of my life (or at least until my child reaches adulthood at age twenty-six). Sounds soooo convenient.

    Or, I could just look out the window or walk out to the backyard if I get concerned. Heck, I could just hang out with him if I’m *that* worried about what he might do. He’s fun to hang out with, you know.

    Seems like this whole set-up would create quite a burden on both parent and child…the parent keeping track of the kid, the kid having to keep track of the device, though I suppose it can’t get lost since that would defeat the purpose.

  5. Mike April 8, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    How depressing! How invasive!

    Lenore, I think your message (also seen in some of your previous posts) is a good one: Increasing distrust of neighbors decreases our safety. I think that’s correct, and also a potent, sensible and understandable message. Please keep purveying it!

  6. Val April 8, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    Oh no! I didn’t read this until the HVAC repair guys left my house just moments ago. I didn’t know my children and I were in such danger! And they seemed so nice but I guess I can’t trust my own judgment.

  7. pebblekeeper April 8, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    Wow. Is there no privacy any more? I just saw another site that does this – with WRONG information posted about myself.

    I thought that was what facebook was for – to know everything about everyone and you never need to speak to anyone face to face?

    We have coffee at a local spot with new girlfriends, and everyone has a card that they play or don’t play about the whole meet and greet for the first time thing. Sure would be handy to have enough info on them to get a proper background check to know if they are worth the peppermint mocha or the ice water. . . . .

  8. Nancy Disgrace April 8, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    The “fear industry” is coming out with many new products this year. Has anyone seen those Brinks commercials? A guy kick’s in the door and the lady gets a call in 3 seconds?

    It’s really hard to believe that the same nation and culture that 100 years ago “wagon trained” for 6 months to reach the west could have spawned this country full of frightened “wussies” that we have now.

    Yes nobody comes near her growing family without a background check it’s a damn shame that over 90% of new sex offenses are committed by someone that has never committed a crime.

  9. partylikeapoptart April 8, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    Speaking of “Stranger Danger” will someone please explain somethng to me? I was told that if I answer the phone, I shouldn’t say mom/dad who ever was takingcare of me was in the shower. What’s the point? I can understand not telling anyone I’m home alone, but not saying she’s in the shower? I

  10. skippy April 8, 2010 at 3:54 am #

    That’s terribly creepy.

  11. HankTheCowdog April 8, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    Wow. These people are going to rake in the money.

    Another wonderfully exploitative idea I didn’t think of first. Darn!

  12. Brian April 8, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    val, In the last two places I have bought homes, the neighborhoods seemed “quiet” but I later found out they were just impersonal. I make it a point to go introduce myself to the neighbors if they don’t come say high after a few days. I want them to know who I am. I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone new each other, the kids played games in the middle of the street together, etc.

    I WANT my neighbors to know me, because then its not just some stranger poking around the neighbors house, its some stranger poking around Brian’s house. Big Difference when you put a face and name to it.

  13. Davonia April 8, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    So, if this website lists incorrect info about you, can you sue them for distributing lies about you?

  14. Patrick M April 8, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    I could have my 4-year-old get the vital stats of everyone she talks to when we’re out and about so I can background check them. But that might be too late.

  15. Donna April 8, 2010 at 4:36 am #

    Damn the bug man was just at my house yesterday and I forgot to run a background check on him. The company already ran a background check on him but I should have gotten my own. You can never be too careful.

  16. Eric April 8, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    ROTFL! Again, just another company trying to make money off the growing paranoia of people. They don’t care about you, they care about how they can exploit your fears and make money off of it. If they really cared, it would be free service to the public. Save your money and just be smart and not paranoid.

    There are plenty of ways to protect you and your family, and they are all free. It just takes diligence, intelligence, patience, and good ol fashion gut check. That means don’t be such a scaredy cat.

    Here’s one, you don’t need a GPS tracker, or a proximity alarm thingy…teach your children keep their distance from strangers and to point and yell “FIRE!” when they feel they are in danger from someone or something. It’s been studied that bystanders react far more to someone yelling “FIRE!” than someone yelling “HELP!”. And never leave them too far from visual and vocal range (about 200 feet), that if they want to venture off, to always let you know. So if you have to follow them to close the distance, than you move. They don’t feel constraint, your less fearful, which means so are they. Everyone is happy.

