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People Finders vs US Search

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PEOPLE FINDERS

Since 1998, PeopleFinders has helped everyday people find out more about others in their lives. As part of the Confi-Check, Inc. family of brands, which includes MyRelatives and AreTheyReallySingle, PeopleFinders enjoys an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Like most background check services, you'll start by entering the name, city and state (if known) of the person you're searching for. After just a few seconds, you'll be shown any records that look like a good match. Ours was found very quickly, and the initial information we were shown was accurate.

From there, you'll need to get your report, which will include a scan for records involving Location, Property, and Criminal History at county, state, and national levels.

You'll then need to decide if you'd like to pay for a single report ($29.95), a one-month unlimited plan ($19.95), or a three-month unlimited plan ($12.95/month x 3 months). When we waited around on the site a little longer, we also got a pop-up offer for a $2.95 5-day trial and a full report for $1. That's a fantastic way to try the site out and make sure it's what you need, but be sure to read the terms carefully so that you can cancel in time if you decide to.

The reports you pull may include the following, particularly if you have the unlimited plan:

  • Arrest/Police/Court Records
  • Reverse Phone Lookups
  • Addresses/Phone Numbers
  • Birth/Death/Marriage/Divorce Records
  • Search Warrants
  • Relatives and Associates

As with most services, the background check information you receive depends on public records databases and other sources; most customers report receiving information that is useful, but some are less than satisfied with the details they get once they pay for a report. Fortunately, PeopleFinders is priced affordably, and given that they have a solid A+ grade with the Better Business Bureau, you shouldn't expect huge problems if you should need to cancel the service.

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US SEARCH

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:

  • Full Name
  • Age
  • Recent Address
  • Address History
  • Phone Numbers
  • Aliases
  • Maiden Name
  • Relatives
  • Associates
  • Properties
  • Home Value
  • Email Address
  • Social Network Search
  • Criminal Records
  • Lawsuits
  • Misdemeanors/Felonies

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:

  • Full Name
  • Age
  • Current Address
  • Phone Numbers
  • Address History
  • Enhanced Relatives
  • Associates Plus
  • State Criminal Search

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.

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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 People Finders 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:

  • 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

New Nevada attorney general: Background check law a priority

Nevada's new attorney general wants to find a way to implement a stalled, voter-approved gun background check law when he takes office early next year after his predecessor said the measure couldn ...

Published:  Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:18:00 GMT



Woman Who Applied For a Scientist Position Describes How The Boss Suggested She May Be a Terrorist: "˜You Know We Do Background Checks'

A woman by the name of MK Menon wrote a story in the Huffington Post about how she was asked about terrorism when she applied for a job as a scientist in the San Francisco area Menon was adopted ...

Published:  Sun, 16 Dec 2018 11:00:00 GMT



DOD on track to take over background checks

The Defense Department is on track to absorb the National Background Investigations Bureau ahead of an anticipated executive order demanding the shift by the end of fiscal 2019, officials told Congres...

Published:  Sun, 16 Dec 2018 12:15:00 GMT



Justices to Mull Mandatory Criminal Background Checks for State University Employees

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the issue of whether requiring university employees to undergo criminal background checks is negotiable during the collective bargaining ...

Published:  Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:16:00 GMT



Study Supports What Gun Rights Activists Have Said All Along: The Background Check System Is Severely Flawed

The Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) at UC Davis and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study about the impact California's gun control laws have had on homicid...

Published:  Sat, 24 Nov 2018 19:06:00 GMT




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