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Truthfinder vs Background Searcher

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TRUTHFINDER

If you need a background check - or if you just want to know what information is available about you online - you need to see what Truthfinder has to offer. For nearly 15 years, this business has been helping people find missing family members, check up on prospective spouses, and even protect their own identity online and in person. And, as an "A+" business with the BBB, Truthfinder's reputation is solid.

To get started, you enter the name, city (if known) and state of the person you'd like to find. You'll get to watch Truthfinder's process as it analyzes online profiles, traffic offenses, arrest records, relatives, and many other possible identifying details. You may be asked to verify relationships and other info while it processes; we were asked to click yes or no if the person we were searching had lived in a particular city (she had) and if an individual was her relative (he was). From there, we were taken to a results page that exactly matched the person we entered. Truthfinder showed her name, maiden name, multiple cities in which she'd lived, and four possible relatives. That part of the process took about two minutes.

When we clicked on the option to get our report, we had to answer further questions - you'll want to stay on the screen, because you have a limited time to answer those questions before Truthfinder continues the process without it. This step investigates Key Information, Criminal Records, and Social Media. Next, it goes through a Relative Selector, where you can choose to include possible relatives in your report. You'll see a yellow triangle by a person's name if they may have a criminal or traffic report. Then, you'll need to confirm that you will not use the information for illegal purposes, along with several other verification screens.

We really enjoyed how the Truthfinder background check service educates users on how to make the most out of their membership. Just under the People Search category alone, there are 20 helpful info sections including how to use the search, what's in a report, and a case study for one user's success story.

Truthfinder shares a relationship with Instant Checkmate, another highly-ranked service in our review. However, we found the Truthfinder site to be more thorough and the whole package to be slightly more user-friendly than their sister site.

One perk of membership that we didn't see anywhere else: in addition to unlimited background reports, reverse phone lookups and property searches, members also get access to free Dark Web monitoring. In partnership with credit bureau Experian, this allows Truthfinder to monitor your SSN, email addresses, social network accounts, and many other pieces of personal information to protect you from potential identity theft.

Another plus is Truthfinder's U.S.-based customer service representatives. Most of their competitors outsource their CSRs overseas, but Truthfinder ensures that if you have any questions about the service, from billing to using its features, you'll get someone that clearly speaks your language, 7 days a week.

The comprehensive background check service that Truthfinder provides is matched by their attention to customer satisfaction. When combined with competitve pricing, Truthfinder at the front of the pack when it comes to the best background checks. They earn our highest rating.

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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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Best Background Checks

To help you find the Best Background Checks, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Truthfinder and Background Searcher.

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

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



CPS workers to undergo fresh background checks before start of next school year

Thousands of adults who work in Chicago Public Schools will undergo fresh background checks this summer prior to the coming academic term, the school district announced as part of a large-scale effort to obtain updated information about workers ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Jun 2018 07:33:00 GMT



AMA Joins Calls for Tougher Gun Background Checks, Restraining Orders

The American Medical Association House of Delegates this week backed a sweeping set of actions aimed at reducing the toll of U.S. firearm deaths, including gun-violence restraining orders, tougher background checks and better data collection, among other ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:15:00 GMT



Florida Democrats go after Adam Putnam in digital ad highlighting background check failure

Florida Democrats aren't letting go of Adam Putnam's background check issue. The party announced the release of a digital ad Thursday that highlights the recent stories about the Agriculture Commissioner's office's failure to review the results of more ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Jun 2018 10:16:00 GMT



CPS workers to undergo new background checks by fall

CHICAGO - All adults who work in Chicago public schools will undergo new background checks before classes begin this fall, CPS announced Friday. That includes employees, coaches, volunteers and vendors. According to CPS, all adults who regularly work ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Jun 2018 09:05:00 GMT




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