  17. Brenda April 8, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    A few months ago I was telling a story at work about some jerk repair person that was fixing something at the house. He was rude to my dog, but not at all worrisome. Several of my coworkers were amazed that I a single female adult would stay at home, BY MYSELF with service people. Really, who else is going to do it? I was the person who knew what was broken and how I wanted it fixed. It seemed logical to me.

    It had never occurred to me to be concerned. If my “spider senses” had gone off about this or any other service person. I don’t let them in. Their office can bill me for the service call. But I have never had that happen, yet.

    So, it seems that society now perceives we are never safe enough to be alone with any stranger.

    Who is it that said, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met?”

  18. Brenda April 8, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    My above post should have said lone female adult. I am sure my husband would be horrified if he knew I just called myself single.

  19. pentamom April 8, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    There’s a mixture of concerns here. With the mortgage broker, you’re looking for fraud, not molestation. Still, there are licensing authorities and bonding for that sort of thing. There are more effective and credible ways to research financial ethics. Some stupid Internet service is not the way to deal with it. It’s just somebody who’s figured out a way to set up a website to sell fear for good money.

    “Nobody comes near my family without a background check.” What a sad way to live. However, it’s important to remember those are not the words of a human being, but an advertising pitch.

  20. pentamom April 8, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    In fact, one of the ways to find a reputable financial agent is by word of mouth — asking several people you know, whose judgment you trust. But the ironic thing is — that requires you to KNOW PEOPLE. Living life the way it’s portrayed in the ad works against that, substituting a website for having a life.

  21. Renee April 8, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    We already have licensing boards.
    Why do you need a background check for a professional?

    You want a background check on from a guy you met?
    Just meet his family.

  22. WendyH April 8, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    You know this would have been a good service when I was renting out a room but otherwise I have better things to do with my time and money.

  23. Bernadette Noll April 8, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    Whenever my kids hear the term “stranger danger” they laugh and joke about how that would never work in our house because, “Mom talks to EVERYONE”.

  24. Nat April 8, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    Heaven help us… I’m not sure who I am more afraid of, the people who provide the service and these so-called strangers.

  25. Uly April 8, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Speaking of “Stranger Danger” will someone please explain somethng to me? I was told that if I answer the phone, I shouldn’t say mom/dad who ever was takingcare of me was in the shower. What’s the point? I can understand not telling anyone I’m home alone, but not saying she’s in the shower? I

    Your parents didn’t like to think of other people knowing when they were naked. It’s not overly reasonable, but it makes sense.

  26. tana April 8, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Speaking of “Stranger Danger” will someone please explain somethng to me? I was told that if I answer the phone, I shouldn’t say mom/dad who ever was takingcare of me was in the shower. What’s the point? I can understand not telling anyone I’m home alone, but not saying she’s in the shower?

    @uly, probably true
    @poptart, because if your adult caregiver is in the shower, a really fast, quiet abductor who has been waiting for just such a moment while posing as a telemarketer could swoop in and steal you away while your parent was showering in blissful ignorance. then, your poor mom/dad would spend the rest of their lives mourning that if only they hadn’t had the gall to bathe, for mercy’s sake, their precious little dumpling wouldn’t have been stolen. don’t you know that we’re not supposed to take our eyes off of the little darlings for even ONE SECOND?!

    my sweet boy asked me about strangers once. i patted his little head and said, “they’re not any stranger than we are, honey. in fact, they’re probably less strange.”

  27. Lauren April 8, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    There’s a local HVAC company advertising in a similar manner. “Our workers pass background checks so you can feel safe in your home….” I really detest this trend.

  28. partylikeapoptart April 8, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Uly@ Tana@ lol thank you. I still don’t understand why mu SCHOOL would tell me this, but know I know why my mom reinforced it.

