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      June 20, 2018

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Instant Checkmate vs US Search

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To help you find the Best Background Checks, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Instant Checkmate and US Search.

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What is the best background check service? Is your new girlfriend as trustworthy as she seems? Does your neighbor have a criminal record? These are just a few of the types of questions that motivate people to want to run a background check. Background checks have been a regular part of life for many years: employers run them prior to bringing on a new hire, especially in certain fields such as education and law enforcement.

Colleges and universities search social media profiles and work history before awarding scholarships or even granting admission to applicants. Families looking to adopt or be foster parents are checked to make sure there is no history of abuse or neglect.

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2018

Background Check Reviews

4.5 stars
Instant Checkmate

INSTANT CHECKMATE Visit Site

Cost:

$34.78/month for unlimited reports

$27.82/month for 3 months of unlimited reports

Pop-up offer of 5-day trial membership with unlimited reports for $1

While there are a lot of services offering background checks today, some are more thorough than others. Instant Checkmate definitely ranks up there with the best when it comes to checking for information.

One thing that stood out to us about the search process of Instant Checkmate: it has a box you can check if you're searching for your own information. When we checked that box, it asked us questions while the search was running, to help make sure it was coming up with the right records (for example, had we ever lived in a certain city, were we over the age of 30, and even if an individual was a relative). We did find the "Have you ever committed a crime?" question to be a little ominous!

Instant Checkmate found the right records for us, after a search process that took approximately two minutes to complete. We were then asked to answer another set of questions; in total, it took nearly 10 minutes to get to the place where we could order the report generated. There was a big red bar across the page warning us that there were more than 10 criminal records for people associated with our name in our state; given that we have a clear criminal background, that felt a little shady and meant to push us to buy their report.

Digging a little deeper, we found that there are two background check services operated by the same owners: Truthfinder and Instant Checkmate. Both services have solid ratings with the Better Business Bureau, so this is primarily for your own information as you consider which background check service will ultimately get your business.

Pricing was also slightly different between the two, so keep an eye out for the best deal. Pro tip: wait around awhile on the site. You may get a pop-up offering you a full-access, 5-day trial membership for $1.

The BBB has given this service both an A+ rating and accreditation, which is unusual within the industry. We found a higher number of positive reviews for Instant Checkmate than most other background check services on the market; the only thing keeping them from a first-place ranking is their higher prices, compared with their competition.

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2.5 stars
US Search

US SEARCH Visit Site

Cost:

From $1.45 to $39.95 for a one-person report, depending on the desired level of information

$19.95/month for OmniSearch

US Search is an alternate business name of Intelius, another service in our review: they are both owned by parent company PeopleConnect and share a listing with the Better Business Bureau.

Surprisingly, we found the search experience on US Search to be easier to use than the Intelius interface. When we entered our name and city/state, we did get a display of information that helped us confirm that the record matched the person we were looking for, including aliases, relatives, and address history. On that page, it said that a background check report would include these items:

  • Full Name
  • Age
  • Recent Address
  • Address History
  • Phone Numbers
  • Aliases
  • Maiden Name
  • Relatives
  • Associates
  • Properties
  • Home Value
  • Email Address
  • Social Network Search
  • Criminal Records
  • Lawsuits
  • Misdemeanors/Felonies

Here's where we got lost: when we clicked on the button to get our report, it said that when you buy a basic background check report through US Search for $19.95, it includes the following:

  • Full Name
  • Age
  • Current Address
  • Phone Numbers
  • Address History
  • Enhanced Relatives
  • Associates Plus
  • State Criminal Search

For an additional $5, you can access a nationwide (43-state) criminal search as well.

You may notice that several things that were described on the first list (such as email address, home value, and social network search) are not listed in the two options on the "add to cart" page. As it turns out, you'll have to add the social network search for an extra $12.95 if you opt for a single background check.

As you can see, US Search's pricing isn't very clear. The regular prices for the basic and nationwide criminal search were $19.95 and $24.95, respectively, but there was a 25% discount offered with a trial of their OmniSearch product. According to the site, OmniSearch does give you those missing items (social network, address history, and so forth) for a monthly fee of $19.95. You'll get a 2-day trial if you opt for the 25% discounted price on the background check report described earlier.

We appreciate the enhanced search results offered by US Search, compared with Intelius, and the fact that both companies have an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau is a plus. But, US Search's confusing pricing and expensive add-ons make them less attractive than many of the other services we considered.

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Continued from above

Much of the information available to employers, universities, and government agencies is also available to you through services offering background checks. Maiden names and aliases, cities of residence, even criminal and legal history are just a few of the types of information people can find when using these services.

You should be aware that, no matter which service you use, the results rendered are only as accurate as the public records databases which they use. The accuracy of this information is one of the factors that differentates the background check providers.

As you decide which background check service best meets your needs, keep in mind the following criteria:

  • Price. What will it cost to access a single report? Is there a free or low-cost trial available? How much does it cost to access unlimited reports for one month?
  • Depth of Information. What kinds of records will you be able to see? Is it information that you could easily find yourself, or will you get access to details that are hard for the average person to find? Does the service also examine social media accounts, or just basic public records?
  • Reputation. Have other customers been able to find what they need while using the service? Does the business have a solid rating with the BBB?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best background check services available today. We hope these reviews help you find what - and who - you're searching for!

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