Various people will conduct a background check on someone for various reasons. Some may need to contact a family relative or a lost friend, others may do it to check on a potential or future employee, and individuals may do a background check on themselves to find out how much information about them is available to the public.
A background check is the process used by an individual or a company as verification that someone is who they claim to be. It offers an opportunity to find out and confirm how valid someone’s education, employment history, criminal record, and other past activities are. Background checks can be conducted by government agencies at a fee or by private companies.
Background checks help get important details about other individuals and are conducted from legally available information that is accessible to the public. Online background check companies will provide you with the required information about someone. Background check sites usually need an address to convey other information about the targeted person. The sites can be used for various reasons depending on the information you wish to obtain.
Top 3 Background Check Sites
- Intelius – Best background check service for beginners
- Instant Checkmate – Best background check service for data
- TruthFinder – Best background check service for frequent checks
As a background check service, it exhaustively combines information available on public records about individuals and generates comprehensive reports. Additional to the usual criminal history, addresses, and financial data, it also provides an individual’s educational record.
It is not Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant which makes it illegal to use the service for tenant and employee screening.
Intelius provides a detailed check for users by having the following features;
- Name Search– Allows you to find a person if you have details of their full name, city, and the state they currently live in or have lived in the past.
- Background check– It is an in-depth look into one’s history.
- People Search Report– Helps one search for lost relatives and understand anyone’s social network. It has an interactive grid that shows the connection between a specific contact’s circle. The People Search feature is more comprehensive as compared to the known white page directories.
- Premiere Search– It contains information gathered and compiled from public records.
- Public records search for the named person’s public record details.
- Reverse phone lookup for unrecognized phone number details.
- Reverse address lookup for property details.
- Phone directory for US phone numbers
- Identity protection.
Intelius has several plans depending on what you are looking for, with each having a cancellation fee. They include;
- Reverse Phone Lookup charged at $0.95.
- People Search charged at $0.95.
- Social Network Search charged at $6.95.
- Email lookup charged at $6.95.
- Full Background check charged at $39.95.
- Reverse Address Lookup charged at $4.95- $14.95.
- Premier charged at $19.95 per month.
- Premier Plus charged at $29.95 per month.
- Criminal record charged at $14.95 statewide and $29.95 nationwide.
Most of the plans are inexpensive but come with a catch. After paying for basic service such as the Reverse Phone Lookup or People Search, you are automatically signed up for Intelius Premier Plus (a seven-day trial).
If you decide to stop before the end of the week, a cancellation fee of $7.95 is charged. The trials are free but only when not cancelled before the company embarks on charging for monthly subscriptions.
For those looking for subscriptions, there are two available options;
Intelius Premier Membership– It allows for unlimited searches and is charged at $19.95 monthly. It can be purchased or bought as a standalone product.
Intelius Premier Plus– It allows for unlimited searches with one background search charged at $29.95 monthly. It cannot be purchased on its own and can only be accessed once a basic service is purchased, and a seven-day trial is agreed to.
Users can obtain the following information;
- Present and past home addresses.
- Phone numbers.
- Possible relative names and their contacts.
- One’s education history.
- A person’s age and date of birth.
- Financial information.
- One’s employment history.
- Social media details.
- Known aliases
- Court records.
- The report is inclusive of one’s education history- high schools, colleges, or universities attended by a candidate as provided by public records.
- There are multiple packages that are available depending on the needed records.
- One can receive instant access to the background check report.
- The subscriptions are more affordable.
- Intelius can help you stay protected from shady people as it scans sex offender listings and criminal records.
The Site generally has positive reviews. The customer service has been commendable, and they are said to have fast and helpful responses to any complaints. The platform can be used to reconnect with relatives and friends, especially when one has no updated phone numbers or changed addresses.
Most negative reviews emerge from pricing complaints and difficulties when logging in, but the accurate reports that are generated and flexible plans are favored by many clients.
Many clients report that the pricing is a bit misleading as the Site automatically signs one up for a subscription that must be manually cancelled to avoid charges.