  29. partylikeapoptart April 8, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Abut my previous post, I should say that I was told this because I was old I coul be kidnaped if I told anyone this. Uly’s suggstion des make sense, but this was part of my whole stranger danger training. I just wanted to now if anyone could tell me why it was “dangerous”

  30. EV April 8, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    That is a hoot! I love the final line and image:
    “You can do background checks on anyone … even yourself. You never know what you’ll find.” The image is of the screen saying “armed robbery”.

    Like you committed armed robbery, were captured, tried, convicted, served time and some how completely missed historical fact that about YOURSELF.

    I think the message is: Forget others. Don’t even trust yourself.

  31. PartyPiper April 8, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Ummmm….. pedophiles are by and large first time offenders and don’t have other offenses. So if they haven’t offended yet or been caught, this technology will do nothing. Yes, the news covers the Megan’s law type cases, but there’s a reason for that they get press… they’re rare. I think this is a good scheme to part paranoid folks from their money.

    I can also tell you that in my family, there are some with records for various things, drug obsession, underage drinking ect from their younger, wilder days. Does that mean that instead of using my head and deciding that Aunt Sue is a good solid individual who has done right by me, I should now put any potential offspring far away from here?

  32. Bonni April 8, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    Last week, a coworker asked me to handle an expected call for her while she was in a meeting. Apparently, she’d arranged to have a plumber fix something at her house, but her 16-year-old daughter was home on spring break and that threw a major wrench into things. He would call the office and let us know he was in the neighborhood, and then we would call the 16-year-old and tell her to unlock the door and then leave the house in advance of the plumber’s arrival. He’s not “allowed” to be in the house with someone under 18, or something like that? Apparently, he’s also not allowed to be greeted at the door by a minor — or to call the minor himself and say that he’s about to arrive at the house. *rolls eyes*

  33. Bob Davis April 8, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    We did have a case in our neighborhood in which one resident had some work done in his house and was later burglarized, with the thieves taking only valuable and portable items that would have been known only to someone who had been in the house before. He suspected that a rather sketchy character who was helping the worker may have been “casing the joint” for some ne’er-do-well friends or relatives. Near downtown LA there’s a bakery/restaurant that provides jobs to gang members who are trying to “go straight”; I’m sure most of them are really trying to get on the right side of the law, but if I were to go there, I’d pay cash rather than using a credit card.

  34. Laura April 8, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    suh-WEET!!!! I am SO going to that website RIGHT NOW and searching every politician I know. THEY’RE the ones who are the *real* “stranger danger”!!

  35. KarenW April 8, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Dammit, EV, that was exactly what I was going to say!

  36. Publilius April 8, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    @Bonni: That sounds like the plumbing company’s policy, and it’s almost certainly due to today’s lawsuit-happy culture. They know that if their workers are in a house with minors and no parents, the parents could claim their child was molested. A few people do things like this to get out of paying the bill. Who’s going to believe the plumber? In molestation claims, men are automatically assumed to be guilty. If I were the plumber, I wouldn’t want any unsupervised minors there either, just to protect myself from a false charge of being a pedophile. It’s unfortunate, but it’s what our nation has become.

  37. TonyB April 8, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    There is also the other side of this paranoia. Perfectly normal ordinary folks avoid public spaces such as parks and playgrounds (unless they are with their kids/wives) for fear of being getting hassled.

    Geocaching is a wonderful hobby/sport/activity that requires people to go looking for small boxes in all sorts of places.

    Here is a recent forum thread of people avoiding areas with kids:

  38. katef April 8, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Doesn’t this breach privacy laws? And what kind of information do you actually get anyway?

    What happened to supervising our children if we are really that concerned and what happened to getting our kids to just tell us when they are going somewhere? Maybe it is different for me living in rural Australia but I’ve asked my 6 year olds just to tell me if they are going out the front to ride their bikes on our driveway… I don’t need a gps or a text message!

  39. Sam Caldwell April 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    I like the guy a company here in central texas hired a couple years back. This guy had just left the Air Force, where he worked with classified information and held a TS/SCI–which for those of you who do not know what that means, let’s just say that Uncle Sam trusted him a little more than most. Needless to say this Central Texas company hired the guy because the owner believes in supporting veterans–and well the background check would be a no brainer, right?

