Home / Background Checks / When Is Spying On Neighbors A Good Idea?


The idea of being a modern day “peeping Tom” doesn’t really sit well in anyone’s mind but sometimes that new neighbor just seems a little “off”. You might be tempted to have a peek over the wall or get an insight into what he’s doing up all night long, or the weird noises you hear coming from his yard might be tickling some thoughts of a serial killer living next door.

Here are a few reasons why it might be a good idea to (safely and discreetly) do a little detective work and spy on the next door neighbor:

  1. You suspect that your neighbor might be a sex offender.
  2. Your neighbor strangely knows WAY too much about what exactly goes on in YOUR house even though he hasn’t been there much (or at all for that matter!)
  3. You suspect that your neighbor might be in on drug deals and it’s going on next door!
  4. So he has dogs. A LOT of them. And you think you sometimes hear sounds that might resemble dog fights.
  5. Your kid tells you something disturbing about the man next door (panic now!)

Sometimes there are just a few things in your neighborhood that merits attention, but unfortunately there are also a few surefire ways to get your behind in hot water. Spying on someone in the WRONG ways can land you some serious offender convictions and hefty fines. If you suspect that someone is up to no good though there are a few LEGAL ways to get behind the story:

This nifty little tool allows you to run a free criminal background check on someone if you know their full names. The only downside is that this tool is only good for USA so if you’re based outside of the United States this isn’t going to help.

Essentially this website is aimed towards keeping families safe. It gives you the opportunity to research your neighbor’s criminal records if they have any and also has neighborhood watch alerts and safety guides.

Basically it’s all in the name here. This site helps you to search people state-by-state to see if they have ever been convicted of felonies.

There are quite obviously less complicated ways of getting the scoop on a new neighbor such as:


Yes the trusted old friend will be able to tell you anything and everything about the creepy looking guy that moved in last week. If you know his name, then you’re good to go. If Google doesn’t throw you with something then try:

  1. Facebook

Here you’ll be able to see (if the privacy is set to public) pictures and posts that might give you a little insight as to what the guy next door is into. At the very least a description and a profile pic will be able to give you a rough outline.

  1. Instagram

This one is a little trickier because people tend to set their privacy so that only followers can see their feed but if you’re lucky (and the guy is up to speed with the times) you’ll be able to paint a great picture of what he does in his spare time.

These are just a few ways you can safely look into the background of your new neighbor. Just because he has over the top equipment sticking out over the fence doesn’t mean it’s an invitation for you to spy on him. Your grounds for wanting to spy on someone should always be reasonable and you should genuinely be convinced that he poses a threat to you and your family. In that case alerting the authorities is your number 1 concern.

In a day and age where serial killers peacefully co-exist right next door to ordinary people for years without anyone suspecting a thing though, the slightest wrong step might have your alarms going off. Being cautious can save your life!


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