In today's day and age, background checks are becoming a useful tool for individuals. Many people use investigative services to make sure that those closest to them are actually who they say they are. As a high-tech way to screen dates or make sure a neighborhood is safe for your children, background checks can be used to research your friends, family, and acquaintances.
In the past, background checks were typically performed by employers to screen potential hires. This entailed verifying employment records, a person's education, gaps in employment history, a person's identity and address, their credit worthiness, and whether they had a criminal record. These checks were especially important for jobs that require a high degree of security, such as with a school or financial institution. In instances such as these, employment
screenings have been shown to significantly reduce employee theft and dishonesty. Certain industries such as banking, financial, security, transportation, childcare, health care, teaching, law enforcement, and so on, require background checks on all employees. Other fields only require background checks in certain instances.
Many background check services offer a vast array of investigative tools. Some services offer you unlimited access to their databases and records, putting state, federal, and county records at your fingertips. Other services will prepare detailed reports for you on the individual you have asked them to research.
There are a number of features to consider when looking for a background check service. Some of these include:
Cost. Does the background check service provide a cost-effective function that meets your particular needs? Are there any hidden fees?
Quality of Service. Does the background check company provide adequate access to investigative databases and research materials? Can you find all the information you need to help you make hiring/personal decisions?
Professionalism. Is the background check website professional and credible? Can you rely on the information the company provides?
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best background check services available today. We hope this information helps you select the background check service that's right for you!
Disclosure: We pay our reviewers and we are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.
Background Report 360 offers fast, accurate, and user-friendly background reports. The website connects you to instant internet-based records, allowing you to investigate and locate practically anyone. Their online records search covers many categories to provide members with the highest level of service.
Background Report 360 offers the following plans:
Full Background Report - Costs $29.95 and gives you a full background report on any one individual
1 Year Unlimited Search Pass - An additional $9.95. Gives you unlimited search capabilities for 1 full year. This is their best value.
As a member, you will receive over 10 billion records at your fingertips. With the 1 year plan, you can perform unlimited people searches, instant lookups, receive accurate reports, get unrestricted access to search results, have access to first-hand data, and make use of fast and discreet investigative privileges.
Online investigations available to members include:
Criminal offense checks
Social Security Number searches
Sex offender searches
Click on the Demo above to see a sample of the detailed report you receive
In addition, you can also run searches for the following civil records:
All names and aliases
Relatives and neighbors
The website is very easy to navigate and gives you access to a lot of background check information - all for a very affordable price.
Background Report 360 offers an excellent service for their members. Based on the quality of the reporting and the depth of information returned, Background Report 360 earns our highest rating.
eVerify allows users to search over 1 billion records across all 50 states. At this people search website, customers will find a choice of one internet based report, complete with any information that is available within their databases. Membership access is also an option for the same price as a single search and includes unlimited access on a monthly basis. All searches are made confidentially and will include a social media check, criminal record, background check, address and contact information.
eVerify offers the following plans:
Full Background Report - Costs $19.95 and gives you one full background report on any one individual
1 Year Unlimited Search Pass - $19.95 per month
eVerify allows customers to search for background information via a name, address, email address or phone number. eVerify also provides new members to try out their service for 5 days for only $1. Reports can include all of the following and more:
Arrests and Convictions
Criminal and Driving Records
Marriage and Divorce Records
Relatives and Known Associates
A search at eVerify is easy to complete and only requires a phone number, name, address or email to get started. If you signup for the monthly pass, you'll get constant access to an unlimited number of searches until you specifically discontinue membership. This is a great value if you anticipate running more than one or two background searches.
With access to over a billion records and an affordable fee for unlimited searches, eVerify delivers an impressive background search service.
Gov Registry is a self-service online public background check website. You can search any public record you're looking for through this website, allowing you to find information about friends, family, neighbors, potential dates, acquaintances, and fellow employees.