    The background check cleared and the guy started working for the company…a couple months (and more than $2,000 in losses later) the company realized this guy with the stellar background had been ripping them off. I wouldn’t find this funny if it weren’t for the fact that I used to work for this company. You see, I have two felonies on my record from the early 1990s when I was a teenager. The lesson learned was simple: a background check can tell you what someone has DONE, but not what they will do in the future.

  40. Martin MS April 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Wowowow … this is really bad stuff… and Lenore, of course it’s not about the kids, it’s about destroying community. Don’t fear Big Brother, don’t fear the war-mongering government, fear the guy next door … makes you so easy to govern and rule … Hey, do you think you could stop posting things like this? Really ruins (part of) my day :-(((((

  41. Nicole April 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    I was lectured to by a “friend” once because I stated that I do not run my dates names through sex offender registries. She was attacking the mom of a sexual abuse victim who had been kidnapped and murdered by an ex-boyfriend of the mom who was listed on the registry for a child porn conviction (one of those very sad, 1 in 1 million cases). I simply stated that I do not search dates, friends, or acquaintances names through the database and that I, as a sexual abuse survivor, think it’s ridiculous that our society somehow expects people to do so. And thinks parents are being negligent for not doing so.

    At the end of the day, dangerous people need to be locked up in secure facilities- be it jail or “treatment” centers. Not let out so people can compulsively do background checks because of what may or may not happen.

  42. Nicole April 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    “And thinks the belief that parent’s are being negligent for not doing so is disgusting” (I have thoughts, they just don’t always come out coherently..)

  43. Kirsten April 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    This is totally off-topic for this article and I apologize for ‘threadjacking’ but I didn’t know how else to contact you.

    Did you happen to see this story (was linked on’s homepage briefly) about a little girl who was seen being put into a car by a man at a school bus stop. Of course, the police were called by a ‘good citizen’ who witnessed only the little girl being put into the car. It turns out it was the girl’s father – he was dropping off his 6-year-old-son at the bus stop and his 4-year-old daughter got out of the car too. He rounded her up and put her back in the car.

    I will say that no one has stated what the witness saw but it seems to me that no one is considering that she saw a man put a girl, who may have even been crying, into a car and immediately thought that he was a ‘predator’. I won’t get into whether or not they were racially profiled but I think it’s rather safe to say he was profiled based on his sex.

    What gets me is that everyone is so happy that there was such a great outcome to this non-story and that there’s still “proof that someone cares about the wellbeing of a little one” – as the field reporter says at the end of her report (the video of the report is on the site) that no one considers the fact that this man was unfairly judged just because he is a man. Would the authorities been called if it was a woman?

    As you can expect, most of the comments are along the lines of “you can’t leave a child alone for one second” and “what is a child of this age doing at a bus stop by herself…where were the too-lazy-to-watch-their-children parents”; especially before the details were known and the Amber Alert was still active.

    Story here:

  44. NJMom April 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    That’s the craziest ad I’ve ever seen. I mean, it really, really just doesn’t make sense. Even check yourself; you never know what you’ll find? What?

    I sure hope this whole stranger danger fad fades away like the the DDT wall paper for your child’s bedroom I saw in an old magazine.

  45. Blake April 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    I saw that commercial and checked it out just to see who was listed. I tried several people and just found myself and my current Japanese teacher. I needed to do a background check for prospective teaching jobs in S. Korea and Japan, and I suspect my Japanese teacher needed a background check to get her visa. No one else I tried showed up. I didn’t get the free trial, so I did not see what the checks said.

    Not only is the database incomplete, but I’m betting that will confuse people who think about it too much.

  46. bequirox April 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    poptart. I think another part is that if you always tell the truth about where your parents are (taking a shower, in the bathroom, in the yard) then when you say they’re “unavailable” everyone will know that really means they’re not home.


