The Thrifty Accountant Newsletter

--Two minutes of money saving strategies


Check ’em out–with free online background checks

Greetings fellow thrifty accountants!

It’s a good idea to do a background check on potential employees. But have you also considered checking out:

  • contractors that will be working in your home
  • potential relationships
  • childcare providers
  • neighborhood around a potential home purchase

Today’s newsletter shows you how to perform no-cost background checks using public databases.


Check ’em out

1) Are they criminals?

Some states charge a fee to access the criminal records, but usually provide free online access to a sex offenders registry.

The Texas sex offenders registry, for example, allows you to search by zip code. It is easy to find out if you have registered sex offenders living in your neighborhood, for example.

Need to know state/zip code

2) Where do they really live?

Find out if the address provided matches up with the phone number provided. Sometimes it’s nice to know where your babysitter or contractor really lives.

Need to know phone number (or address)

They don’t let us link directly, but you can type in:


3) Do they own their home?

Most counties have online records that can be searched by name or address. These property records will show the owner of record, as well as some size and general valuation information.

Need to know county name and property address and/or person’s name

Use a search engine (I use ) to search for the phrase:

–> XYZ county property records or

–> XYZ county appraisal district


4) Divorced, or not really?

One of my single friends follows up when her date says he’s divorced. Many divorce records are online, but they may not be current.

Need to know year of divorce (usually) and the person’s name

Use a search engine to search for the phrase:

–> Texas divorce records (substitute your state)


Best overall background search site:

Use the links at the very top of the blackbookonline web page for free searches. The State/Local Data is quite comprehensive.