Online background check reviews are a way of checking through millions of public data records to find out more information about just about anyone. Using advanced technology, the best background check companies can find personal information on just about anyone in the USA. Background checks are used for tracking down long-lost friends or family members, checking up on a potential employee or learning more about someone you have reason to suspect.
What do Background Checks Reveal?
It’s amazing how much information is publicly available through a background check.
- A credit check reveals a person’s credit score, which can tell whether he/she can be trusted to manage money.
- A driving records check involves looking at someone’s driving records to see if they have a history of traffic accidents, points on their license, DUI incidents, or traffic violations.
- A criminal background check means checking databases for any federal, county, or state offenses.
- Education checks involve looking up someone’s education history to see where and what they studied.
- A reference check follows up on someone’s references and employment history to check their suitability for a new job.
- Drug testing is used for some employment tests, athletic competitions, and other situations to check that someone doesn’t use drugs.
- Social security checks confirm that a person really is who they claim, by matching social security numbers.
- Litigation records check look up court judgments to see if someone was sued – or sued someone else – at any point and for what reason. They also show the existence of a lien on someone’s property.
How We Determine the Best Background Check Companies
There are many background check review companies out there but not all of them conduct in-depth checks. We look for the following features to find the best background check services available.
- A full range of background checks
- Whether they do real legwork or just rely on shallow internet searches
- Plenty of search options by name, email address, or reverse phone lookup
- Good customer support
- Accurate and easy to read written reports
- Mobile apps
It’s worth pointing out that even the best background check companies can miss something, so perfection isn’t guaranteed. That said, these are our recommendations for the best background check services.
BeenVerified uses a person’s name, email address, or phone number to comb through dozens of records. The basic search includes standard contact information, property reports, social media photographs, criminal records and convictions, address history, and the names of known relatives. Premium services include sending a court runner to check non-digitized court records and a more extensive report. There’s a mobile app for Android and iOS and customer support via email and phone during extended working hours.
|1 month||$26.89 for 3 monthly reports|
|3 months||$52.44 for unlimited searches|
|Comprehensive Report upgrade||$9.95 per report|
|Court Runner add-on||$19.95 per report, plus court administration fees|
Intelius offers an extensive criminal-records check, reverse phone number lookup, and a public records people search. Their services include sending an in-person scout to criminal or civil courthouses to look up non-digitized records. Through Intelius, you can discover if an individual has any criminal records, lawsuits or liens, and bankruptcies and check their phone numbers, past addresses, relatives and neighbors, and look up their property records.
Intelius reviews are very accurate and easy to read via an online dashboard. Intelius offers a mobile app for Android and iOS and customer support through phone, email, or their online troubleshooting center.
|Single report||$19.95 to $49.95|
TruthFinder lets you search millions of public records by name, reverse phone lookup, email address, or street address, delivering information about their contact details, current and past addresses, criminal and court records, traffic records, personal information, and known relatives. The deep web reports dive deeper into online records including social media profiles. TruthFinder offers the option to purchase a premium report covering education history, current and former roommates, neighbors, voter registration details, weapons permits, professional licenses, and more. TruthFinder is available online and through a mobile app for Android only. TruthFinder’s customer support is open 24/7 via email or toll-free phone number and there are an extensive FAQ and troubleshooting section.
|Reverse phone lookup plan||under $2 per month|
InstantCheckmate lets you search by full or partial name and last known location. InstantCheckmate’s standard search only checks for sex offender status and criminal records, marriage and divorce records, relatives, and social media profiles along with basic contact, personal information, and address history. For more information such as bankruptcies and court judgments, professional licenses, and weapons permits, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium plan. InstantCheckmate’s reports are easy to read, there’s a mobile app for Android only and customer support 24/7 through phone and email.
|Premium report upgrade||$19.99 per report|
The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Background Checks
It’s great to use background check websites for:
- Checking up on new neighbors
- Investigating a new date
- Searching for old friends and long-lost relatives
- Discovering who is calling your phone number
- Searching for sex offenders in your neighborhood
- Looking up your own online history
But even the best background check services cannot be used for:
- Screening future employees without their permission; This is a serious offense according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)*
- Investigating domestic help before hiring them is also illegal under the FCRA
- Verifying if someone is eligible for credit or insurance or for scholarships and grants
- Choosing tenants
*The FCRA “promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies…including credit bureaus and specialty agencies.” The FCRA regulates the credit reporting agencies and the people who use and provide consumer reports. If the FCRA is violated, a person can seek statutory or actual damages. For a background check for employees, domestic help, or tenants to be legal, under the FCRA, those individuals need to give permission to have a background check done on them (via documented permission).
Where do Background Check Services Get their Information?
Background service companies get their information from public records that are entirely open to anyone. The best background check companies don’t just use the internet but also consult archives, courtroom records, and call up references in person. The reasons men and women tend to use online background check services is simple – the sites have access to all the public records and can do it in one go. If you were to do a background check on your own, you would have to contact all the public record files yourself, and getting the information could take days.
What’s the Difference Between a Free and Paid Background Check Report?
Although everyone wants something for free, sometimes you get what you pay for. Only local state and county sites allow you to access records for free; nationwide ones charge a fee, so a free background check is likely to miss a lot of information. Using a human to supplement automated background check tools also costs money and brings a more reliable report. Free background checks tend to have more inaccuracies and miss out on more information than a paid report.
Do a Background Check Online Today
If you’re curious about a new love interest, want to check out a new neighbor, or just would like to see what information is floating around about you, there’s no reason to wait. Online background checks are not expensive, are easy to access, and fast to complete. Do an online background check today.