  47. Sam Caldwell April 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm #


    Here’s a more interesting thing to consider. A while back Dell and I went around on their background check policy. Dell Computers performs background checks on their US-based employees (through a company called ISP Promesa). However, they dismissed my question about off-shore employees who are citizens of other companies. The person I spoke with said it would not be worthwhile to screen outsourced employees in other countries because most of these countries do not keep accurate or consistent electronic records.

    Essentially what this means is that many large companies use background checks in the US, and when these background checks disqualify so many American workers that the position cannot be filled, the companies outsource the work to other nations, where there is virtually no scrutiny. Consequentially, most of the outsourcing contracts I have seen, outsource to third-party companies with provisions that absolve the US-based firm from any liability the US-based firm would hold otherwise. This means that since the third-party company is outside the US, there is no real recourse US consumers would have to address any complaint against a foreign employee working indirectly for these large companies. Conversely, hiring a person inside the US with a known criminal background might seem distasteful, but at least there would be legal recourse if the employee does commit some act against the consumer.

    Incomplete databases is just the tip of the iceberg.

  48. amanda April 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    WOW. Just….Wow.

  49. KarenW April 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    At first I just laughed at that ad, but now that I think about it more I have some serious questions. I have had background checks done several times, for chaperoning field trips and working with the kids at church. Each time, I needed to sign a form giving my permission, and I’m almost certain that I needed to provide my social security number. I believe that this BeenVerified thing is both illegal and a scam. I don’t think you can legally do a background check on people behind their backs. And if all you do is run their name through, there is no way of knowing if you have the right person, especially with common names. So the information provided by this racket is highly unreliable. Plus, since nobody gives anything away for free, there must be a financial catch to this, just like at (where you get a “free” credit report, then start getting charged monthly fees for a “membership”). And thanks to the culture of paranoia that we have today, these guys are sure to make millions.

  50. Sky April 9, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Ok, I was surprised. Not surprised about the info, which is all true, but surprised that just by typing my name in you could get a list of all of my relatives, mom, dad, husband, grandmother, and every city I’ve lived in in the past ten years. A little freaky.

  51. Sky April 9, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    “I don’t think you can legally do a background check on people behind their backs.”

    I don’t see why it would be any more illegal than looking their phone number up in a phone book. If it’s publically available, it’s publically available. You would need a singature and social to access non publically available financial information, but all this “background check” offers is public records and “property values,” which are public also.

  52. pentamom April 9, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Yes, there’s no legal problem as long as it’s all public information. And any interaction you’ve ever had with the court system is public information.

    Although KarenW has a point — if all you have is a name, how can it be reliable?

  53. Sam Caldwell April 9, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Here’s a better question: What protection is there to correct errors in this data?

    Once it is ‘public information’ there exists no real means to compel these ‘services’ to clean their data. This is why they have the great disclaimers on their site that protect them from any liability due to inaccurate information.

  54. Library Momma April 9, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Very sad. These types of services just give people a false sense of security and lull them into thinking they are safe as well as thinking they can’t trust their own instincts.

  55. Sam Caldwell April 9, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    True, Library Momma.

    After all, Ken Lay and Bernard Madhoff all had clear records. In Madhoff’s case, the Security Exchange Commission had even blessed him after a REAL background check.

    Safety comes in trusting your instincts.

  56. Ellen April 9, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    “poptart. I think another part is that if you always tell the truth about where your parents are (taking a shower, in the bathroom, in the yard) then when you say they’re “unavailable” everyone will know that really means they’re not home.”

    Also, many kids who answer the phone when home alone say that their parents are in the bathroom. Back in my latch-key days that was what I was told to say. Nowadays, if you tell people your parents are in the shower, they may assume you are home alone. In the context of a school telling you this, I think that is the more likely reason.

    I wouldn’t want anyone to know my daughter is home alone — stranger or not — except for a few people who I may want to be available for emergencies. I don’t know if that is rational or not, but I was home alone from fourth grade on and that is how my parents did it and will be how I would do it.

  57. Ellen April 9, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    It is not reliable. You type in my name — which I did not change when I got married — & you see John MyLastName instead of JohnMyHusbandsLastName.

