The Best Background Check Sites for 2024

Written by

Updated · Jan 03, 2024

Joined April 2023

With more than five years of experience in the background check industry, Ritesh Kumar founded Looku... | See full bio

April Grace Asgapo
Edited by
April Grace Asgapo


April Grace Asgapo
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
April Grace Asgapo

April is a proficient content writer with a knack for research and communication. With a keen eye fo... | See full bio

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Here is the list of leading background check companies RANKED for you based on:

  1. The quantity and quality of the information
  2. Value for money & Customer service
  3. Features & Legal Transparency of the site

Below the table we also included :

  • More details on our methodology 
  • Detailed background check reviews
  • Buyers guide on how to choose a good service.
  • Details on WHEN to use the background check sites mentioned below and when to rely on Consumer Reporting Agencies
Read More

Best for: Dark web scan


Like Intelius, TruthFinder is easy to use. It uses few search parameters to find personal & social info, property data, family tree, criminal & civil judgment records, and watch list notices. Full review

  • Highly accurate reports
  • Includes social media and dating sites
  • Up to date contact details
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Mobile background checks
BeenVerified logo


Besides letting you run scans on its website, BeenVerified offers the best background check service for mobile users. But will it suit your needs? Let’s find out! Full review

  • Impressive mobile app
  • Username search tool
  • Vehicle lookup feature
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Removing fake details about yourself


With one of the best website layouts, attention to user-experience this is one of the easiest to use background check sites. Like others, it offers all essential search services but the long processing time is why this is at the bottom of the table. Full review

  • Transparent regarding information usage
  • Sends regular search updates
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Purchasing individual reports


Intelius is an affordable, yet reliable, background check site for personal research. Their search reports include personal information, social profiles, relationships, relatives, criminal data, and more. Full review

  • Accurate data
  • Option to purchase individual reports
  • Affordable
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Criminal background check
Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate

With an A+ rating on BBB, this 10-year-old site offers monthly, & quarterly plans and phone lookup subscriptions. Along with all the essential features, it is also transparent about do’s and don’ts with the data. Full review

  • Extensive public information/search
  • Multiple search parameters
  • Includes social media
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Property searches with the price almost the same as Infotracer is also cheap. Along with basics, it differentiates itself with features like multiple search options, in-depth property reports, easy to consume report layouts. Full review

  • Affordable basic searches
  • Includes social network search
  • Doesn't require a membership
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Generating robust reports


With over 43 billion records, 6000 data sources, and 3 decades of experience in the field, PeopleFinders is one of the biggest background checking sites. Along with the essential features, it also offers data-as-a-service solutions. Full review

  • 3-day trial period
  • Free mobile app
  • Detailed reports
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Accurate background check


InfoTracer is the cheapest provider on this list. With its comprehensive report types, deep web search feature, $3.99-seven-day unlimited pass, fair pricing, and cancellation policy tries to add more value to what its competitors are offering. Full review

  • Comprehensive background reports
  • Affordable 5-day trial period
  • Excellent customer service
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Quick searches


Accuracy in data, fairness in pricing without automatic renewals, searching, intuitive interface are the reasons why Verispy is on our top list. Costly-plans is one of the few reasons why this is on the bottom of our table. Full review

  • Fast report generation
  • 7-day trial free period
  • Unlimited searches
Visit Website Full review

Our Methodology in Detail

This is what we did to find these companies:

  1. We searched the entire internet looking for viable options. We came across hundreds of solutions, but not all of them stood out in terms of functionality and features. 
  2. To test out the different software, we signed up for accounts so we could see if they deliver what they advertise. 
  3. Next, we combed the internet again for reviews of background check sitesThis step enabled us to see if previous consumers that had used the software were happy with the solutions. From the information, we could list down the best options.
  4. We also thoroughly tested all the options from a buyer's point of view. This way, we could approach each option using an unbiased point of view. Here, we considered the following things:
    • User-friendliness
    • Value for money
    • Reports' accuracy
    • Customer support

That's how we were able to rank and tag these websites.

Legal Disclaimer -There is a difference between background check sites and Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). All the websites can't be used for employment, credit or tenant screening, or related purposes.

Below you can find their detailed unbiased, data-driven reviews.

Top Recommendations and Reviews

Best for: Dark web scan

1. TruthFinder

Highly accurate reports

Includes social media

Recent contact details

TruthFinder has been in operation since 2015 and has been helping people connect with their friends and family. 

