Have you ever been arrested? Been issued a speeding ticket? Failed to stop at a stop sign? What about your family members? And friends? If you are like most of us, the answer to at least one of those questions is “yes”—the vast majority of us have slipped up at least once or twice.
A controversial new website—Instant Checkmate (a play on words, meaning “check your mate”)—is now revealing the full “scoop” on millions of Americans.
Instant Checkmate aggregates hundreds of millions of publicly available criminal, traffic, and arrest records and posts them online so they can easily be searched by anyone. Members of the site can literally begin searching within seconds, and are able to check as many records as they like (think: friends, family, doctors, teachers, neighbors, etc. etc.).
Previously, if you wanted to research someone’s arrest records, you might have had to actually go in to a county court office—in the appropriate county—and formally request information on an individual. This process may have taken days or weeks, or the information might not have been available at all. With websites like Instant Checkmate, however, a background check takes just a few clicks of the mouse, and no more than a minute or two.
While preparing this article I decided to run a quick search on myself to give the service a real-world test. To my dismay, the search revealed several items I’d long forgotten—one of them being for the possession of a fake ID I was (embarrassingly) issued back in college when I was just 18 years old.
After searching myself and finding those records, my curiosity was piqued, and I began researching family members—apparently my aunt Susanne isn’t a very good driver, judging by the numerous traffic citations that showed on her record.
One of the most interesting aspects of Instant Checkmate is that it shows not only criminal records, but also more general background information like marriage records, divorce records, various types of licenses (medical, firearm, aviation, etc.), previous addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, estimated income levels and even satellite imagery of known addresses—it’s really pretty scary just how much information is in these reports.
In addition to giving information on the specific person you search for, the report also includes a scrolling list of “local sex offenders” for whatever region you’ve searched—along with a map plotting out the locations of those offenders. I started perusing the ones that showed up in my report, and I was absolutely blown away when I stumbled upon my junior high school wrestling coach’s mug shot. His crime was listed as “Out of state offense,” so I wasn’t able to get the specifics (you usually can—this was an unusual case), but he was definitely a registered sex offender. Scary stuff.
I would definitely recommend this tool to friends and family. Anyone can start running background checks on Instant Checkmate within a few seconds—just click this link to get started.