MA is an open records state, and they allow the general public access to someone’s background check report. They offer two types, a name-based search, which will be limited to court-related documents and dispositions and a fingerprint-based search that will be more comprehensive and include both state and federal criminal records. Their name-based search system is called CORI and works online. Fingerprinting records come from police departments all over the state. On their website, they offer individuals information on how to report misuse of their criminal records or to apply to have their records sealed or expunged. They also have a place where offenders can order a “self-audit” criminal report. When using the CORI system, users must first create an account and log in.
Based on the type of report someone requests the information may differ. With a fingerprint-based report, the user will see adult arrests, convictions, warrants, incarceration, and pending offenses, both in and out of state, along with federal crimes. A name-based search will yield all adult convictions and non-conviction arrests, pending cases, incarcerations, along with civil cases. Juvenile and sealed records will not be included in either version.
There are many reasons why someone may need a Massachusetts background check. One of the most common is for employment. Some types of businesses are required to put potential employees through the background check process before hiring. Those who are in charge of personal safety and care of others such as schools, day care centers and mental health facilities are a few examples. Other uses for a background report are for credit and financing, insurance, licenses, security clearance, and permits.
Other public background reports also exist that are compiled from various public and private sources. These reports are great for looking up and old friend, checking out a potential date or business partner, vetting a new roommate or looking up your own background information to see what comes up. Some of the information contained with these types of reports is:
Marriages and Divorces
Auto, Vessel, Aircraft Ownership
Current and Past Addresses
Phone and Email Address
Relatives and Associates
Social Media Accounts and More
A Massachusetts criminal background check is provided through the CORI system and fingerprint records. The CORI system uses court documents, and the fingerprints records use police reports. The state offers comprehensive criminal histories except for juvenile and sealed records to protect the individual’s privacy.
The state is not a point of contact for gun dealers, and they have no law requiring a background report before the sale or transfer of guns in the state. Therefore all licensed gun dealers must contact the FBI and use NICS for the federal background check before selling firearms to anyone. Buyers must also obtain a license permit from the state before purchasing. When selling privately, you must use an online system to verify the buyer’s identity, and you cannot sell more than four guns per year. Massachusetts 193,427 background checks were performed for gun purchases or permits.
On average 211,295 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
Although MA offers background checks pretty freely to the general public and companies, they do have strict MA background check laws on how employers can use them in the hiring process. If they deny employment to an applicant because of something in their background report, they must inform them in writing and provide a copy of the information they received from the state. Employers who use the CORI system are protected against negligent hiring practices over those who use third-party or professional background check services.
The state observes the ban-the-box rule and prohibits employers from asking about criminal records on the initial application. During the hiring process, employers must not ask about any dropped charges, any one-time infractions for things like DUIs, misdemeanors that are five years or older, and cannot ask about expunged or sealed records. Applicants who have sealed records can say “no” to questions about a criminal past. Employers are also subject to two federal laws when using a background check for hiring. Those laws are The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, when using sites like InfoTracer to obtain a background report, the information cannot legally be used to determine credit, employment, tenant screening or any other eligibility requirements for business or professional use.
In 2017, there have been 263 victims of online romance scams in Massachusetts, resulting in $5.1 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||705||1,453,892|
|30 - 39||706||3,547,820|
|40 - 49||717||5,089,978|
|50 - 59||825||6,291,422|