The site claims to have 9.5 million hits per month. On the Business Bureau, TruthFinder has an A+ rating. 


Here are the things TruthFinder can help us with.

People search

TruthFinder's top feature is the fact that it allows people to search for necessary data such as name, location, and ages at no cost. However, premium data (assets, bankruptcies, criminal records, etc.) require a premium account. 

Reverse phone lookup

Use a phone number to find details regarding the owner. Using the feature, you'll find out information like names, aliases, or relatives of people associated with the number. 

Public records

This feature allows you to view sensitive data such as

  • Arrests and criminal records
  • Bankruptcies and liens
  • Births and deaths 

Background check

TruthFinder digs for background information like criminal records, court records, education history, and more.

Address lookup

Find anyone's mailing details by using TruthFinder's address lookup up feature. You can also use the website to find out more information regarding a neighborhood if you plan to buy or rent a property. 

Sex offender lookup

Do you want to know if the neighborhood you plan to move to has sex offenders? You can check the sex offender registry with TruthFinder, and they will provide a complete map of all the people that have ever been convicted of the offense. 

Dark web scan

Identity theft and data breaches have become too familiar these days. Users can find out if anyone has sold their information on the internet using this background check service’s Dark Web Monitoring.

Education background

TruthFinder can reveal educational merits, and this is what you're likely to get in the report after a search using the criteria:

  • School name
  • Area of study (Accounting, Economics, medicine, and so on)
  • Period of study

Ease of use

Truthfinder is easy to use. The site's reports are also straightforward and easy to understand and digest.  


If you're looking for a free service, TruthFinder might not be the ideal option. However, we have other checkers on our list that may work for you. Here are the site's plans:

  • Monthly membership - $30 (unlimited reports)
  • 3-month membership - $26/month (unlimited reports)
  • Phone lookup- $4.99/month (unlimited searches)


It's easy to see why TruthFinder made it to our top list. Deep web scan, sex offender lookup, background check, public records, reverse phone lookup, are some features that make this site stand out from the competition. 

Although TruthFinder may ask a series of questions before returning a report, it gives pretty details and up-to-date data. Note that you can't purchase individual reports here. However, the aggregate data that it provides may help you get a wholesome picture. 

You can read more in our detailed TruthFinder review.

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Best for: Mobile background checks

2. BeenVerified

Impressive mobile app

Username search tool

Vehicle lookup feature

BeenVerified entered the background check game in 2007 and has been growing significantly ever since. Today, it caters to over one million customers and facilitates over 38 million monthly searches. Many background check agencies have apps, but none can match the mobile experience you get with BeenVerified.


Let’s look at the key features BeenVerified offers:

People search

The platform does a great job when it comes to gathering public information. All you have to do is enter the person’s full name, and you’ll get comprehensive information about them. This includes: 

  • legal names 
  • age
  • full address 
  • relatives 
  • court records
  • sex offender information 
  • more when available

Reverse phone and email lookup

If you only know someone’s phone or email address, you can still look them up on BeenVerified. It can show you who’s behind a call or package you received. This function also tells you if an unknown email or number is legit or fake.

Address lookup

On this platform, you can look up almost any address in the US. Once you get the results, you can run a complete search of the one residing in the given location.

Username search

BeenVerified lets you look up people using their login names on social media, chat rooms, and other online communities. 

Many view this platform as the best site to run a background check on a virtual friend.

Unclaimed money

When someone offers you unclaimed money, it’s usually a scam. But sometimes, you can have finance-related issues.

BeenVerified can comb through available databases and help you locate any existing assets and accounts.

Vehicle lookup

When manufacturers make cars, they give each of them a unique vehicle identification number or VIN. 

If you’re buying a used car, you can check its VIN number using BeenVerified. That way you’ll know has been involved in an accident or reported stolen.

Ease of use

Searching for people using BeenVerified is extremely easy. All you have to do is enter the info and have the platform scan its databases for information. The search process may last a bit longer than with some other services, but it works very well.

BeenVerified makes looking up a person of interest a breeze with its responsive and well-designed Android and iOS app. Many user-written background check services reviews mention it’s the best mobile app for running background checks and we couldn’t agree more.


BeenVerified offers two pricing plans you can choose between:

  • 1-Month Membership - $26.89/month
  • 3-Month Membership - $52.44 (equals to $17.48/month)

Just remember that you have to purchase a plan to see any results from your searches.


