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Instant Checkmate vs Been Verified

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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 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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BEEN VERIFIED

When it comes to background checks, Been Verified goes deep. After a process lasting about two minutes, they found the record we were searching for, including correct phone numbers and email addresses.

Once our report was processed, we got a pop-up offering a discount of 15% off their published prices. Even with that discount, their prices are a little higher than some of the services in our review, but not by much.

One perk is that Been Verified offers mobile public data access: in other words, you can meet someone and process a search for them right then and there (although that may be a little creepy). We also like their Dos and Don'ts page that illustrates the ways you can use their service. Finding lost loves, verifying potential roommates, and checking out online buyers/sellers all get the OK; looking up a babysitter, stalking a crush, and contacting people against their wishes are on the no-go list.

Been Verified has a "B" rating with the Better Business Bureau, the primary reason being given as "business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints". The majority of these complaints aren't about the service itself, but more about customer service. Specifically, customers said that there were hidden fees for searching extra counties, and that when they tried to cancel they were given an extra free month - and then their subscription was continued without their permission.

This provider is one of the few services we found that offered a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back - it just may take some very insistent phone calls and personal follow-up to make sure that your account is actually cancelled and your refund is processed.

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Best Background Checks

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

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.

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!



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

What Others Say: On policy over background check

The man who murdered nine men and women at Emanuel AME Church ... should never have been able to purchase the weapon he used to commit that atrocity. That fact is now well established. It even has a name - the Charleston Loophole. Generally that term ...

Published:  Sat, 23 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT



New Haven police continue probe into alleged falsifying of background checks

NEW HAVEN-- A background check scandal in the New Haven police department has let the Chief "beyond disheartened." Two now former officers, Leah Russo and Kristian Ramirez, resigned last week when it was learned they had falsified background checks of ...

Published:  Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:54:00 GMT



New Haven police discuss falsified background checks

The New Haven Police Department revealed a bit more on Thursday about police academy falsified background checks. The department discussed the findings of an internal investigation. Chief Anthony Campbell called what happened a betrayal of trust.

Published:  Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:14:00 GMT



Background checks best for safe schools

Lawmakers facing the ballot in November avoided the usual impasse with the administration and adopted a decent budget ahead of schedule this year. Gov. Tom Wolf, also facing re-election this year, negotiated the deal and is expected to sign it. On the ...

Published:  Sun, 24 Jun 2018 01:06:00 GMT



White House Agency Reorg Plan Touches Cyber, Service, Background Checks

While the White House's proposal to reorganize the functions of many Federal agencies made the biggest headlines today with major steps like the proposed merger of the Departments of Education and Labor, the lengthy proposal document released today also ...

Published:  Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:24:00 GMT



Red flag restraining orders, background checks, waiting periods and mental health are in new report on school safety

SALT LAKE CITY -- A rapid response to a student in crisis, mandated mental health reporting and emergency restraining orders taking weapons from severely mentally ill people are top priorities for the state to ensure school safety, according to a new report.

Published:  Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:05:00 GMT



More CPS sexual abuse fallout, background checks and pay gaps

We're (usually) Cassie Burke and Adeshina Emmanuel, and we round up Chicago public education news every week. Cassie is on vacation, but fortunately our summer intern Elaine Chen is here to help. Please send any tips, story ideas, or general shoutouts ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 02:50:00 GMT



Judge tosses suits over background check of Dylann Roof, calls FBI explanation 'nonsense'

A federal judge in Charleston, South Carolina, says the FBI provided a "nonsense" explanation for its failure to quickly discover a key fact in a gun background check of mass shooter Dylann Roof, but the judge nonetheless tossed 16 lawsuits against the ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:44:00 GMT



Two Former New Haven Officers Face Possible Criminal Charges For Falsified Background Checks

Police officials said more than 17 background reports were falsified by former officers Leah Russo and Kristian Ramirez. The two were partners in conducting background investigations for incoming police candidates. The issue was brought to light by a ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:21:00 GMT




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