To accomplish your search, Gov Registry has coordinated access to over 1 Billion records. These records include:
Over 3,500 County Court records
All 50 state appellate court records
Over 30 years of address history from over 1,000 sources
Nationwide court records
Over 250 county arrest records
All 50 state sex offender records
Over 600 state and federal prison data
To see the results from your search, you must choose a membership plan. Membership plans run as follows:
Bronze - $29.95 - 1 month unlimited searches
Gold - $34.95 - 3 months unlimited searches
Platinum - $39.95 - 1 year unlimited searches
With each membership plan, you get unlimited access to over 1 billion records, customer support, and access to their criminal database, which includes information on arrest records, police files, felonies, misdemeanors, sex offenses, convictions, incarcerations, criminal driving violations, and other court documents.
In addition to background checks, Gov Registry also gives you the ability to search for people, search criminal records, search for local sex offenders, and even perform a phone trace.
Gov Registry give you easy access to a lot of information. If you're looking to investigate someone's background, this is a good option to consider.
Intelius is a website that enables you to find people. You can search by phone number, search criminal records, and get background, property, and area information. It also offers business services such as employee and tenant screening, DMV driving records, and batch and lead generation.
The various services offered by Intelius generate different types of reports and, therefore, have different price ranges. If you want to do a people search, you can simply enter someone's name and state (and last known address if you have it), and the website will search out matches. It will give you a list of people that match your search, their age, and their known relatives. Then you have the option to buy the type
of report on that person that is most helpful to you:
$7.95 for a one-time search report on that person
$19.95 for a 24-hour pass where you will have unlimited search report access for that person available to you
$49.95 for a background report on the person you searched
Please note that these are not membership fees. These are one-time report fees. If you want information about a different person, you will have to pay the fee again to view a background report(s) for that person.
Intelius does give you the chance to see samples of the reports before you pay (not a sample of the report for the person you researched, but a sample of what the report will look like). This is a simple, self-explanatory website that is what it is - a website to run background checks on people and not a lot more. Intelius costs more than other websites we reviewed, and they offer a limited service. Therefore, if you
are looking for a more extensive investigative resource, you might try one of the higher-rated selections.
Background Searcher offers a comprehensive website where you can find information on almost anyone. They charge a one-time fee of $19.95, which gives you instant access to their list of links for search websites. As a member of Background Searcher, you gain unlimited access to all of their investigative databases, resources, and search websites for state, federal, and local government public records. Additional resources
are available for a fee.
Background Searcher does not offer background checks on a specific person. The website offers you a collection of links to public records where you can do your own search. These other links might be fee based or they might be free. So, you will pay $19.95 to gain access to their links, and then you will be responsible for any additional fees you incur from these other websites.
Background Searcher offers personal and business searches. You can search the database and find out if someone has been married before, declared bankruptcy, filed for divorce, been arrested, or been sued. Again, you will do all the work to find someone; this website will only give you links to public records. Some of the records include child support records, court records, credit reports, criminal files, death records,
DMV records, warrant files, and so on. You also have the ability to search business records.
Background Searcher does not seem to be as thorough as some of the other websites we reviewed. Additionally, you will be responsible for all of the fees charged by the other websites Background Searcher links you to. Therefore, we recommend one of the higher-rated services.
US Search offers a variety of search options. The website is easy to use and straight forward. As long as you know the person's name, city, state, and age, you can start your background search.
The price breakdown depends on the type of report you would like to get:
For $39.95, you can get a background report including bankruptcy information and criminal/civil lawsuits.
For $59.95, you can get you an advanced search that includes complete details from the website's network of public record databases.
For $99.95, you can get an expert-assisted background report that includes everything you get from the advanced search plus a nationwide criminal search.
For $129.99, you can get an expert-assisted background search plus onsite civil lawsuit searches and a free nationwide media search.
Finally, for $295.00, you can get a due diligence with criminal background search (the most comprehensive option).
All of the prices seem to be on a per person search basis, so these are not membership fees that will allow you to return to the website for multiple searches.
US Search allows you to see sample search reports before paying. This is helpful since the prices seem to be quite a bit higher than other websites we reviewed. Based on the exorbitant prices US Search charges, we recommend one of the higher-rated services.
