Best Review Guide / Reviews / Services / Background Check

Best Reviewed Background Check


1

Verispy

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ProsPros
  • Transparent and fair-play about its pricing
  • No automatic renewal, so in case you forget to cancel your account, but you don’t want to use their services anymore, you won’t be charged after your subscription expires
  • There is one full background report per month included
  • The service performs a search within 30 seconds
  • Easy to use interface
ConsCons
  • The reports aren’t the most accurate ones and some advertised data may be missing from them

Verispy is an online background check service based in Waltham, Massachusetts. As stated on its website, it’s not a consumer-reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but it is one of the most popular services on the market. They boast on over 8 million inquiries so far.

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9.9

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2

PeopleFinders

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ProsPros
  • Prices below average
  • You can buy single reports
  • Inexpensive 4 day trial
  • Several types of search available
  • Accurate reports
ConsCons
  • No mobile apps available
  • Social media and employment history data not included in the reports
  • Has a cancelation fee

PeopleFinders is a complex DaaS (data as a service) provider. It allows you to perform several types of searches, it provides accurate reports and it is really affordable. Its only major drawbacks are the lack of a mobile app and the fact that you won’t find social media and employment history info in your reports.

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9.7

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3

GoodHire

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ProsPros
  • Generous number of searches available
  • Accurate reports
  • Easy to use
  • Reputable company
  • Can perform international checks
ConsCons
  • A bit pricey and there are a lot of paid add-ons
  • Basic plan is a bit limited
  • Sometimes it takes longer than estimated to receive the report

GoodHire is a complex and trust-worthy background check service for employers from all types of businesses. It isn’t the most affordable provider on the market, but it is easy to use, delivers accurate reports, it is FCRA compliant and has an A+ rating with the BBB.

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9.3

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4

Inteligator

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ProsPros
  • A lot of useful features (assisted search, opt-out from having your information available in their searches, etc)
  • Various searches available: background, criminal background/arrests, marriages/divorces, legal documents, court records, contact information, reverse phone search, neighborhood, sex offenders, reverse email search, etc.
  • They have an extensive database (access to more than 2 billion records)
ConsCons
  • Not the most accurate reports compared to most competitors
  • No hard copies available
  • Not the best customer support

Inteligator is an online background check and searching service. The company boasts on over 178 million searches and counting. It claims to give access to more than 2 billion records that cover all 50 states and that their data covers 95% of US adult population.

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8.8

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5

BeenVerified

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ProsPros
  • The website is very easy to use and the reports very easy to read and understand
  • They have a lot of mobile apps that are compatible with Android and iOS devices
  • The service includes the opt-out feature
  • The standard report is comprehensive
ConsCons
  • Premium reports don’t always give you your money’s worth, don’t offer too many additional information
  • Sometimes there are too many name matches or near matches found and you have to spend some time in order to find the right name

The company was founded in 2007 and the BeenVerified background check and people search service was launched two years later, in 2009. They claim to have run over 81 million people reports so far. The service is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it is not a consumer reporting agency, according to the laws of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

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8.6

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6

TruthFinder

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ProsPros
  • Easy to navigate interface
  • Timeline view of the report
  • Accurate information
  • Reasonably priced
  • Mobile app that works on iOS and Android
ConsCons
  • It takes a long time to complete the report
  • No free trial/report
  • Can’t buy a single report

TruthFinder stands out through its accurate reports, easy to navigate interface and the timeline view of the reports. What we didn’t like about this service is the long time it takes to generate your report and the fact that it doesn’t offer the possibility to buy a single report. You have to choose a subscription.

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8.6

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7

PeopleLooker

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ProsPros
  • Fast
  • Straightforward interface
  • Complex mobile apps
  • Thorough reports
ConsCons
  • The desktop version lacks some features found in the mobile apps
  • No free searches included

PeopleLooker comes at a standard price, it is an accurate, user-friendly and fast background service. While it is not FCRA certified and shouldn’t be used for employment purposes, admissions, etc., it can still provide useful and thorough data and has mobile apps that are more complex than the desktop version of the service. The mobile apps work with iOS and Android.

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8.5

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8

Instant Checkmate

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ProsPros
  • Easy to read reports, clean, attractive and user-friendly interface
  • A lot of useful additional features, some of them free (a criminal records database, sex offender database)
  • There is an opt-out feature included (in case you want your information removed from their site)
  • The service gives you pictures associated with the person you are searching for
  • A lot of useful info for dating purposes (social media profiles, sign compatibility and others)
ConsCons
  • The searching process is a bit too slow
  • A lot of important information is labeled as additional data in the report and it’s only available with their Premium membership
  • The mobile app is only compatible with Android devices

Instant Checkmate is a public records search service that operates in the United States, since 2010. It was initially conceived as a dating resource, but now it has also become one of the most popular online background check websites.

The company claims it’s performed almost 1,3 billion searches so far.

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8.4

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9

Intelius

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ProsPros
  • One of the most comprehensive and accurate background services on the market
  • Excellent customer support
  • There is a mobile app compatible with both Apple and Android
  • They have an opt-out policy, in case you don’t want your personal information on their database
  • Easy to use interface
ConsCons
  • Not the most affordable service; it has too many pricing options
  • You can’t search people by email

Intelius is a background check and people search company based in Washington, US. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and one of the highest scores on the market in terms of accuracy of the information it provides. However, the company has a controversial history. It has received several complaints from its customers for allegedly giving private cell phone numbers, for deceptive credit card changes and post-transaction marketing practices.

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8.2

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Last updated July 15, 2019

Online background check services

Both individuals and businesses can benefit a great deal from background check services. You may just be interested to know who your new boyfriend is, what your next tenant may hide, what kind of person your babysitter is, what past does your business partner carries, if he ever filed for bankruptcy or what background does your potential new employee has. Either way, background check services can help you learn a lot about someone’s life. Generally, people use these services for 2 reasons: either to find out themselves information about others they come in contact with or to find out what information others may discover about them.

Studies revealed that more than 80% of companies perform some type of background check.

Background checks are usually used to find out the financial, criminal or commercial records of certain organizations or by employers who are looking to hire trust-worthy people in fields such as banks or other financial institutions, hospitals, schools, etc. They help employers to figure out the character or past mistakes of a candidate. According to the Freakonomics book, approximately 50% of the population lie in their resumes.

The compiled information can vary from case to case but may include:

  • citizenship, immigration or the legal working status of a person
  • criminal records, sex offenders records
  • education records
  • employment records
  • medical data (both physiological and mental records)
  • drug tests
  • driving records
  • military records, etc.

The gathered information comes from public records (social media and other websites, county clerk’s offices, courthouses and so on), so it is true that you could basically find that data by yourself. Also, keep in mind that given the sources, some facts may be outdated. However, people prefer to turn to such services because it is more convenient and efficient and saves them a lot of time and headaches. Nobody wants to waste their time doing detective work.

The turnaround time varies based on the type of searches that are being conducted. A background check can take minutes, hours, days or even a week. The average is 2 or 3 business days for common criminal records. Other information such as employment history, education and so on may take longer.

Legal issues

In the US, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the use of such information obtained from background checks. For screening purposes, you must use a specialized employment screening service or a consumer reporting agency.

Before doing the background check, an employer has to provide the candidate with a disclosure form that informs him that he is going to obtain a consumer report for employment purposes. The applicant also has to sign an authorization that allows the employer to get the consumer report.

Moreover, if an employer decides to reject a candidate based on his background check, there could be legal consequences. The employer is obliged by law to disclose to the applicant the source of the information, to present him with ‘a notification of adverse action letter’and a copy of the FCRA summary of rights before he makes any decision. Also, the candidate has to be notified that he can contest any incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate information in that report.

