Background check companies can be used by those who want to look for specific information about a person within the US. This can be useful for a variety of reasons such as information verification, looking for a person you’ve lost contact with, and more.
How do they search for information?
While it may sound invasive for background check companies to do this, what they do is fully legal. They do not pry for information from private sources, but rather, look through government records made publicly available and through legal databases. All the information they gather are fully legal and available for viewing for anyone.
Why should I use it?
While the job may sound easy as most of the data they compile is available for anyone to view, the actual job of manually gathering these may prove tiresome. For the most accurate and comprehensive report, you may be required to go through thousands of websites to ensure that your information is complete.
Keep in mind, though, that these services cannot be used for employment and tenant screening purposes. A consumer reporting agency is what it is recommended for this purpose.
US Search is a background check company that has been around since 1998. Being one of the oldest on its market, it has stayed as one of the best. It has a good quality of background reports, with accuracy and completeness as their priority. They were featured on names such as The Wall Street Journal and CBS News 60 Minutes.
To test US Search’s quality of reports, we ordered for reports on three people. The quality of information will depend upon its accuracy and how up to date it is.
Upon receiving the reports, we found that almost all the information provided was of high quality. Information such as addresses, emails, relatives, and contact details were all correct. Be advised, though, that information that has been changed very recently and has not been updated in public databases may be listed incorrectly. Examples are the address of the person you want to contact who has recently moved to another place. The transfer of ownership from previous homeowners can also take time in updating. An allowance of 6 months for the data must be given.
Although almost all the information they provide is accurate, there is still some vital information which are not as available with their base pricing plans unlike with some other background check services. This includes legal records (court, assets, marriages, and more) which are important for those who want to know more about a certain person.
The presentation of the information was clean and organized. When we received the reports for the people we want to research, we immediately understood which data is which. The only downside is that the listing of the information is not done chronically, which may be important for contact details or addresses.
To ease the process of searching, it is best to know some basics about the person such as their full name or their last known home address.
Californian residents are given the right to know which parts of their personal information are collected. They may also refuse to have their personal information sold online. The website can guide users in how to leave out their information from their database.
The following are the different features of US Search for you to select the most relevant for your inquiries:
- People Search – This is the most important search in case you are looking for relatives or acquaintances you’ve lost contact with. A last name is required for this type of search. For best results, it is also good to include a city, state, or the first name of the person as many may have the last name of the person you’re looking for.
- Phone Number Lookup – You may also search for a person through their phone number. This may not be updated all the time as phone numbers can be transferred to others once expired. Having this data may shorten your time for searching, though.
You can also use this to do a reverse phone lookup to see who has been calling you or your family member.
- Email Search – An email can also be used to look for a person’s information. You may get better results by using a personal e-mail as an office e-mail may give you vague results. The person’s address and phone number will also be included if available.
- Social Network Search – Although you can do this by your own, you can also use US Search to conduct a social network search. Through here, you can browse through social media sites for their photos and further information. This is advised for those looking for old friends or family. The websites which US Search recommends are a bit out of data, though, as they include MySpace (which is rarely used nowadays). Other websites include Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Property Records – You can look for a person using their property records. They use records that lending companies and appraisers also use which proves its quality of data. Information such as ownerships, deed information, maps, property details, and more can be seen. The required given information for this type of search includes street address, city, state, and zip.
- Criminal Records – Through US Search, you can search for a person’s list of felonies, convictions, sexual offenses, misdemeanors, and other criminal offenses. You can also choose whether to use a Nationwide or a State-based search. The required information for this search is the person’s last name, city, and state.
- Background Check – You can do a full background check using US Search. Through here, you can look for important information such as address history, phone number, criminal background records, current addresses, and more. The required information for this type of search is the person's last name, city, and state.
- Website Search – The website of US Search can guide you through all its features. From there, you can enter the information of the person you’re looking for including their mobile number, email address, home addresses, and more. You can also use the tool at the bottom of the website which lets you search for a person using the first letter of their name.
US Search offers good prices for their quality service. Their pricing plans are divided into three (for subscriptions along with OmniSearch). These are the following:
One Report Only – This gives you a single report. This is recommended for those who want to check out the quality of their website and for those who plan to use their service only once. It is priced at $2.45.
Unlimited Monthly – In case you will be doing a lot of searches, it is advised to get the Unlimited Monthly plan which gives you unlimited phone and people searches. It is priced at $19.95 billed monthly.
Unlimited Quarterly – This is their most popular plan as it gives 3 months of unlimited searches (both people and phone searches) for a discount of $10 less. It is priced at $49.95 billed quarterly.
The following are included in the People Search Reports:
- Full Name and Aliases
- Contact Information
- Address History
- Social Networks
The following are included in the Phone Search Reports:
- Names associated with the phone number you searched with
- Addresses associated with the phone number you searched with
- Phone Carrier
- Carrier Location
- A people search report on the names that are associated with the phone number
For additional payments, the following can also be searched:
- National Criminal Records searches are priced at $19.95
- Marriage and Divorce Records searches are priced at $2.95
- Property Records Searches are priced at $4.95
- Email Address Searches are priced at $2.95
- Enhanced Relatives Searches are priced at $4.95
- Enhanced Associates Searches are priced at $2.95
After gathering information about the person, you can download a PDF of the report without paying for an additional fee unlike with other background check services.
In case you will look for most of the information included in the last list, you will need to pay more. This may be a deal breaker for some as most of this information is already provided by other background check services in their base pricing plans (however, other background check services have higher base prices compared to US Search’s).
Further information about their services can be seen through the Register option from their website. From here, you can see a FAQ about billing and customer services, credits and memberships, reports, pre-searching tips, and website features.
US Search is recommended for those who want to do a simple background check about a person and want to know information such as addresses, contact details, and relatives. It is simple and easy to use. Its reports were also comprehensive and organized. Compared to other services, they have the most accurate information included in their reports.
The only downsides are the out-of-date information they give if the data you are looking for has been changed within six months. Those who are planning to look for more information such as criminal records, email searches, and marriage/divorce records will have to pay for more too which makes the service more recommended for those with simpler needs.