Instant Checkmate vs Background Searcher for April 2019

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Instant Checkmate vs 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.

INSTANT CHECKMATE

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 a couple of 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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BACKGROUND SEARCHER

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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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!



The Popularity of Background Checks

Daters are doing it. Neighbors are doing it. Even someone you know may be doing it.

So what is the "it" we're referring to here? Background checks.

With 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. 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 you're not 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.

It's 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

Gov. Polis signs bill requiring name-based background checks

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday signed into law a bill requiring certain people to submit to a name-based criminal background check as a condition of employment, appointment, registration, licensure or ...

Published:  Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:53:00 GMT



GOP state legislator offered background checks on political enemies: report

A Washington GOP state lawmaker reportedly participated in private chats to discuss ways to carry out surveillance and violent attacks against perceived political enemies. Washington state Rep.

Published:  Sun, 21 Apr 2019 06:10:00 GMT



20 Years On, The Background Check System Continues To Miss Dangerous Gun Buyers

Twenty years ago, a pair of students killed a teacher and a dozen of their classmates a high school in Littleton, Colo. The shooters at Columbine High School used semiautomatic weapons and sawed-off ...

Published:  Mon, 22 Apr 2019 04:39:00 GMT



APD is on the case of new background checks law

While most categories of crime continue to decline, the one notable exception is gun violence. For that reason, the Albuquerque Police Department is engaging in a multi-prong approach to work with ...

Published:  Sun, 21 Apr 2019 23:09:00 GMT



How to Make Background Transparent in Paint 3D

If you save in JPG, which is different from PNG, you will lose the transparency. Tip: In case you forget to make the white background transparent using Canvas options, check the box next to ...

Published:  Mon, 22 Apr 2019 09:24:00 GMT



Swalwell's tough stance on gun control: universal background checks, "assault' weapons ban, buyback

Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell defended his proposal for a ban and forced buyback of so-called assault weapons Thursday by talking about a case he dealt with as a prosecutor more than ...

Published:  Fri, 19 Apr 2019 04:38:00 GMT



Little League Institutes More Extensive Background Checks -- And Shows Their Limits

If you're a parent who signed up your child for a school sport or youth league, you probably got word that someone has done a criminal background check on any adults involved with the team in question ...

Published:  Sat, 20 Apr 2019 22:11:00 GMT



Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, Restricts Gun Rights & Freedom: Take Action

The goal should be to reduce crime. Burdening law-abiding citizens doesn't stop armed criminals. We need crime-control, not more "gun-control'! JPFO Gun Confiscation Clock Move forward with this bill. ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Apr 2019 07:08:00 GMT




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