In order to run a background check you need to have some basic information on the researched person: full name, social security number and date of birth.

Background checks can go as far as 10 years into the past, according to FCRA regulations. The industry standard is 7 years, but bankruptcy, tax liens, civil lawsuits information are limited to 10 years in the past. For any other information the limit is 7 years, unless you have legal authorization to access records even further back in time.

There are several choices on the market right now and you can select the right service for you based on various factors. Some of the most trust-worthy and popular background check services today are Intelius, US Search, Been Verified, Instant Checkmate, PeopleSmart, Verispy, People Finders and others.

Background Check Services – What To Look For

Background checks have become essential in various aspects of our lives. Whether they are performed for individual or business purposes (such as employment screenings), they can offer you a lot of useful information on the person you are dealing with and reduce the risk of relying on the wrong people.

But there are a lot of online background check companies out there and not all of them provide the same quality services.

Here are some useful tips that may help you make the right choice:

  • make sure the company you choose is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); there are very strict rules regarding what kind of information you are allowed to search about someone and how you are allowed to use that information; for example, before engaging in a background check, an employer has to provide the candidate with a disclosure form that informs him that he is going to obtain a consumer report for employment purposes; the applicant also has to sign an authorization that allows the employer to get the consumer report; there are a lot of lawsuits filed against employers who violate the FCRA regulations, so make sure you don’t get yourself in trouble by using the wrong company;
  • you should also pay attention to credentials as they can help you better determine whether a company is legitimate or not; your best choice would be a NAPBS member (a company that is a member of the National Association of Professional Screeners), because that means the firm complies with all the laws and regulations and it is closely monitored; as an extra precaution you should check the address and contact information of the company to make sure the information is up to date and correct
  • find out what kind of background check the company offers; when people first think about background checks, the first thing that comes to mind is employment screening/employment history, but these services can offer way more information than that (criminal background, education, litigation records, driving records, credit checks, drug testing, etc.); go with the service that is best tailored to your needs
  • pricing; this is an obvious one; don’t jump on the first service you see, do some research, compare services and make sure the prices of the company you want to choose are fair and competitive; on the other hand, don’t trust companies that are way too cheap, because you will most likely end up paying more afterwards, if the information they provide is false or inaccurate; you may for example end up hiring the wrong employee, based on a weak report and that will be significantly more costly in the long run
  • find out what is the accuracy of the information they provide; this is one of the most important factors, because if the information is outdated, inaccurate, imprecise or incorrect, it is useless; find out if your provider has a quality assurance process that mitigates such errors or inaccuracies; look for companies that have high accuracy rates
  • aim for a service that is easy to use in terms of the interface of the website; the reports are accessible either via email or directly on the website, through a central dashboard; make sure the dashboard is user-friendly and comes with helpful additional information such as definitions for terms you may not understand, etc.; you should also be able to perform searches based on various factors, such as single-searches, meaning you can search for someone by only using a single piece of information about him/her (usually the last name); there are providers that don’t include this type of search and they usually require more information from you in order to perform the background check; searches can be based on different info: name, phone number, address, age, date of birth and so on. The more search options a company provides, the better
  • find out what sources the company uses in order to perform the background check; make sure they are reliable, correct and updated; do they contact the sources (such as courts, etc.) directly or they use a 3rd party, do they verify the information they obtain and so on
  • stay away from companies that promise very quick results, because a thorough and accurate report takes some time and effort; if you receive your report way to soon, that should raise some serious question marks
  • make sure they offer a quality customer support and you can reach them by multiple channels: phone, email, live chat; they should also have a comprehensive FAQ section on their website
  • look for the ‘preview’ option; reputable companies usually offer a preview option for the customers, before they actually purchase the report
  • use their social media profiles to find out more about the company; check out their subscribers, likes, posts and comments that may help you extract useful information about them