    It is also incomplete/ old info. Only 4 out 6 of my mothers kids are listed. (And to be thorough, wouldn’t I want to check to make sure ALL my target’s relatives are not molestors too?) My mother’s age is listed as 76 — which would be her current age had she not died 15 years ago.

  58. pentamom April 9, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    “Nowadays, if you tell people your parents are in the shower, they may assume you are home alone. In the context of a school telling you this, I think that is the more likely reason.”

    It still seems like silly advice.

    1. Is a real criminal going to run the risk that the parent actually is in the shower, and will be out by the time he gets there, and show up anyway?

    2. How is saying “My parents can’t come to the phone right now” any different? If criminals take “shower” as code for home alone, why wouldn’t they all decide that “can’t come” also is code?

    3. Has there ever been any evidence that random stranger criminals sit around making phone calls trying to find kids who admit their parents aren’t home?

  59. Blake April 9, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    I have seen no evidence whatsoever that random criminals do that. A criminal who truly wants to do something will probably not do anything at random, and instead scout the location and plan the heist/kidnapping/whatever. An on-the-spot decision could lead to a crime, but I’ll wager that kidnapping anyone from their own home is never “on-the-spot”. From a public space? I’ll buy that, but not in a private home.

    Did not ever think about that. Thanks for the information.

    I think this database only works if you’ve had a background check performed. Just to confirm suspicions, I searched two more people: a friend who I know for a fact has a criminal record, and my sister, who has no record and has never been checked. The friend showed up correctly, and a search for my sister got nothing, so the three people I have found have all been checked in the past for varying reasons.

    Summarizing that:
    Me: voluntary check for Japan and Korea
    Japanese teacher: student/work visa
    Friend: DUI

    Just irritates me when other, more nervous people figure this out. They’re likely to assume that someone’s existence on this particular database = criminal. Of course, the especially-idiotic will also assume criminal = rapist/murderer/child molester combined.

    No, I don’t trust people to be intelligent.

  60. AshaB April 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    maybe we should install microchips in our rears to be scanned for a bg check whenever we meet someone new…

  61. Ellen April 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    pentamom, when you break it down and look at it logically, it doesn’t make sense. I guess the best thing to do nowadays is not answer the phone at all unless you have called ID and can see who it is or screen calls via an answering machine.

    Then you would only have to worry about random breaking & enterings who assume no one is home than pedaphiles looking for a child. 🙂

  62. Stephanie April 10, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    I raised my children before all these gadgets were sold. The way their father & I kept them safe was to be with them as much as possible & to teach them skills like always be with a friend, & call us at designated times (once they were older) -this is before cell phones. We couldn’t keep them locked in a room! We had to trust the world – geez! I am appalled at the paranoia. Yes, we were worried! Yes, time away from the house rules didn’t always work. I am happy to say, both our grown children are not afraid the world in the least. In fact, much the opposite.

  63. Amanda April 11, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    I have a husband who is totally into security. He actually works in computer security, but is constantly pointing out when things are really a risk and when they’re a perceived risk. He has pointed out over and over again that most of the fears people have are completely unfounded. And the “Security Theater” (overt displays of security measures) quite often fall short and are really just for show.

    Unfortunately, it’s products that provide perceived security that actually cause the most damage. People think they’re “safe” and stop paying attention to the things that really do matter.

  64. Detective P.I April 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    The best way to go if you are worried about someone is to get a background check as well as use that good old intuition we are all born with.

  65. tate April 13, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I do a rather impressive internet search on guys I’ve gone on a date with that I’ve met on-line. Not for Stranger Danger, but due to the fact that I’m getting to the point where they could be married. Internet dating is an easy way to meet people and fudge over that little matrimonial aspect. So, I check out what they’ve said in order to not waste my time.

    But do I need to pay someone to do it for me? Heck no, I’m rather depressingly good at it by now.

  66. Lisa April 14, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Creepy, utterly creepy. What the hell is wrong with our society? Seriously..

  67. Janie Komo September 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    The actual challenge to become is normally you’ll be able to actually SOLE take a look at that level of your tax discount more than the internet by searching at your RATES web-site.


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