6 Best Background Check Services of 2020: Companies and Websites You Can Trust

article by Maria Perinic
January 22, 2020
Even if you consider yourself to be a social media sleuth, there are some things you simply cannot find out on Facebook or Instagram. A reliable background check service will provide you with a report on a specific person complete with personal details like where they live, their criminal convictions as well as employment history. When choosing a background check service, you want the report to be completed quickly and accurately.  
While there are many free background checks on the internet, the unfortunate thing is that you will often not receive much information on the person. You can pretty much find out all the information provided in a free background check yourself by simply doing a Google search.

If you’re curious to find out information on a prospective employee or a roommate, a background check can be the fastest and most reliable way to find out whether the person in question is the right fit for you. Check out the six best background check services we have tested and reviewed below.

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Best Background Check Services

 #1 BeenVerified

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As far as background searches go, criminal pasts are probably the highest ranking reason that people use this service. If that is the case, BeenVerified is the service for you. Offering one of the most comprehensive database searches out there, you will surely find out everything you need to know from them. Within their search they offer:

  • Full names and aliases
  • Address history
  • Relatives and associates
  • Criminal check
  • Property ownership details
  • Civil judgments
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax liens
  • Criminal court records
  • County records
  • Case numbers
  • Offense details
  • Arrest details
  • County records

Read more about BeenVerified in our extensive review.

Run Background Checks And Get Information With BeenVerified Right Now

#2 People Looker

 peoplelooker 210x100People Looker is a highly competent background search company that provides its customers with comprehensive and robust reports on their subjects. Users are then armed with all the information they need to use as they see fit. Plus the website is easy to use from the get-go with People Looker’s customer support being one of the best in the business.

Reports generated by the company can return the following information regarding a person.

  • Full name
  • Maiden name
  • Known aliases
  • Address history with “last seen” date
  • Current address
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Satellite imagery and access to an in-depth property report for current addresses

However, its property search function can also generate the following results:

  • An individual’s current and historical real estate assets with detailed property info
  • Satellite maps
  • Property tax amounts
  • Home value
  • Building specs.
  • Buyer/seller info
  • Sales prices
  • Co-owners
  • Parcel numbers
  • Country assessor data

Finally, People Looker can delve into a person’s criminal history and find out these data points:

  • Arrest or conviction records
  • Outstanding Warrants
  • Traffic violations
  • Speeding tickets
  • Detailed offense records, including the date and location of the crime
  • Federal, state, county, and local court databases
  • Most Wanted lists

Read more about People Looker in our extensive review.

Check All The Facts You Wish With People Looker Now.

#3 TruthFinder

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There is no question that TruthFinder is one of the best background check companies out there. They have apps available for Android and iOS devices, which will make background searches on the go incredibly simple.

Here are just some of the options that they have available to search for you:,

  • Home addresses
  • Criminal records
  • Social media profile search
  • Educational information
  • Weapon permits
  • Current or former roommates
  • Deep web search
  • Reverse email lookup
  • Reverse phone lookup
  • Property search
  • Interactive map of registered sex offenders

On top of all this, they are incredibly easy to work with and all you need to give is the bare minimum information about the subject of your search, such as:

  • Their name
  • Their surname
  • City
  • State

Read more about TruthFinder in our extensive review.

Find The True on Every Matter With TruthFinder Service Right Now

#4 Instant Checkmate

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Finding family members is very easy using Instant Checkmate. They have a family search function which sets them apart from the rest and allows you to keep tabs on spouses or children, search for adopted parents and find long lost relatives.

Some cool features that you will enjoy from Instant Checkmate include:

  • Mobile App
  • People Search
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Search by name, phone number, address or email
  • Business interests
  • Firearm permits
  • UCC filings
  • Confidential searches
  • Detailed premium reports
  • An online “Private Investigator” service
  • Top-tier online support
  • 24/7 telephone customer support

This is often considered to be the fanciest of background check services due to their premium options and their on-demand private investigator service.

Read more about Instant Checkmate in our extensive review.

Verify Every Fact With Instant Checkmate Right Now

#5 Intelius

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This is a fantastic service that will give you a detailed report that will leave out things you do not need and give you all the information that you do want. Their Premier ($19.95 per month) & Premier Plus ($29.95 per month) offer comprehensive search features including:

  • Addresses
  • Criminal records
  • Drug trafficking
  • Tax evasion
  • Securities fraud

Offers which they make available to their customers include:

  • Criminal background check
  • Reverse phone number check
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Sex offences
  • Traffic violations
  • Case type
  • Court dates
  • Court type
  • Disposition filing date

They also have a great customer service center and they will provide the background checks in a speedy manner.

