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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.
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:
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:
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.
Best Background Checks
To help you find the Best Background Checks, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Instant Checkmate and US Search.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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
CLEVELAND, October 18, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Asurint today announced that their proprietary background screening technology now has the capability to evaluate and provide an instant clear on individua...
Published: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 10:06:00 GMT
Just to be clear: Probing questions are not the same thing as a background check conducted, say, by the New Mexico State Police. Yet four members of the Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education - th...
Published: Wed, 17 Oct 2018 20:13:00 GMT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi promised South Florida gun-control activists that universal background checks would be among Democrats' top priorities if the party wins control of the House in the ...
Published: Wed, 17 Oct 2018 13:34:00 GMT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi outlines the policies she hopes to pursue if Democrats take a House majority. In an interview with Politico, she says she wants to address campaign finance ...
Published: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 06:06:00 GMT
A state judge on Thursday upheld Missoula's 2016 gun ordinance, which requires background checks on all gun sales in city limits, even between private parties. Judge Robert "Dusty" Deschamps ...
Published: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 16:45:00 GMT
In response to the announcement that DFID is providing funding for a new global criminal records background check for aid workers led by INTERPOL, a Save the Children spokesperson says: "Save the ...
Published: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 02:12:00 GMT
WASHINGTON-FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that the Bureau's background investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had been limited in sco...
Published: Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:48:00 GMT
Judge: Missoula can require checks on private gun sales A Montana judge ruled that Missoula has the right to require background checks for private gun sales, the first such expansion in Montana. Check ...
Published: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 07:28:00 GMT
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