This platform is, without doubt, a great choice for anyone looking to run some background checks, especially on mobile. The pricing plans are in line with industry standards and you get some nice extra features such as username search and vehicle lookup.

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Best for: Removing fake details about yourself

3. PeopleLooker

Uses secure SSL certificates

Transparent regarding information usage

Sends regular search updates

PeopleLooker aggregates data from public records to present you with details regarding individuals, yourself, or properties. The website offers confidential searches making it one of the top places to look up people.  


The following are the PeopleLooker features:

Information removal

Sometimes, malicious people can put up false information about you. You must be wondering, "Is PeopleLooker a good choice for performing an accurate background check on myself?"

The short answer is yes.

This website allows you to opt-out of any false information about you. What's more, this service is free of charge. 

People search

PeopleLooker allows various search parameters, one of the reasons it's on our list of favorites. Locate a loved one or find out more details about anyone using their first, last, and state/city. If you don't have the person's name, you can either use a phone or email address to find an individual's details. 

Property check

Do you plan to buy a property?

Enter the property's address, and PeopleLooker will give you all the details about it, such as its value, taxes, the current owner, or previous owner details. 

Background check report

PeopleLooker is a great choice if you want to check someone's background because it gives a detailed report. Here, expect to uncover information like:

  • Bankruptcies
  • Criminal record
  • Social media details
  • Professional licenses
  • Marriages and divorces
  • Tax liens

Court runner

Ease of use

PeopleLooker has an intuitive and user-friendly website. This is one of the few websites that has made every step straightforward. Getting a report after querying the site takes less than a minute.


Are you looking for a website that doesn't charge? PeopleLooker might not be the best choice to get a free background checkHowever, the website has a 5-day trial that only costs $1.

Here are the site's premium plans:

  • Monthly membership - $22.86
  • 3-month membership - $18.28/month


If you're looking for a transparent, affordable, and reliable service to do your background searches, PeopleLooker fits that description. 

Note that access to additional services such as court runners comes at an additional cost. However, if you want to ascertain details regarding someone, then this service is essential.

You can read more in our detailed PeopleLooker review.

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Best for: Purchasing individual reports

4. Intelius

Education history


Purchase individual reports

Intelius is a subsidiary of People Connect Inc., and its sister company is This website has been in the market since 2003. Its headquarters are in Seattle.

This is one of the best-rated sites in the niche we came across during the research. Better Business Bureau has awarded Intelius A rating, while the Online Trust Alliance has also given it an Honor Roll status.  


Let's see what Intelius can offer to help us with our searches.

Public records

Like other services, Intelius collects its data from public records.  But what they excel in is putting together the data from multiple records and making it easy to access. They provide phone numbers, date of birth, marital status, email address, and more. You can also easily perform a personal background check.

People search

This feature allows you to reconnect with people in your past, such as former colleagues, schoolmates, or neighbors. This is the right website for you if you want to locate people in your family tree, or long-lost family members. 

Background check

Intelius gives you a comprehensive report about someone regarding details like address bankruptcies, full names, marriage, divorce, and criminal records.

Reverse phone lookup

If you're tired of getting endless calls from unknown numbers, Intelius can help you unearth who they belong to. The website provides you with details like the owner's address, age, full names, service provider, and whether it's a cellphone or landline.

Criminal record

Are you going out on a date? Want to know if it is safe to go out with the prospect person? Want to check if it is safe to send your kid to your new neighbor's house? Want to make sure an online seller is not a scammer? Intelius - a criminal background check site is your solution. They curate a wide range of criminal records across the country in one place.

All you need to do here is type in the state, first and last names of the person. The site provides DUIs, misdemeanors and felonies, case numbers, court dates, and outcomes. 

Identity protect

With Intelius' identity protect feature you'll be notified when there's a change in your public records. This feature is available 24/7 and has a free 5-day trial period.

Ease of use

Intelius is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is enter a few details in the fields required by the site and hit search.


This site is currently running a 50% offer on its Premier Plus plan. Usually, the rate is $29.95, but it's now going for $14.95. Here are the other pricing packages:

  • People search- $0.95
  • Reverse phone lookup- $0.95
  • Statewide criminal records -$19.95 


Intelius is a reliable website for your background checks, with services like reverse number lookup, public searches, criminal records, people search, identity protection, and so many others. 

However, note that you won't be able to use this website outside of the US. If you're looking for consumer reports, this might not be ideal. However, there are plenty of other options on our list that you can enjoy. 

You can read more in our detailed Intelius review.

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Best for: Criminal background check

5. Instant Checkmate

Extensive public information/search

Multiple search parameters

Includes social media

Instant Checkmate has existed since 2010. Kris Kibak and Joey Roco are the co-founders of the company whose mailing address is in California. The service has over a million customers. 


Here are Instant Checkmate's features:

Inmate search

If you're trying to locate an inmate, Instant Checkmate is one of the background check websites to help you. All that you need to get results about an incarcerated individual is their name and last known location. 

People Search

This feature allows you to find out where someone lives or has lived in the past. This feature brings forth details like:

  • Ethnicity
  • Phone numbers
  • Links to relatives
  • Date of birth
  • Political affiliations 
  • Professional data

Amongst many others.

Criminal records database

Apart from helping you discover an inmate's location, Instant Checkmate can also help you with someone's criminal record.  

If you're a fan of dating apps or about to go on a blind date, this site can provide a detailed background check.

Sex offender database

Having a sex offender near you can be very unsettling. 

If you're concerned about your family's safety regarding sexual offenders, you'll be happy to know that Instant Checkmate can help. This website combs through millions of public records to bring you the result that you need. 

Reverse phone lookup

Instant Checkmate has a feature that can help you find the person behind those annoying phone calls. Note that the website charges separately for this service. 

Email search

Locate anyone or discover their name using Instant Checkmate's email search feature. This option makes it the greatest site to do a background check on a potential date to see if they're catfishing you. 

Ease of use

Instant Checkmate has an appealing user interface that's easy to navigate. You don't need to enter a bunch of information for the site to bring forth the needed info. 


Instant Checkmate doesn't offer any free criminal background checks. However, the site has a five-day trial period and charges a minimal fee of $1. See the website's other pricing plans below:

  • Phone lookup - $4.99/month
  • Premium reports - $19.99/report
  • Onetime PDF fee - $1.99
  • 1-month membership - $22.86/month
  • 3-month membership - $14.86/month
  • 6-month membership - $9.86


Instant Checkmate has useful features like people finder, email search, criminal records, and sex offender databases amongst many others. 

One thing that we find odd about this site is its unclear billing practices. Also, reports take too long to load, although they're worth the wait because they have aggregate data that you might find useful.

You can read more in our detailed Instant Checkmate review.

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Best for: Property searches


Affordable basic searches

Includes social network search

Established website

For a long time, only the government and businesses had access to background searches. USSearch was one of the first sites to offer online access to information regarding people to the public. This business has been around since its inception in 1994; hence it's well established.


Are you looking to verify information about a neighbor, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.? The following are some features you'll be able to enjoy with

People search

Do you need a background screening site to help you locate family or long-lost friends? As long as you have the name and state, this site will help uncover details such as past and current locations, contact details, aliases, amongst others. 

Social network search

Reconnect with all your old friends using this feature. You can also find out if your loved one has social media accounts that they're hiding from you. Networks here include Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, amongst others.

Reverse phone lookup

Use any phone number to search for details regarding the owner. Here, you can get information like the owner's names, address, location, amongst others.

Email search

Use an email address to know more about a person, such as contact details and aliases. Alternatively, you can search for people's emails using this feature. 

Property records

Get to learn more about title deeds, maps, and other property details using this feature. For your information, the data in this report is like the one that lending institutions and appraisers use. 

Background check

This website provides information like criminal records, using the 1-state criminal check. However, note that this search will not display details regarding other states in which the person might have criminal records.

Ease of use

Although the site has a dated interface, it's easy to use. Searches also take a minute or less, making it one of the fastest sites on our list.


USSearch is not a free people finder but offers an affordable rate for its one-off people search at $2.45. See other pricing details below:

  • Onetime background report - $39.95
  • Monthly $19.95

Verdict does a decent job with services like email lookups, reverse phone lookup, social network check, property check, people search, and more.  

There have been reports where people have canceled their subscriptions, and the site continued to debit their accounts. In other cases, customers have received full charges for onetime searches.

Note that the website doesn't offer marriage and divorce reports from many states and is only limited to 11. 

Still, there is a lot of information that you can uncover using this website. That is if your principal reason for the search is not marital status for a person who falls outside the 11 states.

If you want to read more about the site, you can check out our detailed USSearch review.

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Best for: Generating robust reports

7. PeopleFinders

3-day trial period

Free mobile app

Detailed reports

PeopleFinder is a background screening site that uses AJAX technology to provide results instantly. Robert Miller, a licensed investigator, founded the company in 1988 to enable people to search for information from an extensive database.  


Let's keep scrolling to see what PeopleFinder is capable of.

Reverse phone lookup

PeopleFinder allows phone lookup, which is one of the reasons this website is on this list. The next time an unknown number calls or texts you, surprise them by referring them by their name after searching for their number on PeopleFinder.

People search report

Are you looking for a family member, colleague, past neighbor, or classmate? Locate anyone that you want using this website's people search report. 

All you need to do is enter the first and last names to start the search. After that, the site presents you with details of people you've lost contact with over the years.

Background search

Here, you'll find whether your partner is telling the truth about their marital status. The site also gives you access to criminal records, foreclosures, traffic violations, misdemeanors, and more.

Address lookup

If you're planning to move into a new neighborhood, it helps to do more research about the area. PeopleFinder can help you find out details like an address’s security to give you peace of mind.

Reverse address lookup

Do you have an address and would love to know more regarding who lives there? Well, PeopleFinder has a reverse address lookup feature that can help you find all information you are looking for. 

Ease of use

PeopleFinder has a very easy-to-use interface. Data mining is also quick and gives you reports in just a few minutes. 


Unfortunately, the PeopleFinder site can't allow you to do background checks for freeHere are the pricing plans:

  • Standard plan - $24.95/month
  • Premium plan - $29.95/month
  • Trial period on Standard plan- $0.95
  • Trial period on Premium plan - $3.95
  • Cancelation fee- $2.95


This website offers valuable information that could make a difference in decision making. 

A thing of concern is that this website lacks transparency regarding data usage. Remember to follow up on your cancellation to prevent the company from charging you the following month. 

Another issue that we found with this site is that data might not be accurate since it allows people to remove information from the system.

You can read more in our detailed PeopleFinders review.

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Best for: Accurate background check

8. InfoTracer

Comprehensive background reports

Affordable 5-Day trial period

Excellent customer service

InfoTracer has existed since 2010 and has millions of happy customers. This website conducts deep web searches, the reasons it's the ideal site for accurate reports.


The following are InfoTracer's features:

People search

All you need here is a name (first and last) plus the city to get details like the age, current location, past addresses, and a list of relatives. 

Comprehensive background reports

One reason we love InfoTracer is its ability to produce in-depth reports. The records can help you learn the following:

Arrest and warrants

Find out who has outstanding warrants or prior arrest records. Here, you can learn about the booking dates, charges, location, and sentencing information.

Criminal records

This feature reveals details like dispositions, felony records, mugshots, jail terms, probation details, to mention a few.  

Court records

Access details from County, Federal, Municipal, or State courthouses regarding bankruptcy, criminal court cases, tax liens, and much more. 

Marriages and divorces

Do you know how many times your better half has tied the knot or divorced? If you want to do a marital background check on someone, InfoTracer delivers on that aspect. It tells you who your person of interest was or is still married to, before you came along


Discover someone's investments, net worth, incomes, or if they own that property that they claim belongs to them here. 

Social profiles

Does your person of interest own pseudo-social media accounts? The ability to discover hidden accounts puts InfoTracer on the radar as the leading company in this field. This part of the report displays details from social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo, or YouTube

Professional background

This part of the report displays certifications in different categories, such as accounting, medical, plumbing, engineering, etc. 


This section reveals a person's relatives, their name, date of birth, addresses, and phone numbers. Relatives here include parents, cousins, grandparents, siblings, and even roommates!

Contact info

This one-time background check website allows you to discover an individual's phone number, email address, current or previous addresses using this report. 

Ease of use

Conducting searches with InfoTracer is easy. All you have to do is fill in a few details and hit search, and the system displays everything you need. 


Are you looking for a service that can help you find people for free? InfoTracer is a pay-to-use service, but you can take advantage of its 5-day trial period, which costs $2.95.

Alternatively, you can also subscribe to:

  • Onetime report - $19.95
  • Monthly subscription - $19.95


We love the fact that InfoTracer offers detailed data that you wouldn't find on other sites. However, note that the reports take a while to generate, but if they display all the info, they should be worth the wait.

The onetime report pricing is on the higher side. It, therefore, makes sense to go for the monthly subscriptions, which have the same pricing. 