Instant Checkmate is the best background check website for data and also a people search tool. It combines information from public records and provides details of phone numbers, email, social media pages, criminal records, and demographic data.
It is a legal service, but the information obtained cannot be used to decide about employees, consumer credits, tenants, or any other purposes that require FCRA compliance.
People Search- It allows one to search for anyone, and a detailed background report with the person’s information is delivered, additional to any of their public records.
Criminal Records Search- This feature delivers a thorough and detailed report with a person’s criminal history if it exists. After searching for a person’s name, any arrests and convictions that are attributed or linked to the individual are generated.
These will include warrants, DUI arrests, arrest records, any felony convictions, inmate records, mugshots, traffic violations, and misdemeanor convictions.
Additional features made available are Address search, Reverse phone lookup, Sex offender watch, Background report PDF copies, Dark Web scan, and an option to get rid of your own report from the database.
The price range is between $1.00 to $83.47 and depends on the number of background checks you wish to conduct. The plans provided include;
- A five-day trial offer charged at $1.00.
- A one-month membership is charged at $34.78 monthly.
- A three-month membership is charged at $83.47 every three months.
- A one-time PDF fee is charged at $1.99 per PDF.
Users can obtain the following information;
- Phone numbers.
- Names and known aliases.
- Vehicles owned by the subject.
- Photographs of the subject.
- Details on addresses and location.
- Subject’s civil judgments.
- Subject’s liens and bankruptcies.
- Contact information on relatives.
- Financial information.
- Subject’s email addresses.
- Subject’s employment history.
- The interface is easy to use with clear directions.
- The five-day trial is very affordable.
- There are apps available for iOS and Android users.
- There are various search methods one can choose from.
- It generates massive information with just a single search.
The interface has been reported as easy to use, clean and reliable. It has a tick box feature that makes one indicate that they will not use the information for employment decisions and tenancy matters as it is not Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) accredited.
Previously, the Site has been sued for violating the FCRA by the Fair Trade Commission, but they are reforming themselves with FAQs being posted to show customers how their services should be properly and legally utilized.
The records provided are not updated as often, especially for events that have just occurred. The advertising of their services and pricing has also not been clear as a page that offers the same is not easy to find.
TruthFinder is the best of the cheap background check services for anyone who wishes to conduct frequent checks and performs a background check on anybody. The range of its features covers private and public databases.
It will help you perform a background check on someone and provide you with vast information related to them. Its information is recent, accurate, and up to date. The tool is not FCRA accredited, therefore, cannot be used for a tenant or employee screening.
People Search – Enables you to obtain information by simply searching for someone’s name.
Background Check – Obtained by searching a person’s first and last name. If you are unaware of the first or last name, the reverse phone lookup tool can be used. This enables you to perform the background check with records using a phone number.
Dark web scan – This feature scans data points in the dark web to find out if one has been a victim of a data breach or identity theft.
Criminal records search – Uses history obtained from the FBI, federal, and the state law enforcement agencies to provide details of actual crime data associated with someone.
Public Records search – Scans data points to generate one’s public records.
Additional features are Reverse address lookup, Sex offender search, the ability to get rid of your own report, and self-monitoring features.
TruthFinder has different pricing options, and they include;
- A full monthly subscription is charged at $27.78 monthly.
- A 2-month subscription is charged at $23.04 monthly.
- Reverse phone lookup plan that does not include the background check feature charged at $4.99 monthly.
Users can find the following information about a candidate;
- Their contact information.
- Their email addresses.
- Their personal property data.
- Social network handles.
- Their potential partners, relatives, and friends.
- Their personal information such as age, name, and photographs.
- Information on their personal assets.
- Their possible neighbors.
- It provides recent and up-to-date information.
- The tool includes information related to one’s social media.
- The entire history of one’s location, addresses, and top-visited places can be obtained.
- The platform is convenient and user-friendly as it has apps available for IOS and Android users.
- With a monthly subscription, you are not limited to the number of background checks you can perform.
