CHARLOTTE, NC — Tracking and stalking your every move, with information found online. The latest background search site claims the information you find may shock you. WCCB Charlotte’s Audrina Bigos investigates, and finds out why a local private investigator is raising red flags.
Sexual offenses, speeding tickets, marriage and divorce records, your current address and phone numbers, and where you work. That’s just the beginning of what this site promises to show you, right at your fingertips.
“You just get behind a computer, and you can basically find anything you want to know,” said private investigator Kathy Broom of Eagle Eye Investigation Group.
Instant Checkmate, the latest online background search service, feeds the desire to know. For about $10 and a name and state where the person lives, the site claims it will reveal shocking information about a cheating spouse, estranged lover, or even a potential date.
“If you put it into the wrong person’s hands, somebody is going to get hurt, whether it’s physically or financially or some other way,” said Broom. “You don’t just want to hand out the information.”
Broom has several concerns, including the site’s never-ending disclaimers. We took those concerns to Sean Shahrokhi, who’s with the web development company behind Instant Checkmate. “You cannot use our site for any type of employment purpose,” he said. “You cannot use our site to check on a person’s credit.”
“There’s no way to know what the intent of the person searching really is,” said attorney Chris Miller. Miller represents domestic violence victims, whose cases often involve stalking. He says checking a box on the site, promising you will not stalk anyone with the records you find, is not enough.
In Miller’s cases, he’s seen people use background search sites to harass people. “They’ve done a record search, actually pulled a court file to find out where someone would be at a custody exchange and showed up at the exchange,” he said.
Watching that person’s every move, making harassing phone calls or showing up at their job or house unannounced. “They don’t actually ever communicate with them,” continued Miller, “they just sit in the parking lot or sit in a way in which the other person knows they are being watched, wanting to put the person in fear.”
Shahrokhi says everything on Instant Checkmate is public information. “We get our data from public records,” he said. “These are records that are maintained and compiled by federal, state and local governments. In a lot of cases, it’s county-by-county specific.”
The site promises the person you’re searching for online will never know.