You can read more in our detailed InfoTracer review.

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Best for: Quick searches

9. Verispy

Fast report generation

7-day trial free period

No automatic renewal

Leading publications such as ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Fox Business have featured Verispy. The website serves has over 9 million inquiries. 


The following are Verispy's features:

Background check

Are you concerned for your safety? Uncover people's backgrounds using Verispy, one of the leading sites for background checks. This site will display:

  • Criminal records
  • Marital status
  • Sexual offenses
  • Mugshots
  • Incarcerations
  • Fines

...and so much more.

People search

If you've been trying to trace someone with no success, Verispy can help. Use a person's first name, last name, and state, and the site will do the rest to help you find them, their addresses, phone numbers, and relatives.

Reverse phone search

If you've got a phone number and would love to know who it belongs to, use Verispy. This background checks online service will reveal the names, location, and address of the number's owner. 

VIN search

Discover a vehicle's accident history, current and previous owners, reconstructions, or any recall using this feature. Please don't buy a stolen car before checking it against this site, since it shows whether the rightful owner has reported it missing. 

Email lookup

Have you ever come across an email address that doesn't reveal much about its owner? Some people these days create clever email addresses that they use to harass people. Verispy allows you to use any email address to look up the owner's name, relatives, criminal records, and phone numbers.

Ease of use

Verispy has an appealing and intuitive user interface. Querying or information requires you to enter a few details, and the system returns results in a matter of seconds (approximately 30 seconds).


If you are looking for totally free people searching sites, Verispy will disappoint you. This site only provides paid services. The good news is that the site offers a 7-day unlimited pass for $4.95. Here are Verispy's other plans.

  • One-week pass - $24.95
  • One-time report- $19.95
  • 30-day pass - $29.95


Verispy is a fast and reliable site that offers email search, people search, reverse phone lookup, background, and background reports. The website has no automatic renewals, hence no surprises regarding unexpected deductions once you cancel. 

Note that the site charges the entire trial period fee upon cancellation, even if this happens before the period elapses. However, it's easy to opt out of this website's subscriptions, since it doesn't have automatic renewals.

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Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For in Background Check Websites?

Background search sites are not free and even charge for trial periods. Therefore, whether you want to reconnect with a lost contact or you are scared for your safety, it’s crucial to ensure you get the right site that will give you accurate records. 

Here are a few considerations to help you make a good decision.

The type of search you want to carry out

Do you want to find a person’s social media profile, or do you need their address? It’s critical to note that while some websites may provide all the details you need, others may have limitations in terms of features. 

Background check correctness

Some websites, like TruthFinder, are highly accurate. Others like PeopleLooker go the extra mile to ensure that court records are correct. The site sends court runners to courts to ensure that there’s no mistaken identity on the documents.

Consider the delivery time

How long do you have to wait for a report? Do you need to make a quick decision that can’t wait? If you want fast results, go for a background check website like Verispy that takes around 30 seconds to display the data.

Consider the cost

Some sites charge nearly $4 for a 7-day trial, while others charge just a few cents or $1 for trial periods. Others also cost upwards of $5 per month while others around $11. Therefore, choose a site that is pocket-friendly if you’re on a tight budget. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Background Check Services

It’s sometimes necessary to use background check sites.

But there’s a right way to do it while maintaining fairness and obeying federal law. Failure to which you might suffer some severe consequences.  

 So, how can you screen your potential employees lawfully?

You have to make sure you: 

Use an FCRA approved site or consumer reporting agency.

Many people ask themselves this question, “what is the best way to conduct a background check?“

 “Can I do it in-house?”

 The second option sounds cheaper and quicker. 

But it could land you in trouble if it doesn’t follow the Federal Fair Credit Reporting rules. Using the first option eliminates the following:

  • Misdemeanors that are 7+ years old 
  • Bankruptcies that are 10+ years old
  • A person that has paid tax liens and a period of seven years has passed
  • 7+-year-old account collections
  • Inaccuracies and wrongful accusations in the reports 

Issue a pre-adverse action disclosure and adverse action notice. 

Issuing a pre-adverse disclosure is a must in many situations. 

This document contains an explanation for a decision, made on a basis with a background check, so long as it’s in line with FCRA. Accompany it with a copy of the report.

After that, issue an adverse action notice. It contains the screening company’s name, phone number, and address.  

A notice for dispute. 

