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Instant Checkmate vs Gov Registry

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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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GOV REGISTRY

Gov Registry has been around for almost 15 years. According to their site, they offer a monthly membership of $19.95 that includes access to more than 1 billion records such as Sex Offender checks, Address Histories, and Civil Judgments.

The Gov Registry site feels outdated and clunky to use. When we searched for our own information, we did get a list of 53 records of people with our name in our state of residence. The column including age information had no information for any of the records, just filler text. And, while it did tell us the various cities that each individual had lived in, there was no way to know if the record it came up with from our city was the record that matched us.

Interestingly, when we clicked on the "Buy Report" button, it took us to a checkout page for another service in our review: Info Tracer. The Info Tracer service is much more comprehensive than what we found on the Gov Registry site; plus, it would seem to make more sense to work with Info Tracer directly rather than going through the Gov Registry site.

Especially given that the copyright date for the Gov Registry site was listed as 2013, it seems safe to say that you're more likely to get the information you need by going directly to Info Tracer or, better yet, one of the other up-to-date background check services in our review.

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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 Gov Registry.

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

Attorney General Fox responds to Missoula suit over background checks for gun sales

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by the city of Missoula earlier this year over universal background checks for gun purchases. In April the city of Missoula sued Fox, challenging the validity of a ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:04:00 GMT



Last holdout charter signs on to CPS' stringent new background check policy

After delaying several days, the LEARN Charter School Network agreed on Monday to abide by Chicago Public Schools' new policy ordering across-the-board background checks on employees this summer. It was the last charter school to sign on to the more ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:09:00 GMT



White House Job Fair Seeks Recruits, Promises No Background Checks

The White House held a job fair on Friday, hoping to attract potential recruits who might fill some of the many openings on its staff. "Interested in a job at the White House" pleads the subject line of an email blast sent to Republicans in DC.

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:01:00 GMT



"He Was The Perfect Applicant... Until We Received The Background Check"

It's not uncommon to make a job offer conditional on the results of a pre-employment background check. But, how often do you deny an otherwise good job applicant a job because something unexpected came back in the background check How do you go about ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:51:00 GMT



InfoMart Launches Solution Giving Job Seekers Control of Their Background Check Information

InfoMart, global identity and background screening company, launched today a self-sovereign platform that places ownership of background check data into the hands of the job candidate. InfoMart is the first background check company to allow job seekers to ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:19:00 GMT



Liverpool carry out "˜background checks' on £18m Alisson alternative

Liverpool are carrying out background checks on Burnley star Nick Pope with a view to a possible summer move, a report claims. The Reds have drawn a blank in their search for a top-class goalkeeper, with Roma's Alisson now likely to join Real Madrid, so ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:56:00 GMT



Despite Critics, Putnam's Election Chances May Not Be Affected By Background Check Issue

Florida's Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner says he wants to set the record straight about what happened when close to 300 background checks were revoked due to an issue at his agency. Still, despite ongoing criticisms, could Adam Putnam ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:16:00 GMT



Smokepurpp Speaks On His Background & Influences In XXL Freshman Profile

While the raps can't be heard in the video, the energy displayed by the artists (and Pump throwing money in the air) means it's probably going to be an interesting cypher. Check out Smokepurpp's profile below.

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:24:00 GMT



HireRight Announces the First Truly Global Solution for Employment Background Screening

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 18, 2018--HireRight, a leading provider of global employment background checks, drug testing, education verification, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions, today announced the launch of HireRight Global, ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 09:57:00 GMT



Adam Putnam's office stopped concealed weapons background checks for a year because it couldn't log in

A state investigation found that the lapse covered a period that included the biggest spike in permit applications in Florida history. For more than a year, the state of Florida failed to conduct national background checks on tens of thousands of ...

Published:  Fri, 08 Jun 2018 11:31:00 GMT




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