Fame or Shame Game #9: Halloween Edition, Investigate Your Neighbors

This is the time where I introduce you to a service for parents and you tell us why its provider is destined for fame or shame.

Backgroundchecks.com conducts public records research on individuals for employee screening and such. This Halloween season they have a sweet deal for us parents.

The company wants to "take the risk out of trick-or-treating with a special offer on criminal report searches."

For a mere $5 you can search millions of records, including sex offender registries, criminal history files and government watch lists.

To quote a news release (emphasis added by me):

Before children set off on the great candy hunt, backgroundchecks.com recommends that families:

  • Ensure that an adult or a responsible youth supervises the kids. If someone else is taking your child out for candy, make sure you know whether or not they have a history of crimes against children
  • Plan the trick-or-treating route as a family. Explain to children about avoiding homes of people they do not know. If there is a house on the street that has a "No Candy Here" sign posted, find out why.
  • If neighbors offer to drive the kids around this Halloween, make sure you know if they have any moving violations.

There you have it. Please, dear Thinga-readers, tell us… fame, or shame?


7 Responses to “Fame or Shame Game #9: Halloween Edition, Investigate Your Neighbors”

  1. K G S says:

    “If there is a house on the street that has a No Candy Here sign posted, find out why?!?!?!?”

    Um– perhaps that family dosen’t like passing out candy to a long line of utter strangers and their children, or can’t easily afford to give 30 lbs of candy to busloads of tweens brought in from across town, or (gasp) isn’t home that night. Perhaps that’s really none of our business.

    Ugh. Shame.

    October 30th, 2008 at 9:49 am

  2. Carrie C says:

    Goodness…we have reached a new level of paranioa if people are going to these lengths on Halloween! What ever happened to getting to know your neighbors by, gasp, talking to them?


    There is an interesting discussion along this line on freerangekids right now…


    October 30th, 2008 at 11:12 am

  3. AJ says:

    Devils advocate… Do you expect your neighbor to admit his criminal history when you chat with him?

    October 30th, 2008 at 11:14 am

  4. Sandy W. says:

    I’m in agreement with K G S. There’s probably a very normal reason for why some people might put up a No Candy sign.

    At our house every year we get over 300 trick-or-treaters. It costs us at least $50 for candy every year. We are very tempted to put a sign up or hide out and turn out the lights. But, we still buy candy since it’s only 1 day out of the year.

    But I do think that it is important to always know the background of who is supervising your children. That is sound advice.

    October 30th, 2008 at 11:38 am

  5. Christy says:

    That is truly shameful. One myth that kills me is abot the apple with the razor blades. What kid is going to eat an apple at halloween anyway? Womever gave it oout would most likely end up with egg all over their house.

    October 30th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

  6. gertie says:

    Whatever happened to only visiting houses with Jack-O-Lanterns and porch lights? (And in my case, being chaperoned by my dad until I was 13…)

    I’ve always suspected that it was somewhat of an urban myth that Trick-or-Treating is that dangerous of an activity. If you are worried, take your kids to another neighborhood.

    I’ve looked up my neighborhood on the Megan’s list website, and I generally consider myself cautious. I don’t talk to anybody I get a sketchy “vibe” off of. Even so, I can’t IMAGINE being the type of person who would run a background check on all of their neighbors. Seriously, think about the level of paranoia that goes along with that! I prefer common sense.

    October 30th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

  7. Charity says:

    can’t you get information on the location of known sexual predators in your neighborhood for free online? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this somewhere & was shocked at the number in my neighborhood at the time.

    November 1st, 2008 at 12:23 am

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