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 that it doesn’t offer the option of buying single report. You have to choose a subscription.
Social Catfish is a people-finding product that allows you to search for people by their name, email address, phone number, or social media handle. With Social Catfish, you can find out if someone is who they say they are and find out as much information available online, all with their easy-to-use service. Their reverse image search provides a feature that no other people-finding product currently offers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Last updated September 19, 2023
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:
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.
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 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: