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US Search vs Gov Registry

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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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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 US Search 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

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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