Privacy be DAMNED! This holiday season, Background Check App is the ultimate party game - Macenstein

Privacy be DAMNED! This holiday season, Background Check App is the ultimate party game

We’ve all been there: you’re young, hanging out with your friends, high on Mountain Dew, and then someone yells out “Hey! Let’s run some guns down to Cuba!” Flash forward 10 years, and you’re SURE that 5-year stint in the Federal Penitentiary will never come back to haunt you. But then you end up at a Christmas party with me, and I have the Background Check App (free) on my iPhone. You’re Busted.

Yes, Background Check App is getting a lot of hype, and it totally lives up to it. The free app allows you to run a background check on virtually anyone in a matter of seconds, and while it doesn’t give you a terribly deep (or sometimes even accurate) look into someone’s past, more often than not it gets the big stuff right. And it’s addictive.

All you need to do is enter a person’s first and last name, and state, if you know it, and then Background Check App gives you a list of likely matches, with towns, ages, and possible relatives listed to help you decide on the best match. Click on the name you think is likely the person you’d like to research, and you’ll be presented with some pretty revealing information, including: All known past and current residences (with maps), phone number, age, a list of relative, neighbors, the history of who has owned their house in the past and what they paid for it, a list of anyone’s Online Social Networks, Photos, Blogs, and most importantly (and most entertaining) their CRIMINAL RECORD, if any. BCA pulls the info from, so the info is only as accurate as the information on that site, but in general I found the info to be not that far off.

Testing the app

I really can’t describe how fun this app is. I’ve been searching pretty much all my friends and coworkers. As expected, pretty much anyone I grew up with I was not all that shocked to see really didn’t have much hidden dirt. However, I looked up a couple clients of mine, and found that one actually DID have a “criminal record” in Virginia. (OK, so he was pulled over and ticketed for having radar detector in 2007, but still, I was impressed it found it). I could absolutely see this app being useful to a girl going on a blind date with a man she just met. Guys on the other hand likely wouldn’t care if a girl’s a serial killer – they’ll still date her if she’s hot enough. But for single girls, it’s a must-have.

Cause for alarm

I actually ran into a bit of trouble when I looked up, of all people MYSELF. When BCA returned the list of name matches for me in my state, I noticed 2 entries for my name at the same address, but with different middle initials. Thinking it odd, I looked up the other ME, who lives in Michigan and is 15 years older than me, apparently, and found he actually has a criminal record, and, for all things, it’s for writing bad checks and fraud.

I suddenly had a flashback to a series of phone calls from a collection agency asking for me, or rather, me who once lived in… MICHIGAN. After explaining to them that I was not the person they were looking for, the collectors backed off, but now I had visions of identity theft running through my head. After a momentary bit of panicking, I decided to pull my credit report and check that things were still hunky dory, and thankfully everything seems to be just fine. (In fact, not to brag, but my credit score is 799, thank you very much). So at the moment I am fairly certain the whole dual address thing was simply and example of some of the slightly mixed up and confusing info the app delivers (it also returned my brother’s info with an incorrect middle initial, as well as reporting a 90 year old relative’s age as 8 years-old)

So anyway, aside from being a great gossip-mucking tool, babysitter checker, party game (“Guess who in this room was arrested for indecent exposure in 2001?”), and all around useful business tool, Background Checker App can actually be useful to check if perhaps someone is using your information for nefarious purposes. Or, it might just freak you out and cause you unnecessary worry, like it did for me.


The only real issue I have with the app (not counting a couple quirky search results) is that while the app is free, you can only use it to preform 3 background checks a week, after that you’d need to sign up for a paid account. Three searches a week might sound like a lot, considering odds are so far you’ve gotten by without doing ANY, and a background check usually runs around $50 a pop, but trust me, once you start doing them, or showing people how cool it is, you will wish you had an unlimited amount. I’ve actually seen some people give BCA a 1 star rating in iTunes because of this, but those people are obviously asswipes who took just enough time out of their busy day full of looking gift horses in the mouth in order to leave a bad review. Trust me, you want this app.

So what are you waiting for, go get it!

5 Responses to “Privacy be DAMNED! This holiday season, Background Check App is the ultimate party game”
  1. I hate America for having the ridiculous capabilities that places like the UK don’t have.

  2. Kevin Kelsey says:

    All I’ve been able to get this app to do is CRASH, over and over and over again.

  3. Aldo Johnson says:

    Can we Background Check a law-enforcement officer? Just ’cause it’s kinda ironic. 🙂

  4. Dan says:

    I find it strange that the man banned from most college campuses would be an advocate of nosy bureaucrats and busy-body paranoid soccer moms. Just sayin’…

  5. @Dan


    – The Doc

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