Background check services are really popular nowadays. They come in many types and have various types of customers, depending on everyone’s needs.
What exactly are background check services?
A background check service helps you find out information on people, based on different search criteria such as name, location, phone number, etc.
Most background check services are cloud-based, meaning they can be accessed online via anywhere you have an Internet connection. Background check services gather their information from various sources: from online sources, including social media profiles and other sites, to state and county records, courthouses and more.
What do background check reports include?
There are various types of background check services out there:
- Personal background checks
- Employment background checks
- Criminal background checks
- Universal background checks
Based on what kind of information you are interested in, you can get a lot of useful information such as:
- Criminal records, including arrest records
- Sex offender registries
- Employment records
- Education records
- Driving records
- Military records
- Marriage records
- Phone numbers and more
Background check services are widely used by companies in their hiring process, as a method of screening candidates. The reason why more and more employees (more than 70% of them) use these types of services is the fact that a large number of people lie in their job applications/resume. In some cases they claim they have diplomas or aptitudes they don’t really have and in other cases they cover up certain criminal activities for instance. Regardless of the scenario, a background check can be a good way to verify each candidate. This way the employee saves money on the long run, by not hiring someone inadequate and then having to repeat the entire process. The company also makes sure the working environment will be safe.
Of course, there are other benefits to using background check services. Individuals can benefit from personal background check services as well, when they want to do a check on their colleague, neighbor, or when they want to track down an old acquaintance or childhood friend.
How to choose a background check service?
The first thing you want to do when settling for a background check service is to define your needs. Not all background check services do the same thing and not all of them are FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant. Most affordable, web-based services such as PeopleFinders, PeopleLooker, BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate and others similar to these, are not FCRA certified and should only be used for personal purposes/use. While they are more affordable, they are not for employment purposes. So the first thing you should do is define your needs and find an appropriate provider/service.
Once you know what you want, do some research on the company you want to go with and check out their credentials. Also, make sure the information they provide is accurate, by reading reviews and seeing what others who tried the service say.
Find out what the turnaround is. Some companies make you wait longer for your report. You want to opt for a service that is fast.
Another important thing to consider is what sources does the background check service uses, Are they accurate and most importantly, are they updated?
What is Instant Checkmate?
Instant Checkmate define themselves as being a public records search service. The service allows you to search anyone you want in America. The service has been on the market for almost 10 years and boasts on more than 1.3 billion searches so far.
Instant Checkmate is not FCRA certified, so you can’t use it for purposes such as employment screening, decisions related to credit eligibility, tenant screening.
What can you use Instant Checkmate for?
Instant Checkmate can provide a wide range of information. You can get personal information that may include ethnicity/race, religion, height/weight, political affiliation.
You can use Instant Checkmate for contact and residential information: addresses and location history, estimated home value, telephone numbers, social media profiles, relatives, date and place of birth.
Instant Checkmate can also be used for professional information such as employment history, occupation and more.
And of course, this service allows you to search for criminal/arrest records, based on location. Criminal records may also include sex offender info, even speed tickets and other types of felonies.
Two types of reports available with Instant Checkmate
There are two types of reports you can obtain with Instant Checkmate: the standard ones, which include almost of the aforementioned and premium reports, which include info such as civil judgments, tax liens, email addresses, neighbors, voter registration, properties owned, corporate affiliations, professional licenses, old phone numbers, foreclosures, hunting/fishing and weapon permits and more.
Instant Checkmate also includes reverse phone lookup, which can be useful if you want to find out the identity of unknown callers.
Instant Checkmate pricing
In addition to the $1 trial offered by Instant Checkmate, which includes access to the standard report, this service has 2 memberships: a 30-day membership that costs $34.78 (it includes unlimited reports for those 30 days) and a 3-month membership priced at $83.47.
The search process is simple and quick. You can start performing searches before you create your account, but it won’t be of much help, as you do need an account in order to access the report anyway. You can search people based on their full name, their age and their location. You’ll be asked a series of helpful questions during the process, which will increase the level of accuracy in your report. The report takes around 5 minutes to be generated and then you have to sign up and opt for one of their memberships. Only after that you can access the report.
Instant Checkmate’s reports can be viewed directly online or you can pay a one-time fee and have them downloaded as PDF.
In terms of mobile apps, Instant Checkmate does provide one, but at the time of writing this article, it was only compatible with Android devices.
In case you want to cancel your membership and make sure your personal info doesn’t continue to appear in their database, you can submit an opt-out request and have your information removed in max. 48 hours.