Background check services are widely used nowadays, for various purposes. They can help us track down childhood friends we want to reconnect with, they can offer information about work colleagues, our neighbors and so much more.
How does a background check service work?
There are several types of background checks you can do and the most popular ones are employment ones and personal background checks. It is important not to confuse services that offer employment background checks with regular online background check services, usually used for personal purposes (such as TruthFinder for instance).
Employment checks can only be performed with the consent of the person who’s being checked. They usually include records from the last 7 or 10 years of the person’s life, including their education, professional background, criminal and medical records, credit history and more. You cannot use the information you find in the screening process unless you notify the candidate and include a copy of the report in your notice. There are also other strict regulations related to the use of the employment background check reports.
Most background check services you find online (PeopleFinders, BeenVerified, TruthFinder, PeopleLooker to name just a few) cannot be used for employment purposes and they clearly state that on their website.
What to look for when choosing a background check service
Here are some of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a background check service:
- What sources does the service use; make sure they are reliable and up to date
- How long does it take until the report is complete and available to you
- Choose a company that offers a good customer support
- Find out what kind of information is included in the report
- Compare the pricing from several companies to choose the most affordable one
What can you use services like TruthFinder for?
TruthFinder is a good example of online background check services that are NOT consumer reporting agencies, are not FCRA compliant and can only be used for personal and informative purposes. TruthFinder defines itself as a ‘public records search service that compiles public records’ from various sources. These sources can be anything from social media data to county, federal and state records.
While you can’t use TruthFinder for screening candidates for jobs or screening potential tenants, you can use the service for other purposes. TruthFinder can help you find data on a neighbor, sex offenders in your areas, any new friends you make, former classmates or old friends, the parents of your kid’s friends, favorite celebrities and more.
TruthFinder can also be useful for looking up online sellers, because we do a lot of our shopping online these days and it is easy to get scammed on the internet. With TruthFinder you can find out if a certain website is trustworthy or not.
Another thing you can use the service for is to find out who’s behind unknown numbers when you get a ‘mysterious’ phone call.
And yet another thing you can do with TruthFinder is to find out information about yourself, to see how your online reputation looks like.
How to use TruthFinder and how much does it cost
In order to use TruthFinder, you have to first sign up. You can then login either using the email and password you used to create the account or you can login with your Facebook account, if you created your account through Facebook.
How much does TruthFinder cost?
TruthFinder is membership-based. You can choose between their 1-month and their 3-month subscription plan.
Their 1-month subscription is $27.78/month and allows you to run unlimited standard reports. If you were to pull 1 report/day that would cost you less than 99 cents/report.
Their 3-month membership is around $26/month and you have the same benefits as with the 1-month subscription.
TruthFinder also has an available plan for phone number lookup. For less than $2 you can perform an unlimited number of phone look ups.
The aforementioned plans give you access to standard reports only. The standard report includes the basic information such as:
- address and address history
- phone number
- date of birth
- criminal records
- social media data
- marriage and divorce
If you want more detailed information you can pay an extra $17 and get the Premium Report Upgrade. This option gives you access to additional information such as: the person’s properties, prior addresses, their business details, such as their associates, professional licenses, weapons permits, tax liens, neighbors, old phone numbers, civil judgments, traffic accidents, voter registration info and more.
In terms of payment methods, TruthFinder accepts PayPal, credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) or you can pay through the customer dashboard.