The mobile app is quick and easy to install as well.

Read more about Intelius in our extensive review.

Get Information From Billions of Records with Intelius Now

#6 US Search

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US Search is a great background check option if you don’t have too much information to begin with. You can get a thorough search of a person’s history with only a name, email address, phone number, physical address, and many other possible options. Some of the search features offered by US Search include:

  • Criminal & Court Records
  • Reverse Phone Search
  • Deep Web Search
  • Social Media Data
  • Mobile App for Android

A full background search is priced at $29.95 (giving you a 20% discount), whereas you can purchase a one-off People Search and Criminal Check for $1.45 and $9.85, respectively. With these searches, you will be able to uncover in-depth details about a person such as:

  • Names
  • Photos
  • Public social profiles
  • Phone and location information
  • Current address
  • Property information
  • Neighborhood information
  • Family members

US Search also offers a customer support phone option, open from 6:00am to 6:00pm on Monday to Friday Pacific Time (PT), where representatives answer quickly and are there to help with any issue. Their website also features a comprehensive FAQ section, in case you’re having an issue outside of the phone operating hours.

Read more about US Search in our extensive review.

Check All The Facts You Wish With US Search Now

Online Background Check Scams

There are hundreds of online sites claiming to be able to provide lightning-speed, comprehensive background checks for you in return for payment. A lot of the time people will get scammed, receiving very little to no information at all.

So, how can you spot a fake background check from the real deal?

The legit services will rarely ask you to provide financial information from a job applicant, but will rather require the employer to pay for the services they provide.

Phony background check sites will also keep away from using secure internet connections. Look for the “https:” in their address bar when filling out the application page, and it should be the real deal.

People out to scam others are also terrible at spelling, so it should be pretty easy to tell by their website if they will be able to provide you with everything you need. Bad spelling, strange syntax, and terrible grammar will tell you to run the other way.

Lastly, a great business will want to connect to their customers, so if there is no contact phone number to call if you are having doubts or questions, then it might be a sign that they are not for you. Unanswered and unreturned calls are also a cause for concern.

What Shows up When You Do the Best Background Check?

The following items are generally included in a reliable background check site:

  • Criminal records featuring felonies and misdemeanors
  • Federal nationwide and state-wide criminal record check
  • National warrants
  • Sex offender registry check
  • Global homeland security search
  • International criminal records check
  • Education verification
  • License verification
  • Professional reference checks
  • Motor vehicle reports
  • Drug screening
  • Phone numbers
  • Bankruptcies
  • Lawsuits
  • Traffic court records
  • DUI reports

* Please note that according to US regulations, it is strictly forbidden to use a non-employee dedicated background check service to commence pre-employment screening. Only licensed background checks for employment services are allowed to commence pre-employment screening queries.

What is the Best Background Check Service and What Can I Use It For?

People Search

No matter whether you are purchasing from a seller online or checking up on an old friend that you haven’t heard from in years, an online background check is the perfect way to perform a people search.

Roommate Verification

Obviously, inviting someone into your home for a long period of time comes with its risks, but you can lessen the likelihood of surrounding yourself with questionable individuals in your home by running a simple online background check.

Dating Partner Lookup

Tinder might be red hot right now, but how sure can you be that the hunk in that profile picture isn’t a psychopath? They say love is bling, but with the help of a background check, it doesn’t have to be.

Current Address Lookup

Want to know more about the shady people constantly coming in and out of a house down the street? Maybe you want to know more about a house listing that you would love to get your hands on? Either way, the answer lies in n online background check.

Self-Background Check

If you have applied for your dream job and think you might be at the top of the prospective applicants list, you will almost surely get a background check completed on you. Companies love to find out whether you are who you claim to be and if your profile fits the image of their business. Find out all of the information about you and change what you need to before that job position gets handed to someone else.

Verify Buyers and Sellers Online

You don’t want to go crossing any state lines if the person purchasing or selling to you isn’t serious, or worse still has some sort of criminal history linked to the sale.

Public Court Records

Keep your family and friends safe by finding out whether there is a sex offender listed nearby.

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

In most cases, online background search companies use public records, which means that there are very strict guidelines as to how their services are to be used. Even the sites that offer the best background check service are not Consumer Reporting Agencies which means that you cannot use the sites for any purposes governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Here is a list of the people that you can perform background checks on:

  • Neighbors
  • Nearby sex offenders
  • Family members
  • Parents of your child’s friends
  • New friends
  • Old friends
  • Former classmates
  • Potential dates
  • Social media friends
  • Online buyers and sellers
  • Vacation buddies
  • Study partners
  • Celebrities
  • Yourself

Here is a list of all the ways you CANNOT use a background check:

  • Employment screening
  • Screening household workers
  • Tenant screening
  • Assess professional services
  • Determine educational or scholarship qualifications
  • Make decisions about credit or insurance eligibility

How to Spot the Best Background Check Site

While there are hundreds of sites online claiming to provide fast and comprehensive background checks, the truth is many of them are fake and this often leaves people scammed from their money with little to no information to show for it.

This is how you can find out whether or not the background check service in question is reliable.

A truly reliable background check service will never ask you as the person applying for the job in question to pay for your background check, but rather the employer will have to pay for it.

Phony background check sites will also keep away from using secure internet connections. Look for the “https:” in their address bar when filling out the application page, and it should be the real deal.

A lot of scammers seem to have issues with spelling and grammar, so when you scan their site, if you see it littered with terrible English, run for the hills.

Businesses will almost always want their customers to be able to reach them so as to answer any questions they might have and essentially sell their service or product. Someone out to scam you doesn’t want any contact with you so they do not risk getting caught out.

What is the FCRA?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that oversees how consumer reporting agencies collect and administer personal credit information to third parties.

It also includes details for how such agencies are allowed to collect and use the information available to them.

A non-FCRA report cannot be used to hire, fire, screen tenants, or for any credit screening.

Conclusion

With hundreds of online background checks out there, it can be difficult to separate the below-average ones from the premium services. Excellent services will provide people, property, reverse telephone and reverse email searches at the minimum, as well as handy apps for both Android and iOS devices.

Choosing any of the above online background check services should make for a seamless experience and give you peace of mind going forward.

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11 comments
Craig says:

I clicked through to join Been Verified, but they want $26.89 for 1 month or $17.48 per month for 3 month contract. Where is the $14.86/mo. deal? Thanks

Jan says:

My soon to be ex-husband had a three-year affair with someone we discovered had an extensive criminal past. I have found much of the information on my own by searching court databases but I suspect there is more. What I need or actual criminal arrests and convictions. During that time she also stole quite a bit of money from him and I know she has done it to others and has had restraining orders placed against her after threatening to burn someone’s house down. She had to be removed from one house forcibly by law-enforcement. The woman is a monster and I need every single bit about her.

Maria P. says:

Hi Jan,
You can easily get access to a criminal information database, just by running her name in one of the recommended background check services. It is super easy, and quite affordable (in light of the possible financial damage she might inflict on you)

Hope you find all the info you are looking for. Good luck!

Maria P.

Erika says:

My friend is being “stalked”. I know the person has lawsuits against them and is intelligent and quite insane. Has sent letters to students, with a lot of sexual content and slander. I need to know if they have been committed to an asylum and hopefully relatives contact, to get them help. Which site is best?

Maria P. says:

Hi Erika,
Indeed an awkward situation.
We recommend you to use Beenverified service.
You can also read our Beenverified review.

Hope it helps you and you would be able to solve this issue.

Maria P.

Michael Lasare says:

Much of the data I have received from these sites is obsolete. Old phone numbers, old address etc.

Brenda says:

I am having the same problem with every site I have subscribed too.
Nothing is updated!

Doug says:

I tried all of their sites and spent a good deal of time answering their questions only to be told they have a report with lots of good information but I have to join and pay to see it. They show me nothing worth buying. And I buy nothing site unseen.

Maria P. says:

Hi Doug,
All of the background check sites/companies charge a fee for their service. Before you make a purchase they provide you a brief check list of the info they can provide you on your query.
I can recommend you, in your case, the premium subscription of Intelius. They offer a full access and unlimited amount of reports, just for 9.95 USD (monthly subscription).
I think it can give you an impression regarding what data they can offer you, for a comfortable fee.

Hope it helps,
Maria

Symay Yu says:

Hi how can I use your service search for business persons ? Do you have a price list, and how to use

Maria P. says:

Hi Symay,
You can indeed run search queries of businessmen.
Choose the service that fit your needs and start the process. You can begin with Beenverified.

Good luck