Real Criminal Record Searches
Baloney o'meter
If you run a Google search for "criminal records", you will find advertisements on the top, bottom, and right hand side of the page that look like the ones below. We checked these sites out, going all the way through the ordering process up to the point where the credit card was required. Here's what we found:
  Claims / Truth:   Advertisement: Baloney Level
Claim: Free.
Truth: Cost is $19.95 and up. They bury the "not for use in employment..." language in hard-to-read text at the bottom of the page.
Free Background Checks
Background Checks - As Seen on TV Instant Results - 100% Anonymous!
Claim: $1.00.
Truth: $19.95 per month. The $1.00 is for a 4-day "trial membership." Read the reviews on complaint boards on this company. Also, our test search returned the wrong date of birth on the subject we ran.
Criminal Records Check $1
Instant Nationwide Criminal Records. Get Unlimited Records for $1.
Claim: $19.95.
Truth: That is for a statewide database search. The nationwide search is $79.95. They bury the "not for use in employment..." language in their faded "terms" link at the bottom of the page after you put your credit card in.
Background Check
Accurate, Thorough Background Checks w/ Criminal Records $19.95!
Claim: $1.00.
Truth: $19.95 per month. This is the same company that above said (falsely) that the searches cost $1.00. Now they claim (falsely again) that they are "free."
Free Criminal Records
See Everyone's Criminal Records. Search For Free.
Claim: Free.
Truth: Nothing on the site is free. The "memberships" you can buy indicate criminal records are available if you are a member, but right below that, it says background checks are premium searches that are not included.
Free Criminal Records
Search Criminal Records for Free. 100% Secure and Confidential.
Claim: "Just enter the name and get the records." Sounds good, right?
Truth: Oops, they forgot "Step 2," which is where you pay them $49.95.
Lookup Criminal Records
1) Enter Name and State. 2) Get Full Criminal & Public Records!