FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
CAN ANYONE USE THIS SERVICE?
Yes, the data in Crime Smasher comes from unrestricted public records that have
been collected from thousands of courts, prisons and other government agencies throughout
the country. You do not need to be a private investigator, attorney or law enforcement
officer to use this website.
IS MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED?
No -- membership is not required. You can run a search and pay with a credit card
as a one-time transaction. The cost is $9.95 for a single state and $12.95 for
a nationwide search of all available records.
HOW MUCH DOES MEMBERSHIP COST?
Absolutely nothing! There is no sign up cost, no monthly minimum, no recurring membership
fee! Just pay for the searches you run and there are no other costs!
WHAT DOES A REPORT LOOK LIKE?
To see a sample report,
you'll see O.J. Simpson's record for free.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP?
We store search results run by members for 90 days. Having a membership is also
a convenience for multi-time users as it streamlines the payment process.
I'M ALREADY AN APPROVED MEMBER OF SKIP SMASHER. CAN I USE CRIME SMASHER?
Yes! Your Skip Smasher username and password will work at Crime Smasher and any
charges will be deducted from your Skip Smasher balance. If for any reason you do
not want the two accounts linked, simply create a new account with a new username
and password at Crime Smasher using the sign up page.
THE PERSON I WANT TO RUN A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK ON HAS A COMMON NAME AND I
DON'T KNOW HIS DATE OF BIRTH OR MIDDLE NAME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
This is a common dilemma that is faced when doing criminal back ground checks. You
may need to hire a qualified private investigator to help you. He will have the
ability to acquire the person's date of birth so a meaningful criminal background
check can be done. Be forewarned -- you'll need to hire the P.I. to address the
date of birth issue AND to run the criminal background check. Private investigators
don't typically (and shouldn't) take cases where they are only asked to obtain a
personal identifier like a date of birth or social security number. This is because
of the risk of identity theft.
ARE ADDRESSES INCLUDED IN THESE RESULTS? CAN I USE THIS SERVICE TO "SKIPTRACE?"
Some of the results contain addresses, some do not. There are no restrictions on
the use of this data, so it can certainly be used to assist in skiptracing. This
is particularly true on cases where the the "skip" is transient and has
a history of arrests and criminal charges.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS SERVICE AND HIRING A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO
DO A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK?
There is a big difference -- in both quality and cost. A licensed, experienced private
investigator will provide a much more thorough, exhaustive criminal background check
than will this service. He may use a service like Crime Smasher as PART of his efforts
but in addition, he will be be doing other important things as well -- like verifying
the subject's identity, obtaining a date of birth and checking local court records.
If money is not an issue, we strongly recommend hiring a qualified private investigator.
If money is an issue, we would strongly recommend using Crime Smasher and any free
searches you can find on the Internet as opposed to doing nothing.
IF I RUN A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND SEARCH ON SOMEONE AND THERE'S NO RECORD, DOES THAT
MEAN THEY ARE SAFE?
Not necessarily -- they could have a criminal record in jurisdictions that are not
included in Crime Smasher. Further, criminal background checks are only as good
as the information you start with. If you do the background check on a false or
wrong name, or the right name and false date of birth, you will also get back a
false "no record"!
I FOUND OUT AN EMPLOYEE HAS A CRIMINAL RECORD USING YOUR SERVICE. CAN I FIRE HIM
BASED ON THE RESULTS OBTAINED FROM CRIME SMASHER?
No! The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that "adverse" hiring
decisions be made based upon a check of the originating agencies records, not those
of a third party. In other words, if you found a criminal case on Crime Smasher,
you would have to contact the criminal justice agency involved that has the record
and verify it is correct and is for the subject of your investigation as opposed
to someone else with the same name. The FCRA places other requirements on use of
criminal background checks for employees -- you should consult your attorney before
taking any action.
I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DOING A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK. WHERE SHOULD I GO?
For a full understanding of "private sector" criminal background checks,
please see our free "SPECIAL REPORT: Private
Sector Criminal Background Checks" by Robert Scott, P.I.