The Popularity of Background Checks
Employers are doing it. Daters are doing it. Even the government is doing it.
So what is the “it” we’re referring to here? Background checks.
With 69 percent of all employers admitting they now conduct background checks on all employees, and the top three online dating websites making background checks a requirement for using their service, the popularity of conducting such searches continues to grow. Even the government is considering tighter background checks for the purchase of firearms as part of a broader package on gun safety.
Not even social media is exempt from the long-reaching arm of the background check. While a person can make their social media accounts private, and be cautious of what they post about themselves, what they cannot control is what other people post about them. Embarrassing photos from last summer’s pool party – where you were holding a beer in each hand as you belly-flopped into the pool – easily can surface
on someone else’s website or social media account. So even if you think you’re being discreet, there is always the chance that someone else is not.
We already know that conducting background checks is becoming popular in the public and private sectors. But what kind of information frequently is sought out during a background check?
Basic Background Check. These kinds of background checks are comprehensive and thorough, revealing such information as a person’s date of birth, any marriages/divorces and even if they’ve ever claimed bankruptcy. It also can include a criminal history, which details any criminal convictions.
Criminal Background Check. Sometimes an employer or private person isn’t interested in learning about every place someone has lived in their lifetime – or whether they’ve been married four times in 15 years. Sometimes, the only information that is being sought is a criminal conviction history, which can be obtained through a criminal background check. These checks can be conducted through
a number of third-party agencies, which charge from $15 to $40 for their services. Any criminal convictions, including jail time served, will be included in the report.
Credit Report Check. Second only in popularity to a criminal background check, 21 percent of employers are now conducting credit report checks on potential employees. Unlike a background check – which can be conducted without a person’s knowledge or consent – employers and others are required by law to seek an individual’s permission prior to conducting a credit report check.
While some agencies will insist they can conduct thorough background checks with only a person’s name, reputable agencies also will require a valid social security number as well. Using a social security number, in conjunction with a person’s full name (first, middle and last), helps eliminate the margin of error in confusing two people with a similar name.
As with credit reports, it is important to understand that sometimes background checks contain inaccurate and misleading information. This can be incredibly frustrating for someone who may be confused with another person of a similar name who has committed a crime. Just as ordering an annual credit report to check for errors is a good idea; it is advisable to occasionally conduct a background check on yourself
for the same purposes.
Background Checks In The News
Two incompatible gun ballot measures lead in Washington state By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Two incompatible ballot measures on background checks for gun buyers in Washington state enjoy majority support in a poll released on Tuesday, but the one advancing stricter gun controls is more popular. They are the latest touchstones in a longstanding fight over background checks on gun buyers. The debate hinges on whether their expansion ... Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:56:19 -0700
Wall Street regulator to consider mandating broker background checks Wall Street's self-funded regulator said on Wednesday it will consider proposing mandatory background checks for brokers after critics pointed to gaps in disclosures by some with checkered histories. The announcement by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) comes at a time when the regulator is facing heightened scrutiny from legal groups and the media over the quality of its ... Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:33:12 -0700
Marijuana: Pot industry background checks encourage illicit activity Two of the biggest arguments for marijuana legalization are keeping it out kids? hands, and keeping the business out of criminals? hands. The two are closely related. A liquor store can lose its license if it sells liquor to minors, but a pot dealer has no such disincentive. Publ.Date : Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:29:59 -0700
Feds OK pot background checks by Washington state After a year of requests, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday it is giving Washington state access to an FBI database so it can conduct nationwide background checks on people who apply to run legal ... Publ.Date : Fri, 11 Apr 2014 03:53:45 -0700
A year after background checks defeat, gun control lawmakers set modest goals WASHINGTON, D.C. ? Democratic worries about this November's elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Barack Obama's effort to pass new curbs on firearms. Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:38:50 -0700
A year after background check defeat, modest goals Democratic worries about this November's elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after ... Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:30:11 -0700