- The search parameters can be modified however you want.
- It is easily accessible from any web browser and is a fast interface that readily generates results.
- It provides high-profile facilities such as Dark- Web scan, public record, and people search.
Truthfinder generates accurate and up-to-date information. It is easy to use. Its background check option puts together all the personal information that can be found based on your query. It does not offer free background check trials unlike other platforms but one can easily sign up and cancel if they feel that it is unsuitable.
It does not have a single search option and this may be wasteful if you do not require very many background checks in a month.
Types of background checks
Employment Background Checks – These are run by employers to avoid hiring a person who may become a liability to them or pose a threat at the workplace. It can be conducted at any time the employer feels it is necessary, or it can be done during a job application.
Criminal Background Checks – A criminal background check will be conducted where someone or a company needs to know about someone’s record of criminal activity. For example, details on fraud, felony convictions, embezzlement, or violent crimes can be obtained.
These details can be used before making decisions regarding employment, firearm purchase, child adoption, military enlistment and many more.
Universal Background Checks – These are performed by sellers through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) when someone purchases a firearm from licensed dealers, manufacturers or importers. It is done in order to ascertain that the prospective buyer is fully eligible to purchase the firearm.
Office of the inspector (OIG) background checks – Conducted to prevent individuals that have committed health care related felonies or crimes from working in Healthcare programs that are federally- funded. The background check is free and can be done on the OIG website by simply searching a person’s name.
Fingerprint Background check – It is mostly used alongside other forms of background checks as part of a pre-employment process. It is compulsory for institutions that are run by the government, such as government hospitals, public schools, law enforcement agencies, airports, and fire departments.
International background checks – These are conducted on individuals that have worked, lived, or studied in different countries as an addition to a regular background check.
Credit Background Check – It is a record of someone’s credit to debt ratio. The record shows a history of how one has managed their credit and bill payments. It is a requirement when one is applying for a credit card, home or car loan, or other types of loans.
It can be done by landlords to check whether a person applying for a rental has a good credit history and can pay their rent on time. It can also be done for employment positions that require handling finances, especially where the employee will have access to money daily or will manage money. It is vital where embezzlement or fraud is possible.
Personal background check – It can be done to find out if you appear in databases that concern crime, traffic, or sex offenses. It is a good way to address any errors in the time to save yourself from missing out on opportunities.
You can run a personal background check to;
- Avoid unknown personal information being generated by others.
- Provide clarity on the information provided.
- Correct any errors before other people see any mistaken personal information.
- Impress any future employers, especially where results are posted in a resume or shared in an interview.
Professional license background checks – These verify that an applicant possesses a valid license. This is because some industries highly rely on professional licenses to validate that the employees have the required knowledge, credentials, and experience needed for job performance.
For the background check to be performed, the background search company will contact the state licensing board or the applicable industry to verify that the held license is in good standing, has not expired or lapsed, and that it is not associated with any violations or restrictions.
Benefits of Background Checks
- They enable employers to hire qualified people for their business growth.
- They encourage honesty in an interview or job application process.
- They help protect members of the public.
- For federal, local, state, and legal requirement compliance.
- They discourage dishonesty.
- They are reliable sources of information.
- They will provide a safe workplace and protection for an organization’s employees and customers.
- They minimize liability due to the performance of a “due diligence”.
- They eliminate uncertainty and protect people’s public reputation.
- They are essential for corporate security.
- They may be part of the client’s conditions for doing business.
What To Search For In A Background Check Site
There are many background check sites that are available and finding the one that is right for your needs and requirements may be difficult. To narrow down the best ones, consider and look out for the following factors;
Choose a site or company depending on your budget and factor in any additional charges that may be incurred. Some companies will provide one-time services while others will need a monthly subscription.
The Industries Served by the Site
Find out whether the Site serves your specific industry (hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, etc.) or if it offers packages that are specific to an industry. Most of the sites will serve various industries but those that have industry specific packages can help you make a choice and ensure that a person’s thorough evaluation is conducted.
The Site’s reputation
Check for the feedback that has been generated by previous users regarding a platform to make an excellent choice. Check for factors such as how useful it is, the support offered by the agents and whatever is important to you. Intuitive online portals are important for viewing results.
The Technology Available
A site that offers advanced and the latest technological features such as Applicant Tracking System (ATS) integrations and consent forms is recommended.
This is an important factor for businesses or individuals that need advanced or unique background checks such as drug tests or healthcare screening. It may not be vital if you find a site that offers the screenings in a bundled plan.
The time period before receiving results
The turnaround time is an important factor to look out for, especially when working with tight deadlines. Some sites usually have the turnaround time listed online and this makes it easy for you.
The Background Check Services Available
Choose for a site that can perform any background screening you may require.
The Site’s ease of use
Most background check companies or sites will offer their services via phone, live chats, and email. Choose one that will offer your preferred support method and one that you can comfortably use. Verify that the agents are helpful.
The Site’s Accuracy
It is important to ensure that you are provided with accurate, clear, and complete reports to help you make the right decisions based on precise details.
The Site’s Compliance and Accreditation.
Ensure that it is (FCRA) Compliant. The FCRA drives the background screening industry. A site that is not FCRA compliant cannot be used for the purposes of pre-employment and tenant screening. A site that is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is also recommended. The accredited sites or companies are required to adhere to specific and strict guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some frequently asked questions regarding background check services and sites will help you determine what you really need or are looking for;
What details are provided in a background check?
The best background check service will include the following details;
- Verification of one’s identity.
- Driving records.
- Education records.
- References of past employers.
- Any secret social media accounts.
- Criminal history in relation to drugs or alcohol.
- Criminal records that relate to violence
- Sex offender registry listing.
- Financial and credit records.
- Records on marriage and divorce.
- Details on address history.
- License verification.
- International background checks.
Civil orders for example restraining orders will not usually be included in a background check but may show as a sentence annotation as an addition to a candidate’s criminal charge.
What is the average cost for a candidate?
Most of the providers available will offer background checks on three levels- basic background check, advanced background check, and in-depth background check. With a basic level, you can pay between $25 to $50 for a report, an advanced check may cost about $60 to $80, and an in-depth check may cost about $80 to $100 or even more.
Find out what your background check site charges for specific levels before buying.
Is it better to buy a package or to use a fee per- candidate?
This will depend on how many individuals you wish to or will screen over a period of time-monthly or yearly. Companies or people that need to screen very many candidates can consider buying a package so as to pay a flat rate for many screenings.
A per- candidate fee may be the best option if you occasionally screen or if you perform less screenings over a period of time. Gauge yourself according to the number of candidates.
What background check website is the most accurate?
There is no specific measure to the level of accuracy a background check site offers, but it is utterly important to choose one that is reputable. Usually, this will be in regard to FCRA compliance. It can also depend on whether a candidate has used an alias or not.
It is still possible for most sites to add aliases. Where there is foreign involvement or for cases with common names. The background check providers may review the information manually, which may lead to an added cost.
Does the candidate need to sign a waiver for background checks?
Mostly, a waiver is important when obtaining background check information. Certain states may provide laws that specify what the waiver should include while some prohibit background checking unless it is from a position of trust. Always seek for legal counsel to check for your region’s compliance.
What are the different levels of background checks?
The levels of background checks are more progressively involved. Level 1 checks for a candidate in a local court, Level 2 checks for a candidate on national and state records, and Level 3 is a standard background check that will include a candidate’s criminal history, reference checks, education, and previous employment details. At times it can include drug testing when requested.
In the current world that we live in, performing background checks has become a norm for many people and companies. A background check aids in the provision of an individual’s information regarding their history for risk assessment (whether they are a threat to others or they can be trusted or not).
Past actions are not determinants of future actions, but performing a background check on someone will help in the creation of safety and trust for the society as a whole. Background check online has now been made available depending on one’s requirements.
Background check sites are legit and provide detailed information about a person, but there are certain considerations that must be made before settling on one.