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Instant Checkmate Review – Is it any good?

Matt Avatar By: Matt | Last updated April 4, 2019

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There are a lot of companies nowadays that offer background check services. This seems to be a relatively new trend but one that has managed to catch on. Why? Because it is in our nature to be curious, suspicious and inquiring in certain circumstances.

Why would you use a background check service?

There are plenty of situations in our life when we would benefit from knowing more about the person sitting next to us or our beloved ones. You might want to know a little bit about your neighbors, to make sure you’re not living next to a sex offender or even worse. You might be planning to go on a blind date and want to find out a thing or two about your date, before you show up. Your kid just made a new friend and you want to know his/her parents are normal people. Or you might simply want to reconnect with a childhood friend or former classmate.

Background check services help you track down people you’re interested in and find out whether they have a questionable past, criminal history and so on. You can also find out where you can reach them and by what means.

What do background check reports include?

Depending from service to service, background check reports can include information such as:

  • Addresses of the searched person (current and past)
  • Phone numbers
  • Social media profiles
  • E-mail addresses
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Possible relatives
  • Arrest records
  • Properties owned
  • Driving records
  • Tax liens and more

Is Instant Checkmate any good?

Instant Checkmate describes itself as a ‘public records search’ service and the company offering the service has been around for over 10 years.

Instant Checkmate boasts on 1.3 billion searches made via the service so far.

What can Instant Checkmate offer?

This public records search service is a great way for you to find out useful information such as:

  • Former classmates
  • Friends and family members
  • Online buyers and sellers so you know you’re doing secure online transactions with trust-worthy companies
  • People you find on social media
  • Potential dates
  • Famous people
  • Even information on yourself. You can perform a search using your own name, to see what comes up and this way you can find out what kind of information about you is publicly available

Because it is not a Consumer Reporting Agency, Instant Checkmate cannot be used for anything else than just informative purposes. Here are some of the things you can’t use the service for:

  • You can’t use Instant Checkmate for employment screening
  • You can’t use Instant Checkmate for tenant screening
  • You can’t use it for determining educational/scholarship qualifications (for instance, you can’t decide if a student gets a grant based on what information you find in his/her report)
  • You can’t use Instant Checkmate to determine eligibility for credit or insurance

How much does Instant Checkmate cost?

Instant Checkmate offers 2 subscription plans to choose from: a 1-month subscription and a 3-month subscription.

The price for the 1-month subscription is $34.78.

The price for the 3-month subscription is $83.47.

Both subscriptions include unlimited standard reports for the period of time specified in the subscription.

You can also benefit from a 5-day trial offered by Instant Checkmate, for the price of just $1 per day.

As we’ve already mentioned it, the number of reports is indeed unlimited but it only refers to standard reports, which are not as comprehensive as premium reports. If you want more information about the person you are searching, you might want to consider upgrading to the Premium report, for an additional amount of $19.99.

Just to get an idea of the differences between the two, here is the kind of info you get in a standard report:

  • Date of birth
  • Phone numbers
  • Social media profiles
  • Address history (current address and past)
  • Email addresses
  • Nearby sex offenders
  • Arrest records
  • Relatives of the person

And here’s what you can get extra in the Premium report:

  • Old phone numbers
  • Civil judgments
  • Corporate affiliations and business associates
  • Tax liens
  • Neighbors
  • Foreclosures
  • Voter registration
  • Properties owned

Instant Checkmate app

Instant Checkmate offers a mobile app, too, although only for Android devices (so far). The app has only 11 MB and is compatible with Android 4.4 and up.

Is Instant Checkmate worth it?

Overall, we find Instant Checkmate a user-friendly, accurate and comprehensive background check service. The reports are well structured and easy to read, you get pictures associated with the person you are looking for, the information in the reports is accurate and the reports are really detailed.

Some cons to be aware of

Just like with any other service or product out there, there are some drawbacks to Instant Checkmate as well.

One of the things we didn’t like is the fact that a lot of the information is only available in the Premium reports.

We also think Instant Checkmate is a bit slow in generating your reports, compared to other services we’ve tested.

And yet another shortcoming is the fact that the mobile app is not yet compatible with iOS devices.