It would be best if you also issued a notice to the individual. It’s just to give them room to clarify any controversies in the report. This is because sometimes there could be errors therein.  

For instance, the document might not show if a court acquitted someone. It might also contain multiple entries for a single case.  

Background Check Website vs. Consumer Reporting Agencies 

A background check site or a background check app is an online repository of data. These websites are good for a public records search, criminal reports, education, employment history, or credit check details. 

A Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), on the other hand, is a company or an individual that offers consumer reports with a credit score. The agencies assemble and evaluate consumer information and issues findings to third-parties such as lenders, credit-issuing firms, or courts of law.  

They get their data from lenders and anywhere else that an individual might have had an obligation to make payments. Some of the biggest names in the are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. 

The documents contain details like:

  • Medical records and or payments
  • Tenant or residential history
  • Insurance claims
  • Employment history
  • Check writing history 

NB: Always use a reputable background check company or agency to look up someone’s criminal history.  

What Is FCRA?

FCRA is an acronym for the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It’s a US Federal law that regulates the gathering, dissemination, and use of consumer data. 

It ensures fairness and accuracy when dealing with data that may be inaccurate. Reason being that it may affect access to:

  • Employment
  • Medical care
  • Consumer credit
  • Insurance
  • Banking services
  • Housing 

How Do Background Check Sites Get Their Data?

So, we’ve covered where you can get background check reports.

But are you wondering how legit the information in these sites is?

Or maybe you’re unsure whether a quick internet search will do?

A quick Google search won’t give you much.

It might bring up a few social media profiles, but there are limitations, especially if the user has put a privacy setting on their profiles. 

Besides, that won’t give you sensitive data such as criminal records, DMV, or education history. 

If you want the most accurate and recent data, whether it’s for your security, verifying a candidate, or buying property, then it’s only right to use a reputable company. 

The top background check sites comb through thousands of public record databases to get the data for you. This process is time-consuming and could take several searches to get one complete report.

What are public records?

The government and related agencies maintain a repository of sensitive data. Examples include marriages and divorces, births, real estate, classifieds, newspapers, court records, motor vehicle (DMV) data, and so much more.

Some courthouses sell the data to background check sites, hence the fees. Therefore, you can rest easy, knowing that the data you seek comes from reputable sources. Besides, it’s good to let the experts do all the leg work for you, while you wait on the other end of your screen for the data.

How Much Does a Background Check Cost?

Background check subscription prices range from $17 to $30 per month. 

Are There Any Free Background Check Sites?

Some websites offer free background searches. However, if you want accurate and detailed information, you should steer clear of them. 

The sites do automated searches hence are unable to differentiate between two people sharing the same names. These sites also don’t have anyone to vet or verify information; hence the software keeps displaying the same inaccurate results for years.

Wrap Up

There is no underestimating the power of a good background search site. The websites have helped people keep themselves and their loved ones safe after the software revealed a person’s criminal history. Others have avoided buying faulty or overpriced property after searching for more details about the property or address. 

A site for background checks should contain details like people search, property search address search, criminal background check, and much more. The list above has plenty of options to help you make an informed decision. 


Is there a free background check site?

Yes, some of those are Google or PeekYou.

How do I do a background check on myself?

Doing an online criminal background check on yourself is easy. All you have to do is enter your first and last names together with your state or city in any of the websites below:

  1. Intelius 
  2. TruthFinder
  3. PeopleFinder
  4. Instant Checkmate 
  5. InfoTracer 
  7. PeopleLooker
  8. Verispy

What can someone check using a background check?

There’s a lot that you can find out using background check companies such as marital status, criminal record, address, property, email address, VINs, amongst many others.

Is it legal to use background check services?

Yes, but the devil’s in the details – different countries have different requirements.

For people based in the US and needing such a tool for personal reasons, you have nothing to worry about. However, it’s not for professional use – credits, employment, etc. checks – the service you’ve chosen has to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If it is, all is good.

If you’re unsure about it or are looking for more than just public records, consulting an agency is your best bet.

What is the most accurate background check website?

Here is a list for best background check sites with accuracy:

  • TruthFinder
  • Intelius
  • PeopleLooker


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With more than five years of experience in the background check industry, Ritesh Kumar founded - a free tool to report bad drivers and look up license plates. Besides that, he has been in the SEO game for the last decade. So talk to him about Google algorithmic updates, and he can continue until the sheep come home. Here at, he contributes mostly to the category - Background checks.

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