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

article by Maria Perinic
March 26, 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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If you are performing your first background check and are unsure of where to start, BeenVerified is a great place to do so. Signing up is a simple and painless process, complete with a tutorial of the dos and don’ts of background checks.

When you sign up, you will be met with a number of helpful suggestions as to who you might want to check out, such as a long lost relative or even check out what comes up on your own background check. There are apps available for iOS and Android devices that have reverse telephone lookup features as well.

There is also the option of getting your hands on premium data which comes at an added cost. This includes information like employment, education, financial, and more contact information.

You can sign up with BeenVerified for $22.86 per month or $14.86 per month for three months. Whilst it might be a little pricier than other services, the great thing about BeenVerified is that it affords you a comprehensive search that most other companies won’t provide you with.

Read more about BeenVerified in our extensive review.

Run Background Checks And Get Information With BeenVerified Right Now

#2 TruthFinder

 truthfinder logoTruthFinder is one of the best background check services in the business, providing accurate information on a simple to use interface. Most searches will include information that goes as far back as 15 years with the content of the report deep and broad.

One of the biggest highlights that you won’t get with a lot of services is the transparency with regards to how you can use the information that you receive from the TruthFinder report. There are also Android and iOS apps available, making background searches on the go possible.

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

You can sign up for a reverse phone membership at just $4.99 per month which will look up a search based on phone details, however, it won’t provide a complete background check report.

There are a few membership options including $27.78 per month, $46 for two months, or three months for $69.07. Remember that your subscription will be renewed automatically unless you cancel your subscription prior to the end of the month.

Read more about TruthFinder in our extensive review.

Find The True on Every Matter With TruthFinder Service Right Now

#3 People Looker

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People looker is an online data collector that is able to bring up a report on any individual you wish to look into. It is simple to use and works kind of like Google for public records. This background check company is very fast and often provides reliable search results, but that depends on how much information is available on public records.

Other than a people search you can also do a phone search where you enter the phone number and all the information related to that number comes up, a property search, where you enter the address of a certain property, and information like owners, value, taxes, and history of ownership comes up as well as a simple email search.

With so many search options it is pretty unlikely that you will end up with a report consisting of no results.

When your report is complete, it is separated in different sections making it easier to skim through. Information is separated into contact information, social media profiles, civil and criminal records, professional records and associated people.

PeopleLooker comes at a monthly price of $18.28 per month which allows you unlimited reports, unlimited sex offender searches, criminal records, email, property, and phone look-ups.

The three-month plan costs less at $14.62 and provides the same. It should be noted that the three-month subscription is billed as a lump sum.

Read more about People Looker in our extensive review.

#4 Instant Checkmate

 instant checkmate logoInstant Checkmate has some of the most comprehensive reports available, complete with accurate and current information. The site will aggregate public records including census data, arrest records, social media information, and more.

One of the biggest highlights from Instant Checkmate is the user interface, which is easy to navigate and reliable. New users will have no trouble understanding where to go and how to use the site.

When it comes to the reports, criminal records are color-coded and navigating all the different sections is very simple, by clicking on the tabs on the left-hand side of the report in order to get from one section to another. If you wish to have a hard copy, you can always download a pdf file of the report.

The cool thing about Instant Checkmate is that you can sign up for a five-day trial which will set you back just $1. This will afford you a background check as well as a reverse email lookup.

A monthly membership will cost you $34.78 per month and will allow you basic background checks, reverse email lookup, and other features, while a quarterly monthly membership costs $27.83 per month. You can also sign up for a phone lookup membership which costs $4.99 per month. There is also a private investigator service as well as top-tier online support.

This is often considered to be the greatest 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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Intelius offers an affordable subscription which will see you paying just $19.95 per month, which is much cheaper than some of the other background check services we have mentioned thus far.

On top of that, not all background check services will provide customers with education history, but these reports will come up with high school, university, and colleges that the individual has attended.

One of the biggest pros of this background check site is the speed in which your report is complete.

A disadvantage that we found with Intelius is that you cannot download the reports that you pay for, however, you are able to save them to your account, allowing them to be accessed later on. As one of the best background check services, Intelius has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Read more about Intelius in our extensive review.

Get Information From Billions of Records with Intelius Now

#6 US Search

US-search-logo_-210x100_with-backgroundThis is one of the most flexible background searches that you can use, and it is a great option if you don’t have much information to begin with. As one of the most popular online background checks in the country, it goes a step further than other services do by making your searches intelligent using technology to rightly identify the person in question.

There are seven search options that you can do which include: people search, background search, criminal records, reverse phone lookup, reverse email lookup, reverse property search, and social network search.

This best background check site will allow you a basic one-off people search for $2.45, but there is also a monthly subscription that you can sign up for that costs $19.95.

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. In the case of a landlord – renter relationship, there are a dedicated (and approved) tenant background check services.

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.


Still can’t decide? Read our detailed BeenVerified vs Truthfinder Comparison.

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12 comments
Karen says:

what if you just want to run one back ground check, I do not want a three month subscription?

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