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      January 24, 2020

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Intelius vs Background Searcher

Best Background Checks

To help you find the Best Background Checks, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Intelius and Background Searcher.

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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, letting people to get a better idea of those individuals they interact with. 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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2020

Background Check Reviews

2 stars
Intelius

INTELIUS

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Cost:

$19.95/month for unlimited searches; may have offer of $9.95 for the first month

$19.95 for a 24-hour People Search Pass

$49.95 for a one-time report

Intelius is part of the PeopleConnect family of products, which also includes the Classmates brand. Their services include people search, reverse phone lookup, background checks, and identity theft protection services.

Our experience with Intelius was very frustrating. First, when we entered several names, we got an error message and were told to try again later. We did that a number of times and continued to get the same message, so as the error page directed, we called the toll-free number. The automated voice thanked us for calling "Customer Service" - not mentioning Intelius or any other company's name - and connected us to a representative to told us to "try again in one hour". Several hours after our first attempt, we were able to search several names.

But, the pricing we received differed based on the name we entered. One name returned the prices listed at the top of the review: $19.95 to $49.95. Then for a different individual, we were given the options of a $39.95 one-time report, or "Premier Plus". This last offer confused us: "Try Intelius Premier Plus, and if you cancel within the first 7 days and have not yet used a background check voucher you pay only $7.95 . Otherwise, you will receive 1 background check voucher per month and be charged $29.95 each month you remain a member. Each voucher will expire in 30 days, if not used."

When we went to leave the site, we got a pop-up offering a discounted price of $24.95 for a background check, so there may be additional ways to save money if you decide to use Intelius' services.

According to the Intelius site, their background report includes the following:

  • Contact information
  • Relatives
  • State Criminal Check
  • Bankruptcies
  • Liens
  • Judgments
  • Aliases
  • Lawsuits
  • Marriage & Divorce records

But, unlike many services we tried, there was no way to see if the record we would be buying was a match with the person we were searching for. We entered the name, city, and state, which took us directly to a "buy report" page; Intelius' competitors usually show details like previous addresses, likely relatives, and even estimated age to help customers determine if the person is a match.

We like that Intelius has a long track record within the industry, and their "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau is a good indicator of attention to detail and to customer service. Unfortunately, this reputation wasn't enough to overcome the less-than-impressive experience we had with using the service, especially compared with other background checks currently on the market. We think most customers will get better results using one of the other services in our review.

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1.5 stars
Background Searcher

BACKGROUND SEARCHER

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Cost:

$19.95 one-time fee

Background Searcher is very different from the other services in our review: rather than providing a comprehensive report based on a name you enter, their service is geared more towards a do-it-yourself approach.

For a one-time fee of $19.95, you gain access to a long list of links provided by Background Searcher. These links include resources for the following:

  • Child Support Lookup
  • Prisoner Records
  • Genealogy Resources (obituaries, birth/marriage/death records, and so on)
  • DMV Records
  • Criminal Files/Indictments
  • Skip Tracing
  • Court Records

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that those links will turn up details on the person you're investigating - and there's no promise that you won't have to pay additional fees to the resources found in those links. For example, if you find a birth certificate record, you will likely have to pay a fee to the government office holding that record in order to get a copy (in addition to proving that you have the right to access such documents).

On a positive note, Background Searcher did enjoy an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review. However, given that most of the testimonials are for people who used the service to find long-lost family members, we were left wondering if those same individuals would have found their relatives much faster with all of the ancestry/genealogy services currently available today. And, if you're trying to check out a prospective partner or a neighbor, you're going to have to do a lot of legwork if you use Background Searcher to dig around.

Chances are, you can spend the same amount of money - and much less time - using one of the higher-ranked background checks in our review.

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Continued from above

Warning: You may not use these services or the information they provide to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance.

Much of this information 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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